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BTW, in the comments thread of a previous post on Randi's social Darwinist views, there was a silly little controversy over whether or not the Nazis actually practiced eugenics and euthanasia. As it happens, I'm currently reading "In The Garden of Beasts," by Erik Larson, a nonfiction book about Berlin c. 1933-1934. On p. 63 we read:

"Hitler's cabinet enacted a new law, to take effect January 1, 1934, called the Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases, which authorized the sterilization of individuals suffering various physical and mental handicaps."

And on pp. 88-89:

"Another nearby building, a lovely two-story mansion that housed Hitler's personal chancellery, would soon become the home of a Nazi program to euthanize people with severe mental or physical disabilities, codenamed Aktion (Action) T-4, for the address, Tiergartenstrasse 4."

I think the technical term for Randi is A@@hole.

"These are not innocent people. These are stupid people."

I too was stunned by that line when I saw it in Paranormalia. I read it several times and the surrounding context to see if I was missing something.

As you say, Michael, it's tremendously revealing about Randi and his values.

But you don't have to be an atheist to have that sort of attitude. I just finished debating someone over at Skeptiko and this is precisely what I need to say to him about his arguments:

"In my opinion, this is an overvaluation of the intellect at the expense of other human qualities that can be just as important - things like kindness, caring, and the capacity to share love and experience joy."

If anyone's interested, the thread is here:
http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/4821-dogs-equal-humans.html

Randisis views are quite ,logical and in step with Darwin's who wrote "With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of everyone to the last moment There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to smallpox. Thus, the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man.”
(Origin of the Species Darwin, p. 874) the ultra-Darwinists witness Randi fellow traveler Richard Dawkins incredulity, on why a mother would be upset over the kidnapping of her child? Dawkins is amazed because the adopter not only wastes her own valuable time and resources, but in so doing allows a rival female to escape from the burden of childrearing
Evolutionary Psychologists such as Dawkins believe that altruism is only an illusion. It suffices to say that it flows out of the whole doctrine of the selfish gene. Thomas Huxley once said there is no tragedy like a theory being killed by a fact,” and this was Darwin's bulldog speaking. Was there ever a better example than Dawkin's selfish genes? The proponents of evolutionary psychology have observed evidence of their theory in nature, at least in the case of man's distant cousin the squirrel. Studies have shown that the ground squirrel's willingness to put itself at risk is directly proportional to how closely related it is to members of the local group. This is an argument for kin altruism

The measure of fitness for this goup is intelleigence they make that quite clear. That is why I call it a cult of intelligence. Intelligence is measured in no small aprt by wheter someone adheres to their Reducionist metaphysic.
This cult of intellect does away with
ethnicity as mark of superiority yet replaces it
with intelligence. Overtly and covertly, the
Bright’s exhibit contempt for a segment of
the population that consists of mostly of
southern whites, and poor African-
Americans. These are the most religious
people in America. Dawkin’s at least puts it
plainly, “‘”they are inferior”.
Dawkins says of them ‘They feel uneducated, which they are; often rather stupid, which they are; inferior, which they are; and paranoid about pointy-headed headed intellectuals from the east coast looking down on them, with some justification they do.’ "
the asrguemnt is concistentwchih is why these Naturalists call themselves "Brights"

so bright that they're destroying the world

With the "Bright" logic, we should euthanize or elders when they no longer serve a purpose or contribute to the GDP. Thanks for raising me mother however you have to be put to pasture because you are now a drain on my wallet and society's. This isn't logical in my opinion, it is more barbaric than any of our animal counterparts.

How is the Bright movement's "rational" approach to the undesirables in society any different than the Nazi's? Part of Nazism philosophy revolved around the Rationalist movement. It reduces the value of the human life and turns us in lifeless meat robots.

These are people that will gasp at the idea of telepathy while embracing string theory. iHorderfor string theroy to be falsified you would have to do it for 10 to the 50th power potential theorys,which is more theorys than there are atoms in the known universes. Now that WOOW ot me.

There's a lot of intellectual snobery going around. It's a big club. In fact, it seems to be associated with the kind of big ego that captures "success".

Here's what Henry Kissinger said about America's dedicated troops . . .

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy."

. Here's what senator John Kerry said about the troops . . .

“Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart ... you can do well. If you don't, YOU GET STUCK IN IRAQ.”
— Senator John Kerry

My sense is that pretty much everyone who has achieved power holds the belief that there are stupid people who can be used and killed off by smart people and that it's all within moral bounds set by Darwinism.

It's just that they generally know that it won't be accepted by those being killed off; so they normally keep silent on their beliefs when outside of the club.

No One,

Among similar lines of reasoning (elite vs the common man)


“Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America nor, for that matter, in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. ... [V]oice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

― Hermann Göring

Ray, Yep. If you could be privy Bush's or Obama's private conversations, you'd hear the same line of thought that you get from Randi, Kissinger, Kerry, Goering/Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc, etc ad nauseum....egotistical arogance writ large and genocidal.

This is why I believe strongly in the second amendment. The "dumb stupid animals" of the world need a means of protecting themsleves from the elitists.

Forced eugenics programs with euthanasia and sterilization enforcing social Darwinism are of course all evil. They consider eliminating genetic defects and enhancing "fitness" far more important than civilized morality, human rights, kindness, compassion and love. What seems not to be examined here, however (maybe because it creates discomfort), is that it seems inevitable that there will eventually be deleterious effects from the slow accumulation of genetic defects. We can ignore this because with the long human generation time this will occur in the remote future, and consider this eventual result as a tradeoff necessary to maintain a decent and moral human society. And other factors will maybe intervene, like global disaster, or future medical advances including human genetic modification. Of course the latter could create its own disaster

You have to be careful with this eugenic stuff. Genes are a lot more complicated than people think.

My wife's IQ is about 140. Mine is about 140. We are highly intelligent, highly educated. I'm sure Dawkins and Randi would think we are good for the gene pool and should have lots of kids.

We have two kids.

The oldest boy is smarter than we are....his IQ is about 150, he's brilliant. Thank god he is also a kind and generous person and a gentle soul, which is far more important to us than his brainpower.

Our youngest boy is severely autistic, non-verbal. He is eight years old and functions at a two-year-old level. There is a very good chance he will always be this way and a good chance he'll always be a "drag on society." He has a very sweet disposition, but the chance that he'll ever be able to live by himself, let alone hold a job, is very small.

So the very "bright" genes that gave rise to my oldest son gave rise to my youngest as well.

People who talk about cleansing the gene pool don't know what they are talking about. I notice they also tend to be the same people who advocate eliminating programs to help the weak. Not to get too far into politics, but as an example the "sequester" thing is deeply personal for me, since the Special Education funds that keep my son in school are going to be dramatically reduced. Not very Christian if you ask me. Very social darwinist. Ironic that the most vocal Christians are the ones who are pushing these cuts. Weird alliance there between the so-called Christians and the social Darwinists.

FDRLincoln,
I know I shouldn’t respond to your post but really now, take a look at your last paragraph. Do you think that it is written by a person with a high IQ? Anyone can conjecture and speak in generalities and any high school English teacher would tell you that complete sentences have a subject and a verb.

Where is your logic? What does Christianity have to do with reducing excessive governmental spending? (Today Secretary of State Kerry just gave $250 million dollars to Egypt.) Don’t you think that that money so freely given to relels in Egypt today might be better spent on programs for your son? You make a big jump in logic. Who are these “vocal Christians” who are “pushing” these cuts? Who are the “so-called” Christians? You are projecting into the future. You don’t really know yet that you son’s special education program will experience serious cuts in Federal funding to the extent that it will effect him.

If you were really so intelligent, you would know that Autism has not been proven to have anything to do with genetics, per se. You would also know that there are many treatments for autistic people which may stop the progression of the condition and for some, reverse the effects to the point that some of these children loose their diagnosis. I have seen autistic children recover in my wife’s psychiatric practice many times.

Your belief system is that your son will never get any better and “There is a very good chance he will always be this way and a good chance he'll always be a "drag on society." …the chance that he'll ever be able to live by himself, let alone hold a job, is very small.” Your negative belief system and attitude about autism will work against your son’s recovery. It is you who are condemning him to being a “drag on society”.

While we're mulling over James Randi and the brave new world of militant atheists, I thought some folks might find this interesting:
http://tinyurl.com/cqbx55w

Ever since my 'AWARE Study leak' fiasco, I make a point of corroborating things before I post about them. Verification of the dialogue the blogger is taking issue with can be found between the 3:55 and 4:25 minute mark in this Al Jazeera video:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d5wtkq6

Is cowardice a signature of high intelligence?

Whoops, sometimes ya can't win for losing. Here's the correct link to the Al Jazeera Dawkins video:
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/general/2012/12/2012121791038231381.html

To heck with the tiny url.
:D

Amos: Perhaps you are not as wise as you think, slapping around someone who is worried about his child.

I know all about treatments. He's been under treatment since he was three. I've heard the success stories. So far, he isn't one of them.

I used to be a Christian, but my experiences with members of the religion has generally been negative. Nevertheless, you are correct that I should not paint with a broad brush.

I do believe in God.

I liked your post FDRL LIncoln. Children differ alot to the extent they are afflicted with Autism. Here's a little research on genes with regard to Autism, along your lines of thinking.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/10/what-child-prodigies-and-autistic-people-have-in-common/

Can't find the research, but will look for it. Scientist have long felt that autism is likely to have a genetic basis. One of the reasons is that Asperger's in particular has always showed sex linked characteristic's i.e. more males than females have Asperger's.

However there are close to equal occurrences of Autism in males and females. One of the reasons they think this occurs, is due to the representation of genes associated with intellect on male and female chromosomes. Females X chromosomes hold many more genes associated with intellect than male Y ones. This is why women are known to sit at the highest and lowest ends of the intellect spectrum, and men fall in the middle.

This happens, as a women has 2 (X) chromosomes contributing 2 lots of intellect genes, that may be either high or low. So they get say, 2 lots of higher or 2 lots of lower from their mother. A male however has one (X) with most intellect genes, and some from his (Y) gene which may add more to the intellect or less, i.e. it mediates the intellectual contribution.

This is why they think Aspergers is more represented in males, as females may inherit 2 lower level intellect functioning genes (Autism) and males can only get one, and the other (Y) chromosome may also mediate the lower functioning intellect to an increased level, resulting in Aspergers.

Although this is not proven, sex linking does point somewhat to gene involvement.

All the best with your boy, FDRL LIncoln. Cheers Lyn.

"the Special Education funds that keep my son in school are going to be dramatically reduced. Not very Christian if you ask me. Very social darwinist."

But surely this is Republican policy?

Lynn,
Pure unadulterated bosh!

I like your post too, FDRLincoln. You are exactly right about genes, gene transmission is a very complicated thing.

Regarding intelligence, who exactly is going to be judging who's intelligent or not? We all know that there are mentally handicapped people, and it's easy to see their handicap. But among the entire population, there's a vast range in intellect, some people are talented with language, others with math, science, art, etc. How about the computer nerd who has no grasp of social interaction, the artist who can't balance their checkbook, or the "dumb" guy who nevertheless knows how to fix your car? Who goes and who stays? Who's to say which intelligence is better?

Lynn's comments about the genetics involved in autism are very similar to what our pediatrician has told us. There is a genetic basis to it, although he believes there is also an environmental component.

I will say this about my son. He seems to be the happiest person I know, almost always very cheerful. He struggles with expression and, as I said above, in most ways he functions on a two-year-old level. Imagine a two-year-old with the strength and size of a kid who is seven and a half. That is what we deal with every day, just trying to keep him from harming himself or destroying the house.

There is a psi component that may interest everyone that does help me get through this.

When my wife was about four months pregnant, I had an extraordinary dream where three women dressed in white robes handed me a newborn baby. They said "this is your son. He will have serious medical problems, but in the end everything will be OK."

I woke up from that dream about 3 AM. It was so vivid that I woke my wife up and told her about it. A few hours later she felt him kick for the first time.

To this day, I believe that his soul entered the developing fetus that morning, and that my spirit guides were telling me this, warning that we would have a hard road ahead, but that we should have faith.

I try hard to do this. I don't always succeed.

"Who's to say which intelligence is better?"

It's all relative, Kathleen.

Generally it comes down to agreement and usefulness with and to whomever is - or wants to be - in power. In Randi's case, intelligence would be indicated by stronly held beliefs in materialism, atheism and the perspective that any ideas running counter are "woo" and the ability to be able to argue stringently for these positions.

For Goering it would be the ability to contribute to the third reich and to believe in the superiority of the German people.

For Obama it is the willingness to worship him as a savior and a light worker and to see the virtues of socialism and governemnt intrusion into every aspect of life.

Those who agree with me and further my ends are intelligent. Those who oppose me and my vision are stupid.

That's why it is so dangerous to become entangled in eugenics and why eugenics are inseparable from politics.

"I try hard to do this. I don't always succeed."

Bless you, FDR, and your wife. You're both wonders.

I also like your post, FDR. And as a professional writer, I see nothing wrong with your grammar and syntax. Incomplete sentences are perfectly acceptable in informal writing.

Another grammatical rule that should be ignored is the one about not ending a sentence with a preposition. This is an outdated notion that goes back to the days when Latin grammar was considered the standard of excellence. It's irrelevant to English and often leads to convoluted sentence structures. As Winston Churchill quipped, "This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put."

Regarding the sequester, the deadlock will probably be resolved long before most cuts take place. Specific cuts are made at the White House's discretion, so if they are cutting special needs programs instead of, say, Bureau of Labor Statistics bureaucrats, that's an executive-branch - i.e., Obama - policy. (The administration seems to be cutting the things that will make the biggest public impact in order to pressure the Congress into capitulating. This is pretty standard political practice in budget crises at the state and local level, though I can't remember a president ever doing it before.)

Michael: I ignored the snarky grammar comment. I am also a professional writer, and I know better than to judge someone's writing skills based on an internet comment thread!

So let's go back to talking about James Randi being a dork! I think most of us can agree on that. :)

It is one thing to be a skeptic. But Randi is less a skeptic and much more of an inquisitor defending orthodoxy.

"I will say this about my son. He seems to be the happiest person I know, almost always very cheerful."

FDR, one of my favorite books of all time is called Expecting Adam, by Martha Beck. She and her husband were grad students at Harvard, when she discovered she was expecting a Down's Syndrome child. (I don't mean to suggest that Down's and autism are the same, but Downs kids are frequently described as generally happy, like your son. Furthermore, they're often unusually loving.)

Her Harvard physicians were horrified at Beck's decision to carry her child to term, as were her professors, and most of her fellow students. At Harvard, perhaps the greatest nightmare conceivable is to give birth to a child who will never, ever, be smart, in the conventional sense of the word.

The book is extremely moving, quite funny, and profoundly spiritual. She came to feel that the child she was carrying was accompanied by spiritual helpers who were blessing her with all sorts of anomalous experiences, which she describes in detail.

So it's a book about about awakening spiritually and emotionally--a story in which, as she says, "Harvard professors are the slow learners and retarded babies are the master teachers."

By the way, one of my young piano students has some sort of developmental problem that makes him slow in obvious ways (though he's quite musical). His behavior can be extremely frustrating, but boy, does he light up the room with his enthusiasm and smile. Sometimes I'm surprised at how much love I feel towards this kid.

I can cope with the way things are right now. It isn't easy, but we get by, and my wife and I (married for 21 years almost) have a wonderful relationship.

I think the thing I worry about most is what happens when he gets older. How will he survive when my wife and I are gone? What happens when we get too old to take care of him? We don't think it is fair for all the burden for his care to be placed on his brother, who has his own life to live.

All those worries aside, we've certainly learned a lot about what really matters.

"Amos" here is a site which shows how the X and Y genes have influence on a number of disorders, and the possible link to Autism. And is to do with what they know of the influence of the X gene.

Interestingly they refer to men being at the extremes of intellect, and woman in between. Whereas I thought in the article I read the double X chromosomes a woman has, affected the extremes of intellect.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TGMQUgd_SPwJ:news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4355355.stm+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=firefox-a

Not the site I looked at, which referred specifically to intellect gene differences on X and Y genes, but similar in vein.
Cheers Lyn.

Lyn,
Thanks for the link. Sorry but I just couldn't get past the first few paragraphs when I was stopped by the following: "The X chromosome - one of 24 distinct chromosomes found in human cells - is much larger than the relatively puny Y, containing 1,098 genes to the Y's 78."

Things must have changed since I studied genetics. I always thought that human cells had 46 (distinct) chromosomes in 23 pairs; XX or XY being the 23rd pair. Statements like that, especially in articles about genetics, discredit, for me, the whole article. (I thought gorillas had 48 chromosomes, but---whatever! Apparently facts don't matter anymore.)

Cheers! - AOD

For some reason randi reminds me of a great twilight zone episode

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzz6-BOmbM4

Here's the original article 'Amos' a bit busy to argue- back at uni these days. The article is on on page two, if you are interested.

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2013/03/all-right-everybody-outta-the-gene-pool-.html

Here's parts of it.

The X Factor in IQ

Another important factor in sex chromosome expression is the huge dissimilarity between the information carried on the X and Y chromosomes. The Y has a mere 100 or so genes, and there is no evidence that any of them are linked to cognition. This contrasts sharply with the 1,200-odd genes on the X chromosome. There is mounting evidence that at least 150 of these genes are linked to intelligence, and there is definite evidence that verbal IQ is X-linked. It suggests that a mother's contribution to intelligence may be more significant than a father's—especially if the child is male, because a male's one and only X chromosome always comes from his mother. And in females, the X chromosome derived from the father is in fact bequeathed directly from the father's mother, simply setting the maternal X-effect back one generation, so to speak.

The fact that males have only a single X, uniquely derived from the mother, has further implications for variations in intelligence. Look at it this way: If you are the son of a highly intelligent mother and if there is indeed a major X chromosome contribution to IQ, you will express your one and only maternal X chromosome without dilution by the second X chromosome that a female would inherit. The effects cut both ways: If you are a male with a damaged IQ-linked gene on your X, you are going to suffer its effects much more obviously than a female, who can express the equivalent, undamaged gene from her second X chromosome. This in itself likely explains why there are more males than females with very high and very low IQs: males' single X chromosome increases variance in IQ, simply because there is not a second, compensatory X chromosome.

X Expression in Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is yet another phenomenon that can be clarified through the prism of X chromosome inheritance and expression. Researchers have recently begun to suspect that autism is X-linked, in part because more males than females are affected by ASD, particularly at the high-functioning end of the spectrum—Asperger's syndrome—where males outnumber females by at least 10 to 1. Asperger's syndrome impairs prosocial behavior, peer relations, and verbal ability (among other deficits)—the very same traits that vary between identical female as opposed to identical male twins, and all of which are thought to have some linkage to the X chromosome. Because males have only a single X, they could be much more vulnerable to such X-linked deficits than are females, who normally have a second X chromosome to compensate and dilute the effect.

I can get access also to some of the latest research papers at uni, but unable to upload publicly unfortunately. Cheers Lyn.

Ops, wrong tab, too many open at once.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201109/the-incredible-expanding-adventures-the-x-chromosome?page=2

Here's the article previously mentioned. Lyn x.

"I think the thing I worry about most is what happens when he gets older. How will he survive when my wife and I are gone? What happens when we get too old to take care of him?"

A friend of mine has a brother with Down Syndrome. The parents took care of this child for many years, until he was in his 40s; when they became too old to continue, they found a sort of halfway house where adult Down Syndrome people live together under supervision. This has worked out very well, and the brother is reportedly thriving. For the first time he has friends he can relate to, and a degree of independence and responsibility.

I realize autism is different, but my point is that when the time comes, your son may have options for quasi-independent living, rather than institutionalization.

Well, where I live the institutions have been cleaned out in favor of quasi-independent living, which is good. However, the (not getting political I promise!) budgets for the independent living settings have been cut to the bone by the state government and there are now long waiting lists for that. Hopefully that situation will improve by the time he is old enough.

It will have to improve. The number of profoundly impacted autistic children is increasing very rapidly...this is NOT better diagnosis, there are simply a lot more kids like my son than their used to be as a percentage of the population. Our doctor says that when he began working in this town 30 years ago he had two patients like my son. Now he has almost 100. And the population of the town hasn't grown enough to account for that.

Someone is going to have to care for these kids when they reach adulthood, and the families can't do it forever.

Apparently James Randi has issued an official denial, followed by a half-axed Mea Culpa.
http://dailygrail.com/Skepticism/2013/3/James-Randi-Responds-Social-Darwinism-Controversy

thank you very much your article is very helpful for me

"Apparently James Randi has issued an official denial, followed by a half-axed Mea Culpa."

I don't know, RD. Where does one even start?

I'm always skeptical of what the media says, almost to the level of paranoia. Whenever I am aware of the details of something they are reporting about, I find that the media has gotten it glaringly wrong. I am also aware that the media has no reservation about doing chop jobs on interviews, deliberately misrepresenting facts and engaging in character defamation when it suits their agenda.

That said, I don't see where Randi's views were misrepresented at all, by Randi's own admission. Sort of. He does attempt a little slight of hand, a little smoke and mirrors diversion (but what else would expect from a magician?) around drug addiction and his contributions to helping addicts and families. What that has to do with the interview material isn't clear. Otherwise, all Randi has to say is that he said what he is quoted is saying and that he regrets it.

Though he doesn't remember saying it because it was "years ago" (actually only two years ago) and that he has suffered bouts of cognitive impairement - the implication being that maybe the cognitive impairement caused him to say things that he doesn't mean - or that, god forbid (the irony is just too immense) that Randi has become stupid?.

I note that Randi's bouts of cognitive impairment, leading to verbal ramblings that he has to later disavow, have not caused Randi to euthanize himself. So maybe that, in itself, is the proof that Randi doesn't really believe in all of that social Darwinism stuff afterall. Maybe this is the real value of Randi's mea culpa; he makes it clear that he is just a grumby old fool that just says stuff he doesn't even believe himself and that he not to be taken seriously. Afterall, he could be speaking during a spell of stupidity.

Also, Randi says this about the interview, "The statement “I’m a believer in social Darwinism,” did not come from me. In fact, I had to look up the expression to learn what was being referred to. "

He had never heard of social Darwinism?

This stretches the bounds of credulity beyond the bursting point.

Then again, maybe he just isn't all that intelligent or well educated, in which case, again, one must wonder why anyone pays attention to him.

Lynn,

Thank you for the link to Professor Badcock's articles, part of which you quoted. After reading some of his thoughts on line, what can I say? Anyone interested in understanding his theories, conjectures, and propositions about social and behavioral Darwinism" may read his articles and books. A couple of books are available on Amazon and I would encourage anyone thinking about purchasing the books to read the many reviews. I should point out that Prof. Badcock is a Ph.D sociologist and not a geneticist, psychologist, or psychiatrist and has never treated autistic, psychotic or schizophrenic patients about which he theorizes. I also note that he has published his theories in "The Richard Dawkins Foundation for reason and science" blog.

That may give you some insight into his allegiance.

Cheers! :o)

I can't say I'm impressed with Randi's apology. Greg Taylor's analysis (the first comment following his Daily Grail post) is pretty comprehensive. One of Randi's statements really stands out:

"When it’s pointed out to me that I’m wrong, as it has been by my colleagues in this instance, I admit my mistakes, only asking that the JREF and I not be treated as targets, fun objects to attack ..."

As Greg notes, Randi has spent his career attacking and ridiculing parapsychologists, psychics, and anybody else who makes what he considers "extraordinary claims."

Here are some excepts from my essay on Randi's book "Flim-Flam!":

'I was particularly struck by the book's hectoring, sarcastic tone. Randi pictures psychic researchers as medieval fools clad in "caps and bells" and likens the delivery of an announcement at a parapsychology conference to the birth of "Rosemary's Baby." ...

'Randi calls [researchers Targ and Puthoff] "the Laurel and Hardy of psi" and proceeds to argue that their experiments were a tissue of ineptitude, gullibility, and dishonesty.

'... Randi never gives any indication that Targ and Puthoff have any scientific credentials or accomplishments. The casual reader could be forgiven for assuming that they are not "real" scientists at all. For the record, Targ is a physicist credited with inventing the FM laser, the high-power gas-tranport laser, and the tunable plasma oscillator. Puthoff, also a physicist, invented the tunable infra-red laser and is widely known for his theoretical work on quantum vacuum states and the zero point field.... Randi, by contrast, has no scientific training.'

http://www.michaelprescott.net/flim-flam-flummery-a-skepti.html

These examples are typical of Randi's method of argumentation, which relies heavily on mockery, sarcasm, and personal attacks. For him to suggest that he and JREF should not be treated as "targets, fun objects to attack," is truly remarkable.

"For him to suggest that he and JREF should not be treated as "targets, fun objects to attack," is truly remarkable."

Apparently introspection and the resulting self-awareness are not attributes of a superior intellect that Randi respects.

He is quoting someone else's research Amos, just as I do for my university papers. That data is quite old. It wouldn't worry me that he is into Darwinism, I'm more interested in the science, which doesn't have a denomination. My doctors a Buddhist, everyone is into something.

Here's some more info if anyone is interested.

http://www.well.ox.ac.uk/apr-09-new-gene-linked-to-autism-2

Cheers Lyn.

Lynn,
I checked out the link you provided and selected some of the words from the article which dilute any scientific import of the article. They are the following:

thought to be involved “ could be associated”; “ suggests ”; “other candidate genes”; “ associated with increased risk”; “studies begin to build a picture ”; “ It appears ”;. '”This does seem to fit ”; “that people with autism may show ”; “that had been previously connected with increased risk of these conditions”; “That could be ”; “ may increase susceptibility”; “gene is thought to be involved”; “found in only a minority of cases .”

Thank you Lynn for these many links. I think I have now had ample opportunity to understand the gist of these British articles.

I just want to reiterate the point that intelligence cannot be withheld to the machinations of the left brain. Enough with the Left Brain World already! We've beaten that hemisphere to death imo. The Tibetans see the heart as the location of mind, and the more I tune into my heart, the more I can see what they're talking about.

Many 'disabled' souls are the most loving and spiritually awake of us all- I remember being on a train once with a group of Down's Syndrome kids who were all singing together in a very disjointed style- but it was overwhelmingly powerful and I'll never forget it- it put me into an altered, deeply aware and loving state.

Somehow autistic children can thrive for days, even weeks, on virtually no sleep.

The same is not true for their neurotypical normal parents. Studies show that parents of disabled and autistic children often show levels of PTSD equivalent to combat veterans. I wish that were a joke, but it is not.

I'm really feeling it today. My son has hardly slept three out of the last four days. I feel like I'm made of glass and am about to shatter.

FDRLincoln - we all understand how difficult it is but we also know that you can do it. Your son looks upon his parents as his savior and you will definitely get the results of all your hard effort one day.

Who knows years down the line he will be able to take care of his parents when they grow older. Nothing will be more than satisfying for you right.

Medium Georgia O’Connor from Amsterdam, New York is a fraud, dishonest and unprofessional AS I FOUND HER PERSONALLY when I had my reading experience with her.

Since Georgia has been widely discussed in this blog site I hope I’m not wrong in sharing my experiences when it’s still fresh in my mind. I’m taking the oath of my deceased father (who was and will always be my entire world) that whatever experience I’m sharing here is 100% true to the best of my knowledge. Hope you will spend 5 mnts to read my experience though it’s very lengthy. PLEASE – your feedback is of immense importance to me as I might not be cent percent correct in all my understanding.

Please don’t get me wrong – my intention is not to demean the good experiences some of you had with Georgia. Georgia might be a very good medium as you experienced.
Though I don’t know you guys personally but your writings speak of yourselves and I’ve a great respect for you all for that and more importantly I believe you.

You probably remember me mourning over my father’s untimely passing in this blog few days back and we exchanged our thoughts. Impressed by some of your experiences with Georgia I scheduled a reading with her on last Monday. I would have been more than happy if I would have got a fraction of the experiences you had – to be very honest the reading was cent percent bogus and worthless.
I’m afraid I can’t even term it as fraud or cheating as that too requires some level of intelligence – it was just a foolish try to somehow kill the time slot. I would have appreciated in a different way if it was some intelligent cold or hot reading at least (I seriously doubt if she has that level of intelligence) – but it was not even that and I had my most useless half an hour spent over the phone. She tried couple of hot reading when I insisted for some evidences but that was quite ridiculous (I will explain later) and I just kept wondering if these people think that we are so dumb just because we are victim of the circumstances, grieving and vulnerable.

Continue from above comment as I was not able to post the whole and posting in pieces -


I never heard about the word ‘medium-ship’ 3 months back and I’ve zero intuition skills but believe me I can assure you that if someone comes to me for a reading I will give a better reading than what I got from Georgia!!

Now coming to the point – I understand that there might be several factors for spirit communication beyond the control of a medium. It’s possible that my father didn’t survive (hope you understand what it’s mean for me to conclude this) or not able to communicate or some other problem. I would have been perfectly fine if she would have said that she is not able to make the contact once the reading started and can’t help me. What hurt me more is her playing around with my emotions (I’m 100% sure no spirit communication was made) in spite of me stating multiple times in the reading that “I’m not at all satisfied with whatever coming up in the reading and if she wants she can schedule another reading some other day”.
Later I wrote few detailed mails to her on professional ground requesting first for a 2nd reading and then to refund my hard earned fee in case she can’t conduct another reading– she never bothered to reply!

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