The Volokh Conspiracy
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James Randi, aka "The Amazing Randi," noted magician, skeptic, and debunker of supernatural nonsense, has died at the age of 92.
The NYT obituary for Randi begins:
James Randi, a MacArthur award-winning magician who turned his formidable savvy to investigating claims of spoon bending, mind reading, fortunetelling, ghost whispering, water dowsing, faith healing, U.F.O. spotting and sundry varieties of bamboozlement, bunco, chicanery, flimflam, flummery, humbuggery, mountebankery, pettifoggery and out-and-out quacksalvery, as he quite often saw fit to call them, died on Tuesday at his home in Plantation, Fla. . . .
Randi was known for exposing those who claimed to possess supernatural powers, most famously Uri Geller, who claimed the ability to bend spoons with his mind.
From the NYT obit:
Much as the biologist and author Thomas Henry Huxley had done in the late 19th century (though with markedly more pizazz), he made it his mission to bring the world of scientific rationalism to laypeople.
What roiled his blood, and was the driving impetus of his existence, Mr. Randi often said, was pseudoscience, in all its immoral irrationality.
"People who are stealing money from the public, cheating them and misinforming them — that's the kind of thing that I've been fighting all my life," he said in the 2014 documentary "An Honest Liar," directed by Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein. "Magicians are the most honest people in the world: They tell you they're going to fool you, and then they do it."
Randi was an amazing man who led an amazing life. He will be missed.