As promised, James Randi’s take on Montague Keen…

Reproduced from SWIFT – Online Newsletter from JREF

[…] I promised last week that I’d try to prepare a detailed response to the irresponsible attack being made on me and on the JREF via the Internet, by one Montague Keen. In doing so, I will not be gentle; my “other cheek” is not easily turned. I’ll answer his attack in kind, but without any veneer of false manners, the way academics maneuver about to be politically correct. Keen knows better. He’s well-educated, intelligent, and perceptive in some ways, which allows him no escape from censure for his unfair and virulent assault against me. He is practicing willful ignorance; he knows the truth, but chooses not to use it. This has caused much joy among the grubbies, who exult mightily whenever one of their standard-bearers marches forth to proclaim the imminent demise of the skeptics and delivers a tirade that Shakespeare seems to have anticipated in Scene V of Macbeth. The Keen attack is, considering its errors, hyperbole, and lack of real substance, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Keen delights in dragging in academics who appear to be supporting his bizarre beliefs. Two weeks ago, I pointed out that such luminaries as Jacques Benveniste and Brian Josephson suffer from that certain kind of intellectual myopia that clouds the perception of so many academics. That is unfortunate for their appreciation of reality, but more so because people like Keen can quote these misguided souls to lend illusionary support for nonsense. French author and philosopher Montaigne (1533-1592) in one of his Essays, observed:

There is a kind of rudimentary ignorance which precedes the learning process; another doctoral, following that learning — an ignorance which learning does beget, even as it spoils the first.
In effect, he is saying, as Sir Arthur C. Clarke once told me, that some people have been educated far beyond their intelligence. Bear that in mind as you find Keen eagerly throwing in PhDs to bolster his argument.

A huge document has been circulated by Keen following a recent program in the UK by Fulcrum TV, a show which obviously caused much consternation among the gullible in that country. Titled, “The Ultimate Psychic Challenge — A Challenge to James Randi,” Keen’s attack has been quoted from from extensively by those desperate to devalue my work. Please note that Keen doesn’t make any attempt to accept or meet the JREF challenge, but chooses to offer his own, as we’ve so often seen in this field. More on that, later. […]

For full article, visit: SWIFT – Online Newsletter from JREF