Jerry Johnston Researches Reason Rally 2016: James Randi13 October 2016
In the heat of June in Washington D.C., I stood with the Reason Rally crowd and listened to James Randi speak. Randi is a Canadian-American skeptic who built his life around investigating paranormal and supernatural claims. He was a frequent guest on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, co-founder of the Committee of Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). His life was the subject of a feature film documentary entitled “An Honest Liar” that aired on PBS in March of 2016. In addressing the crowd, Mr. Randi uses his influence to stir people up towards a cause outside of themselves:
“The first ever fully identified and defined example of autism was only found in 1941. But humanists, and skeptical communities need to be very aware of this, and something must be done about it. The Facilitated Communication stunt is claimed to be a means of communicating with autistic children and adults affected by this complex neurological condition. ASD victims show widely varying degrees of impaired social interaction and communication, avoidance of eye contact, and extremely restricted, and compulsive, repetitive behavior.”
Though different from the other speakers at the Reason Rally, Randi demonstrates the importance of critical thinking skills. Some would say that Christians suppress these skills and live in ignorance. Can you recognized the necessary critical thinking skills that drive your faith? Many Christians cannot. Cristie Jo and I are producing a documentary and supplemental resources to help Christians use reason in understanding faith.