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June 16, 2008

James Randi at UIUC

James Randi
Originally uploaded by Wally Hartshorn

On March 10, 2008, well-known skeptic and debunker James Randi spoke to a large crowd at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as did Nobel Prize winning chemist Richard J. Roberts. Several members of REALL and the Springfield Area Freethinkers made the trip to attend their talks.

Randi with Springfield Skeptics and Freethinkers

In addition to the many photos, Randi was also nice enough to autograph my copy of his book, Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions. That was one of the very first books on skepticism that I read. Perhaps even the first book.

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As James Randi is one of my hero's in the Skeptical Community i thought I would post this here

This is a letter i sent in reply to an unsolicited email i received recently from "some fellow' who said he was having a loving relationship with another fellow called God" LOL yeah and he wanted me to buy a book from some Fellow called Cremo

Dear Sir,

With respect

Your argument is false, ill logical and has very little relevance in fact. Relies solely on faith without a basis of rational thought. It is true that some people with scientific degrees purport to “disprove evolution” but they never have. Firstly they normally have been “converted” to believe in your faith, are blind to evidence and do not study “in the field” of “evolutionary science” .

Mike Cremo has no “degrees or qualifications in science or history” that I know of, he left university before completing any studies. Is widely regarded within and outside the scientific community as a “wacko” and is supported by the good fellows of the “Christian right” who continue to buy his books, DVD s etc. Plus some even sponsor his trips to the “Holy Lands”. Talk about a truly independent scientist! Hogwash (source his own bio posted online) oh and by the way your own right wing zealot sites don’t even agree on “what qualifications” the guy has, unsurprisingly so he doesn’t either, that’s right his qualification keep changing (like the wind lol) dependent on the article, book etc

A few indisputable facts

The Sun (a star) is approx 6 minutes away from earth (that’s how long the light takes to get here)

Using math (not bible mathematics) nearly all stars in the sky are over 50,000 light years away with the majority being well over a million light years away some even thousands of millions of light years away

Oil took many, many, millions of years to be made, Oil comes from Plant matter

Fossils in the ground record a history dating back “hundreds of millions of years” Dinosaurs did not miss the Ark like the Unicorns

My ‘mom’ one of the most Christian women in my community knows that evolution is a fact. She still believes in God

Evolution is a fact

The only country on earth where “factual science” has been attacked and ridiculed to such a high level in the western world is in the USA by Right Wing Christian Zealots who wish to impose “their moral values” on the rest of society. The rest of the Western World stand with our friends in the USA to help protect education, basic science and rational thought.

Yours Truly

Frank Sheehan

Posted by: Frank Sheehan | Aug 8, 2008 8:00:54 PM

Hear Hear.

Posted by: Bill | Sep 11, 2008 11:47:59 PM

I believe, belief in God and belief in science are two different things.

Posted by: jyotsna | Oct 13, 2008 2:38:09 AM

If God doesn't exist, how come there are any rules at all? How come we all intuitvely know that killing and stealing are wrong, without anyone having to tell us this? Where did these rules come from?

Also, if there really is no deeper reason for us being here on earth as athiests say, than why do we all want there to be?

If the world had no meaning, we wouldn't even know what meaning is, and therefore wouldn't continue looking for it.

Posted by: Josh Neumann | Oct 15, 2008 6:35:53 PM

With the greatest of respect Josh, the belief in a supreme being has nothing to do with the belief in a moral code of behavior. One simply does not lead to the other.
Admittedly some of the greatest lawmakers in the world have suggested that it requires a belief in a supernatural diety in order to guide the law makers, (George Washington said so in his farewell address for instance) but this view is not universally supported. In fact, one would argue that the separation of Church and State is more likely to lead to less corruption and more clear thinking.

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