By Matt Hickman
So I went to the international skeptics convention in Las Vegas last weekend looking for freedom from existential oppression and enlightenment divorced from superstition.
Mostly what I found instead was a UFO convention where no one believed Earth has ever been visited, an alternative medicine convention where everyone thinks homeopathy is a scam, and a religious conference where no one believes in anything supernatural.
Saddest of all, I found a movement that refuses to move because it’s so busy standing up against everything, it can’t stand for anything.
“The Amazing Meeting 9,” gets its name from James “The Amazing” Randi, the famous debunker of tricks masquerading as magic and all things paranormal, who, now at a white-bearded 82, is a Moses figure of sorts to the more than 1,600 attendees. More than half of them were first-timers and most of those were under 30. All were extremely intelligent, though not as many as you’d think were stereotypical nerds.
The conference draws big television celebrities including Bill Nye the Science Guy and astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson, who, speaking in a giant conference room at the South Point Hotel and Casino, decried scientific illiteracy in the U.S. in funny, yet ominous ways.
A weekend spent with people who don’t believe, anything
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