Monday, 7 September 2009

James Randi

I just found out that he's currently dealing with cancer, with something like a 50/50 chance of another 5 years with us.

The guy's a bit of an inspiration to me, and certainly important to most, if not all, skeptic/freethinking/atheist's around the world. He'll be sorely missed, but he's not gone yet.

If nothing else, Randi's a fighter - he's 81 and has been doing live shows for years, giving his talk on Critical Thinking, Skepticism and Debunking - and he's undergoing chemotherapy, so I doubt he'll be taking that step into the long sleep anytime soon.

There seems to be a little worry over what will happen to the JREF and TAM when he's gone - but I don't think they should worry so much. He may be the face of both, but his legacy will keep them going, especially considering there are so many people now involved, with ever more joining and contributing all the time. Phil Plait has already taken over as the new President at JREF and TAM has many supporters and famous faces (not least of whom are Penn and Teller!) so I doubt it will founder with Randi gone.

But as I said, he's not gone yet, and probably won't be for a few more years to come - so, from my tiny little corner of the blogosphere, I wish him well and hope his chemo isn't too taxing. He's a great mind and a great personality and will continue to inspire us free thinkers, skeptics and atheists for years to come.


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Yeah, I'd heard that they was some scuttlebutt about the organisations and skepticism being at a loss without Randi. I really think the skeptical movement is bigger than that and that Randi has done a good job in giving us something to work from.

Hannah King said...

Agreed. I feel people are a little too hung up on Randi. Obviously he's fantastic and he did so much work getting the JREF and TAM where they are now, but his foundations will keep them going even when he's gone. I doubt the organisations will be at any kind of a loss when he goes.