James Randi and D.J. Grothe - Amaz!ng Skepticism

November 26, 2010

Host: Karen Stollznow

This week is a special episode featuring interviews with two guests, James Randi and D.J. Grothe.

James Randi is a world-renowned magician and the modern-day Houdini of skepticism. He is the author of numerous books, including Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns and Other Delusions and the forthcoming A Magician in the Laboratory. He is the founder and Chairman of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). This interview was recorded live at The Amaz!ng Meeting 8 in Las Vegas, 2010.

In this interview with Karen Stollznow, Randi reflects on his life's work. He speaks about his organization and his role as a central figure in skepticism. He also talks about the JREF's One Million Dollar Challenge, claims he'd like to test, and Sylvia Browne's infamous reluctance to be tested, despite accepting the challenge.

More recently, Karen spoke with D.J. Grothe, President of the JREF and Host of the podcast For Good Reason. Grothe is the former Vice President for Outreach at the Center for Inquiry, and of course, the former Host of Point of Inquiry.

Grothe speaks about the JREF’s mission, and the greatest successes and challenges of the organization. He discusses his plans to "put the 'E' into the JREF" by focusing on education, and talks about his tireless work in skeptical outreach and activism.

Books Mentioned in This Episode:


Links Mentioned in This Episode:

James Randi Educational Foundation

Comments from the CFI Forums

If you would like to leave a comment about this episode of Point of Inquiry please visit the related thread on the CFI discussion forums

So now we know where D.J. is.

Posted on Nov 28, 2010 at 2:59pm by eplommer Comment #1

Nice podcast. Thanks! It is always great to hear from DJ and Randi!

Posted on Nov 28, 2010 at 5:29pm by asanta Comment #2

Perhaps one indication of the liberal bias of this site is the knee-jerk attitude toward the the likes of Ayn Rand, as well as Friedrich Nietzsche.  Given the general position and stated purpose of PoI, I’d be very interested in a reasoned dialog about these influential thinkers, whom some take very seriously.  It might inject some fresh vitality, not that I’m suggesting any is needed.

Here’s a topic: Ayn Rand vs. Friedrich Nietzsche…discuss.

Posted on Dec 01, 2010 at 11:50am by xtroKEM Comment #3

... whom some take very seriously.

Yeah, that’s obviously a seal of quality. Or maybe it’s not?

Posted on Dec 02, 2010 at 1:07pm by Zapp Comment #4

Well, make up your mind.

Meanwhile,  remember this golden moment?  http://www.pointofinquiry.org/peter_h_gilmore_science_and_satanism/

Posted on Dec 02, 2010 at 1:46pm by xtroKEM Comment #5

What makes you think that any opinions on Rand or Nietzsche are ‘kneejerk’? They seem to present their cases in a well thought out manner. Which threads are you referencing?

Posted on Dec 02, 2010 at 3:24pm by asanta Comment #6

Well, make up your mind.

Oh, I have. One of the statements was ironic. Guess which one.

Posted on Dec 02, 2010 at 3:58pm by Zapp Comment #7

asanta, I agree about Rand and Nietzsche…in fact, that was my point.

D.J. ended this interview by tossing a scornful reference to both, without backing up his opinion.  It’s a commonplace, of course, and never challenged, it seems.  I’ve heard Paul Kurtz, Christopher Hitchens and others make similar comments about Rand, contemptuously, and always unexplained.  I’d like there to be some genuine inquiry; why is Rand not a suitable, serious topic for this forum?  At least as much as Satanism?

Posted on Dec 02, 2010 at 4:44pm by xtroKEM Comment #8

asanta, I agree about Rand and Nietzsche…in fact, that was my point.

D.J. ended this interview by tossing a scornful reference to both, without backing up his opinion.  It’s a commonplace, of course, and never challenged, it seems.  I’ve heard Paul Kurtz, Christopher Hitchens and others make similar comments about Rand, contemptuously, and always unexplained.  I’d like there to be some genuine inquiry; why is Rand not a suitable, serious topic for this forum?  At least as much as Satanism?

Sorry, my bad..I thought you were referring to a thread here and not a podcast. I will have to go back and listen to the podcast again.  There are some in-depth discussions here about Rand and you could probably find something on Nietzsche.

Posted on Dec 02, 2010 at 10:23pm by asanta Comment #9