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Wizards

September 21, 2010

The Claims:

The term wizard stems from the 15th century Middle English term wysard, meaning “a wise person”. Wizards are people who claim to possess innate or learned magical powers which they derive from supernatural sources. They are generally depicted as elderly, with white beards, baggy robes, wide brimmed pointed hats, and magical wands or staffs. Wizards commonly appear as heroes or villains in fantasy literature. Famous wizards include Merlin from Arthurian writings, Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, and Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series.

The Evidence:

It is thought that the physical appearance of the wizard was originally derived from the Germanic pagan god Woden, a long-bearded king. Historically, writers have written imagined tales about magicians and other characters which were often perceived by readers as real. For example, William Shakespeare’s fictional wizard character, Prospero from The Tempest, was commonly thought to be real. Other historical figures, such as the 16th century magician, alchemist and astologer Dr. Johann Georg Faust, were later perceived to be wizards.

Conclusion:

Despite their common depiction in fantasy writing and role-playing, there exists no evidence to suggest that wizards actually exist.

Links:

Wikipedia Page on Wizards

The Skeptic’s Dictionary Entry on Wizards

5 Comments leave one →
  1. green wolf permalink
    May 25, 2011 8:32 PM

    Wisards (wise men) are real people. There are hundreds of them in the world right now. All you have to do is look. But most people on this war infested plannet, cant look past there own ora to see what is realy going on. Men and Woman all around you, you pass them in the stores, you sit by them in the moovies. If you believe in the Bible you are supose to believe in something that you cant see. But if you actually open your eyes you will see the magickal wonder around you, and feel the energy flowing within all of us.

  2. yochi permalink
    December 4, 2010 7:32 AM

    Arthur C Clarke’s third law states “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

    Perhaps wizards (wise persons) were just deemed magical by unlearned people at the time. That is my belief about Merlin. He was well educated, and maybe knew some chemistry and other science. But the people around him couldn’t understand it.

    Thomas Edison was also nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”

  3. December 2, 2010 8:15 AM

    “…there exists no evidence to suggest that wizards actually exist.”

    – Yes there is. Read Book 4.

Trackbacks

  1. Magic « Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
  2. Miracles « Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

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