Max Maven – Magic and Skepticism

January 13, 2006

The great movie director Orson Welles wrote that Max Maven has “the most creative mind in magic.” The New York Times observed that his “category-defying mind-reading veers into conceptual art.” The Los Angeles Times stated that his “improvisational skill is enhanced by a charismatic animal magnetism.” He has hosted eight TV specials in Japan (performing in Japanese) and starred in TV series in Taiwan, Sweden, Norway, Finland, England, the United States and Canada. Behind the scenes, Max Maven has been a consultant to the California ScienCenter, numerous universities, and to the magicians David Copperfield, Doug Henning, and Penn & Teller. He has published more than 2,000 articles. In addition, Maven is the author of The Book of Fortunetelling, and is a contributor to a new traveling exhibition, “Magic: The Science of Illusion,” which is touring science museums across North America through 2007.
In this interview with DJ Grothe, Max Maven begins an exploration of the relationship between magic and skepticism of the paranormal, and how magicians may aid the skeptical enterprise.
Also in this episode, Tom Flynn presents Did You Know? sharing quick facts on magic, skepticism, Friday the 13th, and unbelief in America, and Benjamin Radford, in his regular segment, Media Mythmakers, criticizes “tragedy journalism.” In the second of a three part series Can You Be Good Without God? Paul Kurtz defends godless morality. And Joe Nickell explores the origins of superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th.