I jotted down a few notes yesterday about the one million dollar challenge, but that of course is not the only paranormal bounty out there, other skeptical groups will also offer you cash in exchange for proof of the paranormal.
A very recent example comes from an article within the Prague Post in which they announce that the Czech skeptic club Sisyphus has offered a reward of 10,000 Kč to anyone who would prove the existence of paranormal phenomena in an experiment. If you pass, then not only do you collect the $$$, but you will also receive sponsorship from them for the JREF One Million Dollar challenge.
Their press release explains …
“In accordance with the world skeptical thinking, the Czech skeptic club keeps its mind open to phenomena which we consider extremely improbable or impossible but many people are convinced that they exist and some believe they are capable of proving the existence of these phenomena and capabilities,” Sisyphus writes on its website.
It says the applicants should propose an experiment based on which the given phenomenon or capability would be verified.
Sisyphus would adjust the experiment’s course to bring it in harmony with scientific methods and prevent it from being influenced by either the applicants or the expert supervisors.
Now before you rush out to apply, you just might want to watch the following documentary by James Randi where he explains the trickery behind the various popular claims and tells you exactly how these frauds fooled many people. As a Magician he knows exactly how it is all done and illustrates it all by doing the same tricks. He also exposes a rather famous TV Evangelist as a complete and utter fraud.
But why do so many actually believe all this stuff to be real and buy into it so easily? About half way in, Randi interviews psychologist Ray Hyman and gains some really interesting insights that answer that.
“If Uri Geller bends spoons with divine powers, then he’s doing it the hard way.” —James Randi
“Because a good magician can do something shouldn’t make you right away jump to the conclusion that it’s a real phenomenon.” —Richard Feynman