Farewell James Randi, prince of reason. Now who’ll mock the quacks and anti-vaxxers?

Catherine Bennett in The Guardian:

Spoon-benders are unlikely to be the only profession toasting the disappearance – supposing we rule out further hauntings – of Randi, who, being himself a brilliant magician as “The Amazing Randi: The Man No Jail Can Hold” (previously “The Great Randall: Telepath”) was repeatedly more effective than scientists at examining paranormalist claims, sometimes by simply performing their stunts himself.

Mediums, dowsers, astrologers, homeopaths, clairvoyants, faith-healers, mind-readers, spirit guides and anti-vaxxers also featured among Randi’s targets after he moved on from surpassing Houdini’s escapology to exposing all forms of pseudoscience, on principle but with a showmanship that made him reliably more compelling than his subjects. This made him immeasurably valuable to sceptics. Addressing homeopathy, for instance, he appreciated that argument alone would have less impact in demonstrating the staggering uselessness of these royal-endorsed products than his filmed consumption of a homeopathic overdose.

More here.