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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Yourview@ theaus­tralian.com.au

ROY Wil­liams, in his re­view of Will Storr’s

(‘‘In truth, it’s a sub­tle pur­suit’’, May 4-5), in as­sess­ing James Randi, ter­ror of pseudo-sci­en­tists, snakeoil sales­men and spoon-ben­ders, im­plies Randi is mak­ing ‘‘untested as­sump­tions’’. When last I heard, the Randi Foun­da­tion was still of­fer­ing $1 mil­lion to any­one who could demon­strate ‘‘para­nor­mal’’ claims un­der sci­en­tific con­di­tions, but all th­ese claimants’ ‘‘as­sump­tions’’ re­main untested and un­re­warded. Wil­liams claims Randi is ‘‘ex­posed’’ on Shake­speare’s grounds that, ‘‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Ho­ra­tio . . .’’ It’s easy to claim vague and imag­i­nary ‘‘things’’ of this sort, but more dif­fi­cult to val­i­date them by the ex­er­cise of sci­en­tific method. The mil­lion bucks awaits a taker.

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