James Underdown

Center for Inquiry · Los Angeles, California

James Underdown has been the Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles since 1999. He has written for both Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry magazines.

He is also the founder and chairman of the Independent Investigations Group in Hollywood, CA, one of the U.S.’s premiere paranormal investigation teams. The IIG, with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, offers a $100,000 prize for anyone who can prove paranormal ability under scientific testing conditions, and works with other groups throughout the world who look into paranormal, pseudo-scientific, and extraordinary claims.

He has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows including Dr. Phil, Battle of the Psychics (shot in Kiev, Ukraine with Uri Geller), Miracle Detective, Angels vs. Demons, Hannity and Colmes, Penn and Teller’s Bullshit (twice), History’s Mysteries, KCET’s Life and Times, Proof Positive, FOX 11’s Midday L.A., Truth Lies, and Lewis Black, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Jim is also the creator of the Steve Allen Theater at CFI-L.A.

He also represents the Council for Secular Humanism and has been active in church/state separation issues, as well as in promoting the philosophy of secular humanism. His many pre-CFI endeavors include writing and directing short films (A Day in the Life of Frank Sinatra, The Test, Dear Father), and directing his stage play, Party of 13, a secular re-telling of the Last Supper. Jim also toured Midwest comedy clubs for several years as the Poet Laureate of Calumet City, IL.

To book Jim as a speaker, contact the CFI Outreach Department via email.

Below are a few of the talks Jim often gives:

  • Fact or Fake?
  • Paranormal Investigations and Testing
  • They See Dead People: Or Do They?
  • Paranormal Claims in the Bible
  • 10 Famous Hoaxes
  • An Unusual Look at the 10 Commandments
  • The Secrets of Critical Thinking
  • What is Secular Humanism?
  • Snappy Answers to Silly Beliefs


Contact James Underdown >>

Topics: Humanism, Science (General), Skepticism
Subtopics: Alternative medicine, Comedy, Conspiracy theories, Critical thinking, Filmmaking, Paranormal & fringe-science claims, Pseudoscience, Science denial, Skeptic movement

Viewpoints and information presented by speakers do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of, nor should they be attributed to, CFI or its affiliates, or any of their directors or officers.