Did you actually read my post, at all? You don’t reply to any of the points I made in it - because you can’t, since they are all factual.
Okay then, I’ll bite. I dusted off my old and battered copy of “Flim-Flam” last night and compared the chapter “Into the Air, Junior Birdmen!” with your criticism of it. Let’s see what we got…
On page 57, Randi sets up a typical Randroid straw dog; he “demonstrates” that astrology can’t possibly work, because even if the sun, moon and all the planets lined up, the gravitational effect on a human body would be less than the difference between standing up and sitting down. I’m sure he’s right; except that not one astrologer, anywhere in the world, believes that astrological influences are caused by gravity.
The fact is what you’re criticizing is exactly one tiny paragraph out of a 37-page chapter! Randi was just illustrating how far away the planets actually are, and how unlikely it is that they are the source of some mysterious force that influences human lives. The main point which he repeats over and over, page after page is NOT that astrology couldn’t work, but that it has in fact been repeatedly shown not to work. It’s strange that you completely ignored all that.
On pages 58 and 59, his “explanation” of the difference between tropical and sidereal astrology is completely wrong.
I don’t know the difference between “Tropical” and “Sidereal” astrology either, but the point Randi was making is that the zodiac constellations are different sizes! If you look at the sky, Pisces actually covers five or six times as much space as poor little Cancer does. So how can the “houses” be divided into 12 neat, equal-sized parcels unless they’re purely arbitrary? In that case how can you claim that the actual patterns of stars have that much influence?
Page 59; his diagram of the constellations of Leo and Cancer is (seemingly deliberately) misleading.
I don’t know how you saw the illustrations as “deliberately misleading”. They look pretty straightforward to me. Randi was simply trying to illustrate that the constellations of the zodiac are just random patterns of stars.
Page 63: his account of the so-called “Mars effect” is completely untrue.
Once again, you’re talking about a single paragraph. It seems pretty consistent to me with the articles I’ve read on the subject in Skeptical Inquirer. You don’t say how it’s “completely untrue”, so I can’t really say.
Page 71: Randi says Kenneth Arnold reported “saucer-shaped” objects flying above Mount Rainier. He didn’t; the objects Arnold reported were crescent shaped.
I would give you this one, except that about half the books and articles I’ve ever read on UFOs make the same mistake. Arnold reportedly described them as crescent-shaped, but they moved “like saucers skimmed over the water.” Randi’s actual quote goes like this (bear with me a bit; this is going to be long but I’m going to condense a little to make my point):
“The UFO silliness can be said to have started in World War II, when military pilots brought back stories of what they dubbed ‘foo fighters’, which were described as fuzzy balls of light that appeared on their wing tips and kept pace with the planes in flight… but until a private pilot named Kenneth Arnold came along with an account of seeing a formation of metallic-looking, ‘saucer-shaped’ disks above Mount Rainier, Washington, in 1947, the matter was a mere curiosity… The term ‘flying saucer’ was coined…”
It’s obvious to the unbiased reader that all Randi is doing is giving background on where the term “flying saucer” came from! He doesn’t even go into Arnold’s sighting in detail. He does go into plenty of other cases in detail, but you don’t seem to have anything to say about his accuracy in those. Sheesh, cut the man some slack!
My overall impression is that Lois was right. You come off sounding like someone with a serious grudge against James Randi, for whatever reason. The fact that you scoured a 37-page chapter looking for something to nit pick about and only managed to find these few lame excuses says it quite clearly to me.