Randi has announced the 11th Pigasus awards. As always, the awards were announced via telepathy, winners were allowed to predict their victories, and the Flying Pig trophies were sent via psychokinesis. Randi sends; if they don't receive, that's probably due to their lack of paranormal talent.
Here are the winners, with commentary by Randi:
Category #1, to the scientist who said or did the silliest thing related to the supernatural, paranormal or occult:
For 2006, it goes to UK biologist Rupert Sheldrake, for his "telephone telepathy" claims related to “morphic resonance. This man’s delusions increase as time goes by, and he comes up with sillier ideas every year.
Category #2, to the funding organization that supported the most useless study of a supernatural, paranormal or occult claim:
This year, it was earned by the Templeton Foundation, who spent $2.4 million and ten years on yet another ridiculous study, and no doubt will keep repeating this because they can’t get the message, that prayer doesn’t work.
Category #3, to the media outlet that reported as factual the most outrageous supernatural, paranormal or occult claims:
U.S. TV host Montel Williams, for persisting in promoting “psychic” Sylvia Browne, in spite of knowing exactly what she’s doing. Williams has shown, over the years, that his ratings are far more important to him than his integrity and his trusting audience.
Category #4, to the “psychic” performer who fooled the greatest number of people using the least talent:
Uri Geller – remember him? – who used the most tired old schoolboy trick in the book – moving-a-compass-using-a- magnet – on an Israeli TV series, thus garnering the most negative media reviews.
I’m not 100% sure I would call Sheldrake a “scientist”, although I could be wrong. He’s certainly said plenty of silly things. I’m also not 100% sure many people are fooled by Uri Geller any more, although I think we can all agree he has very little actual talent. I’m 100% behind the Montel nomination though – he’s someone who certainly deserves the award.