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May 26, 2006


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I seem to remember a recent "Reader's Digest" poll on Easter, where a majority of UK respondents didn't know what Easter was celebrated for.

Now, personally, being an atheist I'd like to take that as a sign of the on-going secularisation of Britain, but I can't help but suspect that maybe it's simply because

A) British people as a whole are a bit thick, or

B) These Readers Digest polls actually only test Readers Digest readers, who, on the whole are a bit thick.

If B) is correct, as I suspect, I don't think foreign visitors need worry about giving away their bank details to mind-tapping Brits, and so on.

Oh! I know the answer! It would be unworthy of a psychic to use God-bestowed spiritual powers in pursuit of such materialistic awards as money. No psychic would ever lower herself (or, less frequently, himself) to apply for Randi's million dollars, although of course it would be easy to win it with the help of God/Jesus/the Force/Buddha/Gaia/Mother Earth/Maitreya/the Space Brothers/the Spice Girls/Uri/Bozo the Clown/Ramtha/Deepak [pick at least one].

So shame on you, Skeptico, for asking so cynical a question! Shame!

Yet a Reader's Digest survey here in Australia (commented on by me at http://thesecondsight.blogspot.com/2006/05/whom-do-you-trust.html) showed psychics, as a profession, were right down the bottom on the trust scale, along with telemarketers. So that means half of people believe their own psychic skills, but distrust those of others?

I recently posted this BBC article for comments on the Randi forum. It seems out of all people asked, only 9 percent ascribe their premonitions to supernatural causes. Otherwise thought reading and guessing the phone are not so rare- after all, people are pretty well equipped with empathy. Also, one seems to be able to guess the phone by simply tracking the highest probability for someone to call in the back of their minds.

So maybe the reason for brits to forego the million is that they simply don't think themselves psychic- but merely possessing a good horse-sense or whatever.

Perhaps the 62% who could tell who was ringing before they picked up the phone, are the ones with caller ID?

Evidence-free post deleted by Skeptico.

Peter Ambrus - I told you before::

If you want to post here again you have to back up your claims with evidence. Is that clear enough for you? This is not your playground, and although it is very easy and even moderately entertaining for me to deconstruct your feeble attempts at making an argument, I am now tired of this nonsense. If you want to rant freestyle get your own blog. If you post another evidence-free rant here it will be deleted.

For some reason this wasn’t clear to you. I don’t know why – perhaps you are unusually dense – but whatever the reason I have had enough of your nonsense and you are now banned from this site. Do not attempt to post here again.

- Skeptico

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