Richard Dawkins and James Randi about Bleep

1. Apr 3, 2010

Kajahtava

I'm sure we all know "Bleep" and were as much interested in, amused by, and afraid of it.

Richard Dawkins says this:

This film is even more pretentious than it is boring. And it is stupefyingly boring - unless, of course, you are fooled by its New Age fakery, in which case it might indeed be - as many innocent dupes have stated - "life-changing". The one redeeming feature is the enigmatic charm of the deaf heroine, whose depressive journey down the rabbit hole of life is punctuated by gobbets of bogus sagacity from a dozen talking heads. But no amount of charm could redeem the unforgivable phoniness of the script.Over-use of the word "paradigm" is a pretty good litmus for inclusion in the scientific equivalent of Pseud's Corner, and the film's "expert" talking heads score highly. Perhaps the leading one is "Ramtha", a dead warrior from Atlantis who addresses us (in a fake accent) through his "channeler", a woman called JZ (Judy) Knight, founder of the Ramtha Cult which sponsored the film. Thirty-five thousand years in the grave have not dulled Ramtha's business sense: he charges $1,000 per counselling session. Poor JZ has her work cut out.The authors seem undecided whether their theme is quantum theory or consciousness. Both are indeed mysterious, and their genuine mystery needs none of the hype with which this film relentlessly and noisily belabours us. Not surprisingly, we get no enlightenment on either topic, nor on the alleged connection between them. Instead, we are told that indigenous peoples were "literally" unable to see early European vessels arriving off their shores - presumably because the ships lay outside their "paradigm". We are told that "All emotion is holographically imprinted chemicals"; that "Each cell has a consciousness"; and that "God is the superposition of all the spirits from all things".What drives me to despair is not the dishonesty of the charlatans who peddle such tosh, but the dopey gullibility of the thousands of nice, well meaning people who flock to the cinema and believe it.· Richard Dawkins FRS is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. His latest book is The Ancestor's Tale. ----------------http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/may/16/g2.science James Randi says this: The prize goes to the film "What the #$*! Do We Know?," a fantasy docudrama cult hit supposedly about the "nature of reality." More than a dozen scientists, theologians and mystics appear. However, the product placement reveals that among the physicists, neurologists and academics who expound the film's thesis is "new age" icon J.Z. Knight, who claims to be channeling a 35,000-year-old god/warrior from Atlantis named Ramtha. The films' producers, writers, directors, and some of the stars are members of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment in Washington State. Several of the scientists are affiliated with Knight's school, and the film was largely financed by one of Knight's students. It's a blatant effort by religious, mystical, and New Age gurus such as Deepak Chopra to disguise their views as real science. Thrown in are the fantasies of Masura Emoto, who claims to have proven that thoughts can change the structure of water; his "experiments" consist of taping written words to glasses of water. (See www.randi.org/jr/052303.html[/URL]) The "Maharishi Effect" — an equally vacuous notion, is also offered. A rampant example of abuse by charlatans and cults, it is still filling theatres all over the world.

---------------------[PLAIN]http://www.randi.org/jr/040105capitalizing.html#11 [Broken]

Now, unlike the similarly—if not less—negative reception most physicists gave it, they really do not focus at all that much on the physical inaccuracies of the film. Of course, Dick to da Dawk to da Ph.D. studied biology, not physics, James Randi... not sure what he studied, I think it was magic tricks. These two people seem to often go beyond scepticism to inverse faithfulness, they seem to have their mind made up beforehand that all things which have some 'allure' of 'paranormality' are false per se. I'm not sure if either truly understand just what was wrong with that film. In the eyes of James Randi, showing that Uri Geller's tricks can also be reproduced without any paranormal abilities is proof that they also were executed without it, unorthodox scientific enquiry of course... I can't say I'm a fan of either, especially after Dawkins in his debate with O'Reilly (who was worse) seemed to imply that naïve realism is a scientifically established fact and that to all observers all perceptions must be identical...

So, discuss.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
2. Apr 3, 2010

Staff: Mentor

Sorry, "what the bleep" was so factually inacurate, it's a banned topic.