Thursday, April 30, 2020

DC Book Report: Flim Flam!

Flim-Flam! Is a book written by James Randi or otherwise known as “The Amazing Randi”. He is known for being a magician and escapes artist who spent most of his life investigating the paranormal and disproving many of the claims made in pseudoscience. In this book, Randi explores many topics such as ESP, levitation, UFOs, astrology, and many more topics.

My favorite chapter of the entire book was The Giggling Guru: A Matter of Levity. This chapter was all about levitation. I’m not sure if this book was meant to be a comedy but it certainly had me laughing. When they recreated the photograph of a TM student “levitating” I couldn’t hold in my laughter. It was such an easy image to recreate and helped prove that levitation isn’t a real thing, just people who can really jump.

My second favorite topic comes from the following chapter The parer Chariots in Flames. He opens it by talking about a famous Swiss author by the name of Erich von Daniken. Daniken claimed that “beings from outer space visited earth” and that they have “mated with primitive people here”. His main piece of evidence for this was a carving on a sarcophagus found in Mexico. He must have been quite the writer with his creativity. Randi quickly dismisses all his claims by giving actual facts and evidence of how the carving does not depict an astronaut, but a typical Mayan nobleman wearing a costume that was ordinary at that time.

The last chapter I found interesting is The Great Fliess Fleece. Here Randi talks about the creation of biorhythm, which is an attempt to predict various aspects of a person's life through simple mathematical cycles. I found this really interesting cause I have never heard of it before. It’s amazing to think that people actually believed you could predict a person’s life buy just a few simple math problems. It almost reminded me of astrology where people predict how one’s personality will be depending on the date and time of there birth.

In conclusion I found this book to be really interesting. The way that "The Amazing Randi" debunked some of these could be hilarious. It really opened my eyes to the importance of critical thinking because otherwise all of society would believe in this stuff and we wouldn't advance in the world (we also wouldn't spend tax money trying to learn how to levitate). I'm glad to have read this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in pseudoscience and the paranormal.

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