The Demon-Haunted World
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The Demon-Haunted World : Science as a Candle in the Dark

4.26 (42,007 ratings by Goodreads)
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"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"POWERFUL . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing."; *The Washington Post Book WorldHow 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."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-Chronicleshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 457 pages
  • 137.16 x 208.28 x 25.4mm | 158.76g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Ballantine Books Inc.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0345409469
  • 9780345409461
  • 4,781

Flap copy

"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 "POWERFUL . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing." *The Washington Post Book World 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. "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-Chronicleshow more

Review quote

"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 "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-Chronicleshow more

About Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan served as the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo spacecraft expeditions, for which he received the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and (twice) for Distinguished Public Service. His Emmy- and Peabody-winning television series, Cosmos, became the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. The accompanying book, also called Cosmos, is one of the bestselling science books ever published in the English language. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize, the Oersted Medal, and many other awards--including twenty honorary degrees from American colleges and universities--for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment. In their posthumous award to Dr. Sagan of their highest honor, the National Science Foundation declared that his "research transformed planetary science . . . his gifts to mankind were infinite." Dr. Sagan died on December 20, 1996.show more

Review Text

"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 "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-Chronicleshow more

Rating details

42,007 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 52% (21,818)
4 30% (12,690)
3 12% (5,216)
2 3% (1,403)
1 2% (880)

Our customer reviews

Carl Sagan a reknown scientist/author brings to light a lot people's biggest fears that are actual pseudoscience and hold no legitimate reason for us to have fear. He is very critical of the those who choose to believe these ideas of paranormal activity,aliens,ghosts and life after death because there is no concrete basis for truth therefore in his mind it doesn't hold significance to exist.In some ways if you don't agree with the ideas of Sagan by the end of this book you will feel insecure about your choices. Also it seems that Sagan pushes for a level of skepticism among readers and the general public to never take anything that is portrayed to them as an automatic truth without personally experimentation within your own right. It takes a particular kind of person to read this because it can be somewhat offensive to read these views of Sagan and the idea that everything that we as a general population is irrelevant an makes us morons in a sense is kind of rude. But, if you hold interest in alien abductions,astrology,the lost city of Atlantis,the bell curve,channeling,crop circles, demons, electromagnetism, ESP, the face on Mars, fairies, faith healing, magic, miracles, prayer, religion, Roswell, satanic rituals, therapy, and, of course, one of his favorite topics, UFOs and extraterrestrials than prepare to have these ideas destroyed before your eyes.show more
by Avi
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