The Art of revealing Bullshit

The human brain is one of nature's most amazing "creations".  Over the last 7 million years, we have successfully used it to become the most dominant species on this planet.

Though out our human history, we have used it, as individuals, and collectively, to escape the African plains to establish communities, farms, cities; we have waged wars like no other; we are the only terrestrial species to have escaped the tug of gravity, and visit other celestial bodies by our own designs and intentions. We have even gone beyond our own solar system, with the the tools we engineer.  We are, thanks to approximately 3 pounds of neural mass, rather remarkable.

But, are we perfect?  The sad truth is no.  While we have brilliant capacities to solve problems, to invent, to calculate, and to dream, yet, we are so often hindered, or paralyzed when we obsess about the unknown, or things we cannot explain, especially when deep emotional bonds are associated with the unknown.  Thanks to a multitude of generational cultural mysticism, we have invented stories to rationalize what happens to us when our lives expire, or is there an afterlife, or is there a god.

Based on cultural assertions, the majority of humans on this planet assert that there is a supernatural component to our lives - I am among the 8% of the global population, who disagrees.  I know my shtick is to rail against the dogmas' of faith, but that by itself is pointless, because people don't even understand, why, or how, they came to believe in things that aren't true.

How easy is it to believe in utter nonsense, AKA bullshit?

In the following video, a group gets together to use a Quija board, and under "normal" operations the board "surprisingly" works.  But, when a control, blindfolds, are used, not surprisingly, the Quija board fails.

Mysticism is mere showmanship and deception.   A slight of hand, a distraction, to get the audience mentally distracted to lose focus and apply the deceptive tactic and wallah - amazing......

There is a well regarded magician, who doesn't mind the showmanship, after all he is one, but what really gets him torqued is when the bullshitters try to assert mystical causation to  For the last 51 years, he has offered some serious money to anyone who can prove their mystical claims as valid.  The prize is now $1,000,000 - yes six zeros, and since he has been at this, the number of times he has made a payment is -ZERO. Now, that's Amazing, or should I say Amazing Randi, the creator of the James Randi Educational Foundation. (JREF)

Here's an example of how Randi operates:

Is it wrong to believe in magic, not in my opinion.  The idea of something beyond the known physical world, has a dreamlike appeal, that breeds optimism, which is an attribute that is uniquely human, and keeps us as a species, searching, inventing, progressing.  What bothers me is when people like James Hydrick willfully takes advantage of an art, and presents it as something that it isn't.

So the next time, someone reveals something which appears as magic, first, be skeptical. And if they somehow, break through your skepticism, invite them to apply to JREF, with a minor finders fee. Unlike most other institutions on this planet, the lines are ridiculously short.