AMHERST, N.Y. – Paul Kurtz, who founded an international center devoted to debunking psychics and UFOs and promoting science and reason over what he viewed as religious myths, has died. He was 86.
The secular humanist philosopher died Saturday at his home in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst. His death was announced Monday by the Center for Inquiry, which was founded by Kurtz in 1991 and has more than three dozen branches worldwide.
A prolific author and organizer, Kurtz also founded the not-for-profit Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and Council for Secular Humanism, as well as the secular humanist magazine Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer magazine, which takes on such topics as alien sightings, paranormal claims and homeopathic remedies. Most recently, he formed the Institute for Science and Human Values.
“He was without question a remarkable visionary and the scope of his accomplishments is truly staggering,” said Nathan Bupp, who was mentored by Kurtz before going on to work for him, currently at the ISHV.
He died of natural causes, Amherst police said.