The 5 Worst Promoters of Nonsense
JREF's 'Pigasus Awards' are a Dubious Honor for Dubious Claims
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.—The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) promotes critical thinking through grants for outstanding educators, scholarships to inspire skeptical students, and annual conferences showcasing the best of skeptical thought—but every April Fools Day, the organization honors the five worst offenders who are intentionally or unintentionally pulling the wool over the public's eyes.
Since 1997, the JREF’s annual Pigasus Awards have been bestowed on the most deserving charlatans, swindlers, psychics, pseudo-scientists, and faith healers—and on their credulous enablers, too. The awards are named for both the mythical flying horse Pegasus of Greek mythology and the highly improbable flying pig of popular cliche.
These are this year’s “winners.”
• The Scientist Pigasus Award goes to NASA Engineer Richard B. Hoover, who recently announced for the third time in 14 years that he had found evidence of microscopic life in meteorites. Along with the crackpot Journal of Cosmology—a now-defunct publication founded in 2009 to publish articles advancing the scientifically unsupported idea that life began before the first stars formed and was spread throughout the early universe on meteors—Hoover pitched his warmed-over ideas to Fox News, an outlet not known for their attention to facts. Predictably, Fox News ran with the story, convincing many people that NASA had discovered extraterrestrial life.
Read the rest on JREF.