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Steve Volk is a longtime staff writer and regular contributor at Philadelphia magazine. His work has been published by Rolling StoneVIBEMen’s Health, and The New Republic, among others. Steve has received dozens of state and national journalism awards and appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. His website is

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  • Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable—and Couldn’t Jul 12, 2011

    Hi Ethan,

    Check out this link for a bit of Randi:

    Or, this one, from my own blog:

  • Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable—and Couldn’t Jul 09, 2011


    Thanks, Ethan. It's amazing how much great insight is floating around out there on message boards! Speaking directly to No. 2, the "sole owner of the truth" riff, I wholeheartedly agree. The passage excerpted above, from Fringe-ology, doesn't address it, but so much of the atheist v. religion or materialism v. spirituality debate is simply a turf war. I think we all admire IONS from trying to get past that false choice. We can have both.

    And yes, DrBrewerts, precisely how Randi attained his current perch is fascinating. I think he has proven such a showman that mere celebrity has made him an expert. Remember when Randi put forward a performance artist who posed as a channeller named "Carlos" to prove that where the media was concerned just saying it—"Carlos is a channeller!"—made it so? I think he has used this same technique to pass himself off as a skeptic and "researcher" when really he is a very good performance artist himself.

    —Best, Steve

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