The ‘prize’ of the title is the Million Dollar Challenge offered by stage magician James Randi for anyone who passes his test for psychic powers. So far, Randi says, no one has even passed the preliminaries. This confirms the belief held by sceptics and many scientists that so-called ‘psychics’ are delusional or dishonest.
Randi’s Prize accepts that this may sometimes be the case, but strongly sympathises with scientists who have investigated paranormal claims in depth and consider some of what they have observed to be genuinely anomalous. It finds the arguments of well-known sceptics like Randi, Ray Hyman, Richard Wiseman and Susan Blackmore less convincing.
The book proposes that we need to develop a more mature and discerning approach to these hugely challenging issues (subtitle: what sceptics say about the paranormal, why they are wrong and why it matters).
You can find out more about Randi’s Prize at the official website, which has the table of contents, some excerpts, research resources, and an ongoing blog discussing the topics in the book. You can pick up a copy from Amazon UK page, and digital versions are on the way in Kindle and iPad (ePub) formats.
Robert’s been writing some great things at Paranormalia for a while, so this book should be a wonderful read. I’ve also asked him to blog here occasionally, so I’m looking forward to some fascinating discussion of a number of these topics.