Will Storr has a new book out about belief and skepticism. In it is a controversial quote by James “The Amazing” Randi. Randi has now responded to this controversy.
Here is an example of the pieces that came out berating Randi’s comments.James Randi: Let Survival of the Fittest “Act Itself Out” On Those With Low IQ and “Mental Aberrations” | TDG.
I’m a believer in Social Darwinism. Not in every case. I would do anything to stop a twelve-year-old kid from doing it. Sincerely. But in general, I think that Darwinism, survival of the fittest, should be allowed to act itself out. As long as it doesn’t interfere with me and other sensible, rational people who could be affected by it. Innocent people, in other words.
I received this direct quote from Mr. Randi through the James Randi Education Foundation:
The statement “I’m a believer in social Darwinism,” did not come from me. In fact, I had to look up the expression to learn what was being referred to. This attack appears to be calling me a Nazi, nothing less. I demand that Mr. Storr refer me to the original sources to which we assume he has referred. Until then, I’ll only say that he has carefully selected phrases and statements out of context, not the sort of referencing that I would have expected from him.
More reviews of The Heretics.
The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science by Will Storr – review | Books | The Observer.
Going by the previous stories we have posted about Randi, it is clear he has many enemies who delight in any misfortune. That’s not the purpose of this site nor part of my philosophy. No one is perfect and we all hold beliefs that other may find different or objectionable. That does not necessarily take away from the larger body and goals of our work.
I know many have read and commented on this topic in the Skeptic circles. I welcome your comments but please note that I WILL NOT publish disparaging or potentially libelous comments here. They will not be approved or will be removed. Your comments MUST add something to this story.