I found something really sad in the internet (hat tip to skepchick). In that link I just put, there is a series of videos, which is a documentary about a man who thinks he can talk to babies. He goes on to be tested so as to validate his claim. He loses a test by proffesor Chris French and magician/skeptic James Randi and his million dollar challenge. The sad part is, he really believes he can do it. After French’s test, he cried, saying he wasn’t a liar. I don’t think he is a liar or a fraud, and he seems to be a nice guy, but the tests are conclusive in that he uses cold reading.
Cold reading is a technique “psychics” use to fire very vague questions, and when the person responds, it validates what the person says, making the “psychic” know what parts are true. The other person, then, thinks it is very accurate, and that he couldn’t have gotten it anywhere else. This way, frauds decieve many people. People might say, “You are being close minded.” I have seen videos of them doing it, all right, and none of them seemed really psychic to me, and they all fell apart with Randi’s tests. Which is why I hold critical thinking very important. It is less likely you will get decieved if you think about the validity of the claim, and every claim should be tested that way, the way scientists have tested all of their claims which either failed, passed, or got modified. I really dislike psychics, they give me the chills for those reasons. All I can feel about this guy, though, is sympathy.
As for the last test, that was really lame. This guy just read the brain wave of the “psychic,” and just said that it validates it because he was using the non verbal, emotional part of the brain. What the ********! That was so lame that there is no word for it. Even the lamest jokes can’t compare with the lameness of this test. Talk about a strong case of confirmation bias. Woudn’t the best explanation be that that was the brain part he was using when he does the cold reading stuff? Whatever.
Part 1 of the doc: