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A magician’s perspective on ‘real’ magic

Long-time skeptics are well aware of the important role that magicians play within the skeptical community. A professional magician’s skills (used solely for purposes of entertainment) enable him or her to develop a keen awareness of the pitfalls and foibles of those darker, more malicious forms of deception, paranormal and pseudoscientific fraud. Granted, both the trained skeptic and the scientifically astute magician are able to view the world through a clearer lens of understanding than that of the average person. But the magicians, by virtue of their training, see a certain dark side to human nature: the illegitimate claim of self-proclaimed psychics to have been blessed with paranormal talents. This is truly an extraordinary claim, demanding extraordinary proof. These alleged talents (“gifts” as they are sometimes reverentially referred to) are akin to “black magic”: no scientific explanation is offered, and indeed no logical explanation is even considered possible.