James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

If I had a billion dollars . . .

My latest at the Partial Observer. Excerpt:

The Amazing Randi has for years offered $1,000,000 "to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power."

If I had a billion dollars, I'd propose a more interesting offer: all expenses paid, and $10,000,000, to any person who, using no more than tools and technology available in the 1920s-30s, can reconstruct even a portion of Coral Castle by him- or herself. Applicants would have to explain their theory and method, and the one with the best explanation will receive a good salary, all expenses paid, and ten million dollars upon successful completion within a reasonable deadline. But I'd reserve the offer only to professors and other members of the respected Scientific Community. Lone eccentrics, fired professors, and "pseudo-scientists" would be disqualified. I would, instead, give just them a $5 million-dollar prize, because they would have no reputation to lose.

And then I would dare respectable scientists and scholars to come up with a convincing theory for these ten archeological anomalies that challenge the accepted time-table of history. I'd give a prize to the best scientific/historical explanation from academics, and an equal prize to the best "alternative" theory from pseudo-scientists and supposed cranks, and release them both to the public to let the people decide which is most convincing.

Now let's say I earn my billion and attempt to follow through on these plans. Would anyone wanna bet that "men in black" will appear at my door and "persuade" me to cancel these offers?

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