Center for Inquiry has been a consistent and powerful bulwark against pseudoscience and supernatural powers claims in the history of the United States in particular and some other parts of the world in general. Many in the humanist, generally, and the secular humanist, particularly, community owe them a great debt and, in fact, are a part of the organizations in its orbit if not directly with it.
One extended grouping of the Center for Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry Investigations Group. An interesting cash prize proposal building off the legacy of the James Randi Educational Foundation. The prize comes to an astonishing $250,000. I believe in USD. The prize money, previously, was $100,000. So, certainly, this ups the ante on the entire endeavour.
It is a financial backing to a challenge to prove occult, paranormal, and supernatural abilities or powers. Based on the reportage of the Center for Inquiry Investigations Group, akin to the findings of the James Randi Educational Foundation, zero challengers have succeeded in passing the challenge of the group. Yet, we find an astonishing number continuing to proclaim superpowers, special powers, supernatural powers, and the like. Others have never been properly tested in a modern scientific setting to provide sufficient proof of the concept. No empirical evidence on this level.
James Underdown, the Executive Director and the Founder of the Center for Inquiry West (Los Angeles) stated, “We’ve been waiting for twenty years now for someone to come along and blow our minds, and while many have tried, no one has proven they can actually do what they say they can do… Maybe all the real superpowered folks were just waiting for us to raise the stakes. Hopefully a quarter million bucks will do it.”
Granted, it is a lot of money. It can raise some questions a to why so few takers/testers to earn such money. In addition to the quarter of a million dollars for an individual who can provide evidence of the paranormal or supernatural claims, there is, as well, a $5,000 prize money for the individual who can make the referral of an individual who can show the magical powers. (I believe “magical” is the appropriate colloquial term here.)
With files from Center for Inquiry.