IMO James Randi represents the worst kind of conman. He's an establishment $hill that portrays himself as the righteous indignant champion of ❝science❞ and people too. But, it is clear he is neither. Randi's deceitful behavior and dishonest claims have been caught and called out from his failed attempts to
sway and slander Targ and Puthoff to Rupert Sheldrake forcing Randi to admit his falsehoods.

He doesn't deserve a mention in this forum.
Oh, I think his name is important precisely because he's still seen as an authority on the paranormal, and it's interesting how his shady tactics aren't necessarily unique to him. I was talking to some other people about his falsehoods, and one admirer of his got particularly angry at me but could only muster up ad hominem attacks against the sources I produced.

IMO it's important to realize, then analyze, the religious fanaticism of some skeptics.
Van Wyhe is well equipped to tell this story. He is the force behind Darwin Online and Wallace Online, and so is very familiar with both historical figures and what has been written about them. And a good chunk of the papers he has published deal with dispelling myths about Charles Darwin (such as whether Darwin was an atheist; if he was the naturalist or gentleman companion to the captain aboard HMS Beagle; whether the death of his daughter Annie affected his acceptance of Christianity; and why Darwin “delayed” publishing his theory of natural selection). Earlier this year, he published an article with Kees Rookmaaker (“A new theory to explain the receipt of Wallace’s Ternate Essay by Darwin in 1858,” PDF) that shows that any conspiracy claim that Darwin was dishonest about when he received Wallace’s letter and essay because he stole Wallace’s ideas for his own work is complete bunk. They do this simply by using historical sources, not conjecture (like Roy Davies). This debunking is shared again in Dispelling the Darkness. Van Wyhe does not take bullshit from conspiracy theorists, and while this is a necessary part of the story to correct, having to do so unfortunately detracts from telling the story of Wallace and his achievements.

A new theory to explain the receipt of Wallace’s Ternate
Essay by Darwin in 1858
Darwin Online and Wallace Online, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of
Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, 117543 Singapore
In early 1858, when he was in the Moluccas, Wallace drafted an essay to explain evolution by natural selection and
posted it to Darwin. For many years it was believed that the Ternate essay left the island in March on the monthly
mail steamer, and arrived at Down House on 18 June 1858. Darwin immediately wrote to Lyell, as requested by
Wallace, forwarding the essay. This sequence was cast in doubt after the discovery of a letter written by Wallace to
Bates leaving on the same steamer with postmarks showing its arrival in Leicester on 3 June 1858. Darwin has been
accused of keeping the essay secret for a fortnight, thereby enabling him to revise elements of his theory of evolution.
We intend to show that Wallace in fact sent the Ternate essay on the mail steamer of April 1858, for which the postal
connections actually indicate the letter to have arrived precisely on 18 June. Darwin is thus vindicated from
accusations of deceit.
Wallace’s Ternate essay and extracts from Darwin’s theoretical manuscripts were read at a
meeting of the Linnean Society of London on 1 July 1858, which is now recognized as a milestone in the history of
science. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 105, 249–252.

We have also found from Wallace’s surviving correspondence
from Ternate that he never replied to a
letter by the same mail boat on which it arrived.
exact circumstances of the turnaround and closure of
the mail bag leaving Ternate are not known, but it
was apparently not possible for Wallace to respond
via the same steamer, which may have remained for
as little as 1 hour. This would mean that Wallace
could only have replied to Darwin via the following
mail steamer in early April 1858.
The newspapers published in Jakarta
recorded arrivals and departures in Surabaya and
Makassar, but those for Ternate were not included.
However, in the late 1850s, the mail steamer usually
arrived at Ternate between the 5th and 10th of each
month (Brackman, 1980).
I advance, therefore, that the third Darwin letter may well be irrelevant to the matter of which day
Wallace sent out his materials from Ternate. Meanwhile, however, there remain complications, notably:
When exactly did Wallace write the essay (early February? late February? earliest March?), so when
would the ‘next mail’ have been? Van Wyhe and Rookmaaker (2012) notwithstanding, could Wallace
have managed a same-day turn around, as Davies (2012) claims?
How much can we trust Wallace’s
recollections, and are some (the less complex ones) likely to be more accurate than others? And even
assuming that a letter mailed from Ternate on 5 April 1858 could have reached Darwin on 18 April of that
year, was there a way he could have found this out without actually receiving a letter? I believe it is
premature to claim that this matter has been put to rest, and indeed it may never be.
Neither Darwin nor Wallace were the first to propose evolution by natural selection. Both acknowledged that Patrick Matthew was first.
Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 16 (21 April [, 1860]): 362-363.
I have been much interested by Mr. Patrick Matthew's communication in the Number of your Paper, dated April 7th. I freely acknowledge that Mr. Matthew has anticipated by many years the explanation which I have offered of the origin of species, under the name of natural selection. I think that no one will feel surprised that neither I, nor apparently any other naturalist, had heard of Mr. Matthew's views, considering how briefly they are given, and that they appeared in the appendix to a work on Naval Timber and Arboriculture. I can do no more than offer my apologies to Mr. Matthew for my entire ignorance of his publication. If another edition of my work is called for, I will insert a notice to the foregoing effect.
- Charles Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent.1​
To my mind your quotations from Mr. Patrick Matthew are the most remarkable things in your whole book, because he appears to have completely anticipated the main ideas both of the "Origin of Species" & of "Life & Habitat".
Believe me
Yours very faithfully
Alfred R. Wallace