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Re: Uri Geller at SRI

From: "Ric Carter" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 21:34:33 -0800

> From: "Kinzelman, Paul" <>
> To: "''" <>
> Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 20:11:50 -0800
> I know a guy who said he was one of the researchers at SRI and
> participated on the Uri experiments. I tend to believe him
> because our conversation was an aside to our main purpose (a
> glider course). He said Uri was successful in spite of all their
> controls on the experiment. He thought Uri was on the level. Just
> because a magician can duplicate Uri's feats does not necessarily
> mean that Uri is using trickery to produce his effects.
> [As I recall from a book somewhere (Schnabel's?), the problems
> that Puthoff, et al, had with Geller is that he wouldn't stay
> within the confines of the experiment.  He produced results only
> on his terms and thus was difficult to test.  In the end, the
> question wasn't whether or not he was psychic but whether or
> not they could work with him, and the answer was definitely no.
> Randi just makes the question that much murkier.  There seems
> little doubt that Geller will use trickery when given the
> opportunity, so the problems of evaluation are compounded.

The point here is that, using Occam's Razor, the simplest answer
that covers the data is probably the correct answer.  Trickery
and fraud are simpler than magic and psi, which involve a lot of
unseen powers.  Therefore, if trickery and fraud serve to explain
some phenomena, I'll bet on chicanery over thaumaturgy every time.

I'm, well, not amazed, but amused, that people insist on taking
fakers like Geller seriously DESPITE their knowing of the frauds.
Geller has been OBSERVED committing, yet True Believers are quite
willing to cut him some slack and hope that his next performance
is "real".  Can you say "wishful thinking"?

Thus it is with magical medicine, magical aliens, magical money,
magical demagogues: fraud is observed but ignored by many, since
they WANT to believe the magic is real.  Yah Glenn, the presence
of human beings sure hinders the search for... whatever... * * yow!

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Area 51 > List > 1997 > Nov > Here

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Created: Nov 24, 1997