By Bart B. Van Bockstaele.
The Pigasus Awards are given out every year by the James Randi Educational Foundation to honour people and organisations that have done their best in the past year to destroy science and promote irrationality.
The Pigasus Awards are the Nobel Prizes of irrationality. They were started by the indomitable James Randi, a Toronto native who became world-famous as a magician and as a respected skeptic. He is often called a debunker, but he doesn't like the designation very much.
The Pigasus Awards are awarded by the James Randi Educational Foundation
every year on April 1st in five categories:
1. the Scientist who said or did the silliest thing relating to parapsychology in the preceding twelve months.
2. the Funding Organization that supports the most useless parapsychological study during the year.
3. the Media outlet that reported as fact the most outrageous paranormal claim.
4. the Performer who fools the greatest number of people with the least effort in that twelve-month period.
5. For the most persistent refusal to face reality.
This years award for category 1 goes to Dr. Colin Ross, a Texas psychiatrist. Although he is a man with a high education who has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals, he thinks that he can emit electromagnetic beams from his eyes.
The category 2 award goes to the producers of Ben Stein's movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"
, a movie that tries to show that Intelligent Design, a rebranded young Earth creationism, is a valid alternative to the theory of evolution and that it is being censored in the academic world.
The award for category 3 goes to the TV cable industry for still promoting Enzyte, a male enhancement supplement, even though the founder and CEO of the company has been jailed and had to forfeit half a billion dollars in assets, after which he went bankrupt.
The award for category 4 goes to Jenny McCarthy, model and actor, for her work in advising people not to vaccinate their children, a potentially deadly decision.
And the category 5 award goes to Kevin Trudeau, of 'Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About," where he claimed, among many other things, that eating coral calcium cures cancer. He was ordered by the courts not to make this false claim in 1998, and he was charged again in 2003 for knowingly violating that order. Last year, he was charged again for making false claims in his book "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' don't Want You to Know About", and had to pay $37 million in fines.
The awards are announced via telepathy, winners are allowed to predict their victories, and the Flying Pig trophies are sent via psychokinesis. The James Randi Educational Foundation sends the awards; if the recipients don't receive them, that's probably due to their lack of paranormal talent.