The End of the James Randi Challenge

After ten years the James Randi Educational Foundation is discontinuing its 1 million dollar paranormal challenge.

The James Randi Educational Foundation Million-Dollar Challenge will be discontinued 24 months from this coming March 6th, and those prize funds will then be available to generally add to our flexibility. This move will free us to do many more projects, which will be announced at that time.

I’m disappointed, because that means in two years we will lose one of the best anti-woo tools in the arsenal. That is, the offer of 1 million dollars to any woomeister who can prove their paranormal abilities are real in a controlled scientific test in order to shut them up. Otherwise it wasn’t that helpful, as the real prominent fakers knew better than to actually put their livelihood on the line as they describe:

Our expectations at first were that we’d attract major personalities by this means, but they’ve avoided having to take the test by simply not applying; those who have actually applied are generally honestly self-deluded persons who have difficulty stating what they can do, which can be understood if they really don’t know what they’re experiencing; we at JREF have gone through involved procedures to help them recognize their problems. Usually, they have indicated that they don’t know what real scientific rules are, when it comes down to their actually being properly tested.

But for two more years at least we’ve still got this ace up our sleeve. There is still time to apply all you woos out there!

This means that all those wishing to be claimants are required to get their applications in before the deadline, properly filled out and notarized as described in the published rules.

Ten years is long enough to wait. The hundreds of poorly-constructed applications, and the endless hours of phone, e-mail, and in-person discussions we’ve had to suffer through, will be things of the past, for us at the JREF.

Those who believe they have mystic powers now have two full years to apply… Let’s see what happens.