The Demon-Haunted World

The Demon-Haunted World

Science as A Candle in the Dark

eBook - 2011
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A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace"A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought."—Los Angeles Times How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don't understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms. Praise for The Demon-Haunted World "Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing."—The Washington Post Book World "Compelling."—USA Today "A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity."—The Sciences "Passionate."—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
Publisher: 2011.
ISBN: 9780307801043
Characteristics: 1 online resource (421 pages)

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Sep 15, 2015

I read The Demon-Haunted World back in high school when I was on a Carl Sagan kick after seeing his 13-part Cosmos series (the original one, on VHS tape). It would be several more years before I would reform my own critical thinking skills into what they resemble today, but I have no doubt that this book planted a seed.

Mar 30, 2015

Overall a pretty good over view of reasons to try to incorporate a skeptical outlook into your life. It felt a bit dated with the amount of time devoted to alien encounters (which seem to have fallen off a cliff with wide spread cell phones with cameras). He also seems a bit naive on the purpose of the education system. Our system is meant to teach conformity and respect for authority more than it is to actually learn how to think. I do give him much respect for his acknowledgement that some conspiracies are real (see the quote). Too often skeptics dismiss all conspiracies when some are real.

Oct 24, 2013

This is simply a brilliant piece of work. The range of areas covered is extremely wide. It is rather remarkable that a scientist would be so conversant with such diverse fields of knowledge so extensively. It is amazing that he was able to put all this together to produce such a comprehensive but extremely readable piece of work. Enjoyed reading this work - "The Demon- Haunted World." Seelochan Beharry

Oct 20, 2012

Sagan questions & reveals the differences between pseudo-science & real science, based on facts, evidence, & repeatable experiment. He demonstrates the progress that fact-based science offers while also revealing it's dangers such as nuclear weaponry. The conclusions are stark and reflect his fears that the unquestioned claims of pseudoscience from astrology to creationism will allow anyone to believe what they want to believe with no facts or evidence to support their beliefs - that is not a sound or valid philosophy for gaining real knowledge.

Aug 13, 2012

Everyone should read this book!

Aug 02, 2012

Not one of his best. Disappointing for a Sagan admirer.

Jul 09, 2012

The combination of a great, sharp mind and good writing skill makes any works by Carl Sagan a pleasure to read. I wish he had lived longer. The world will be a more 'enlightened' world if there are more thinkers like him.

Aug 27, 2011

one of the most influential person in our century a great man and a great book

bigshoe Aug 01, 2011

A great book by a great man. A must read for any thinking person

roaddogg09 Jul 31, 2011

I've been meaning to pick this up for years. Nothing but good things have been said about it. I absolutely loved it and think every person should read it.

Sagan advocates critical thinking and skepticism. With great insight and humor, Sagan shows us how people are duped into accepting dubious claims, and how everything comes down to evidence. If the evidence does not support a claim, why believe it?

The first part of the book deals with science and why we are supposed to questions all beliefs and ask for evidence. The second part deals with particular claims and why they do not warrant our acceptance of their truth. The end of the book deals with stereotypes, the wonders that science brings to light, and why science is a candle in the dark.

"The Demon-Haunted World" is an invaluable tool for the modern citizen.

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Mar 30, 2015

"As government deceit and conspiracies of silence have been exposed in so many other matters, it is hard to argue a cover up on this odd issue is impossible, that the government would never hide information from its subjects". -Carl Sagan in "Demon Haunted World" pg 144 ebook

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