The Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge is a challenge to all those out there claiming they can exhibit "any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event". It is a brilliant strategy set out by James Randi (Left) and the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), magician and critic, to help debunk major frauds in the media. People who refuse to apply for the challenge can be seen as most likely knowing that there claimed abilities are exaggerated, fraudulent or unlikely.
In some people's defence there are some claims that cannot be tested by the foundation (Such as ones that require people to stop taking medication, ones that may endanger any person's health, one's that cannot be tested, etc). Also, some people may just wish not to deal with the foundation, though this seems a steep issue to uphold for the 1 Million dollars offered and the huge amount of media attention and credibility anyone would gain from winning the prize. So can you win
To clearly state the JREF's purpose I will quote from their page on the Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge and provide this direct link;
"The Foundation is committed to providing reliable information about paranormal claims. It both supports and conducts original research into such claims.
At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. The JREF does not involve itself in the testing procedure, other than helping to design the protocol and approving the conditions under which a test will take place. All tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant. In most cases, the applicant will be asked to perform a relatively simple preliminary test of the claim, which if successful, will be followed by the formal test. Preliminary tests are usually conducted by associates of the JREF at the site where the applicant lives. Upon success in the preliminary testing process, the "applicant" becomes a "claimant."
To date, no one has passed the preliminary tests."
So, Can you win $1,000,000?
To all of you people remembering those brief stints of telekinesis, those moments of dowsing, your mind reading abilities, thinking "Oh Sam, please, help me win $1,000,000", hmmmm.
After enduring what must have been countless fraudulent, erratic or just the thousands of crack-pot applications they should have expected the JREF finally limited new applicants to ones with a decent media presence and anyone who has one of them is almost undoubtedly not reading this blog. But, in my opinion, there's no rush.
As the JREF states, no one has yet passed the preliminary challenge, and though Randi had early this year stated the Challenges retirement, at The Amazing Meeting (2009) he officially announced that the Challenge would be left open.
In the Next Blog?
I'll be giving a list of a few of the many, more "incredible", applicants listed on the foundations site. So to all you people who haven't subscribed, bookmarked or become a follower of the blog (all 3 of you) get on it.
I also would like to point out that in this blog I successfully went without using wikipedia, god of the Internet, as a source or reference point.