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The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995)

de Carl Sagan

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
5,803841,282 (4.27)94
"Are we on the brink of a new Dark Age of irrationality and superstition? In this stirring, brilliantly argued book, internationally respected scientist Carl Sagan shows how scientific thinking is necessary to safeguard our democratic institutions and our technical civilization." "The Demon-Haunted World is more personal and richer in moving and revealing human stories than anything Sagan has previously written. With illustrations from his own childhood experience as well as engrossing tales of discovery, Sagan shows how the method of scientific thought can cut through prejudice and hysteria to uncover the often surprising truth." "He convincingly debunks "alien abduction," "channelers," faith-healer fraud, the "face" on Mars, and much else. Along the way, he refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality or is just another arbitrary belief system, asks why scientific study is often stigmatized, discusses the dangers of the misuse of science, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious, and other issues."--Jacket.… (més)
  1. 20
    Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds de Charles Mackay (Usuari anònim)
    Usuari anònim: Carl Sagan references this book several times in "Demon-Haunted World"; its full title is "Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds", and it was authored by Charles Mackay in 1841.
  2. 00
    Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World de Carl T. Bergstrom (thebookpile)
  3. 00
    The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs: fundamentalism and the fear of truth de Solomon Schimmel (bertilak)
  4. 00
    A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom de Andrew Dickson White (myshelves)
  5. 00
    Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End . . . de Philip Plait (foxjwill)
  6. 00
    The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World's Most Famous Seer de James Randi (sgerbic)
    sgerbic: This book may help you understand how/why people can continue to believe in seerers like Nostradamus even when faced with the facts.
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» Mira també 94 mencions

Great read and reminder of logical, critical, scientific thinking.

Sagan takes you on a journey of logic. This is a great reminder to those in the scientific community why our work is so important and a great introduction to those outside the world of science, its process and use. ( )
  ejakub | Oct 19, 2020 |
Sheds light on so much of human psychology. Strongly recommended. ( )
  ibgibson | Jun 5, 2020 |
Ever read one of those books you SWEAR you've read before. Nonfiction? Where every single point seems to have been made elsewhere?

Well, that's where this book went with me. From witch trials to alien abductions to conspiracy theories and a lot more, Sagan extols us to bring rational thought back to our lives. The scientific method is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.

I totally agree, and that's why I kept reading despite every single point being a re-hash... but that's me. Sometimes we like to be reminded why we keep going, why we believe certain things, and realize that we can apply the scientific method to everything in our lives. It doesn't stifle creativity or spiritualism. It broadens everything.

And it also happens to help us throw out the trash. :) WOAH! RATIONALITY! :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I love Carl Sagan, in my daydreams we operate as kind of a Mulder/Scully duo: me, the roguish conspiracy theorist, he, the gamine scientist, together, thinking about aliens. I liked this book, though I am inclined to see astrology, UFO conspiracies, Weekly World News etc. as "all in good fun" or "a jolly old time", I still love him for being such a starry-eyed skeptic, if there is such a thing, especially in comparison to hardline atheists like Richard Dawkins. And regarding our more dangerous superstitious, eg witch hunts in South Africa or Christian science in the U.S., his call to reason seems urgent rather than ideological. I still think myth has its place in the 21st century but I'm no astrophysicist. I wish he and Joseph Campbell had made a crossfire style PBS documentary together so I could Netflix it. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
“Some portion of the decision making that influences the fate of our civilization is plainly in the hands of charlatans.” –Carl Sagan

Our world is rife with superstition, pseudo-science, theological fraud, sound bites and a decay of substantive content in the media, a celebration of ignorance and anti-intellectualism, and a disdain of true science (the latter three are especially true in the United States). In The Demon Haunted World, Doctor Carl Sagan addresses these topics and much more, showing us the value of skepticism and scrutiny over mindless gullibility and immediate acceptance of statements from authority.

In each chapter, Sagan cites numerous incidents throughout history of when large swaths of society and entire nations were deceived by unquestioned superstition and false beliefs, dangerous political and social propaganda, the suppression of ideas and opposing views, and yes, even unethical scientists who apply their knowledge toward the detriment of humanity rather than its benefit.

Sagan also delves into cases of alien abductions, faith healing, telepathy, channeling spirits of the dead, and other “spurious” claims, even going so far as to include in the book correspondence from people throughout the country insisting on the existence of aliens, their visitations to Earth, their experimentations on, and in some cases impregnation of, unwitting victims, and their overall plans for humanity.

He does all of this without hubris or vanity, merely stating that science—when applied properly—allows us to maintain a skeptical mind toward outlandish assertions, to question the validity of dogmatic teachings, to interrogate the natural world for answers, and to perform experiments in search of facts rather believing whatever the authority du jour dictates as “fact.”

Sagan firmly believed that science and spirituality are not mutually exclusive and in fact, describes how and why each requires the other.

Ultimately, as Sagan declared in his Cosmos television series and elsewhere, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The Demon Haunted World drives this point home eloquently and with great detail. ( )
  pgiunta | Dec 29, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Sagan, Carlautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Elwes, CaryNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
MacFarlane, SethNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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To Tonio, my grandson. I wish you a world free of demons and full of light.
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As I got off the plane, he was waiting for me, holding up a scrap of cardboard with my name scribbled on it.
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"Are we on the brink of a new Dark Age of irrationality and superstition? In this stirring, brilliantly argued book, internationally respected scientist Carl Sagan shows how scientific thinking is necessary to safeguard our democratic institutions and our technical civilization." "The Demon-Haunted World is more personal and richer in moving and revealing human stories than anything Sagan has previously written. With illustrations from his own childhood experience as well as engrossing tales of discovery, Sagan shows how the method of scientific thought can cut through prejudice and hysteria to uncover the often surprising truth." "He convincingly debunks "alien abduction," "channelers," faith-healer fraud, the "face" on Mars, and much else. Along the way, he refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality or is just another arbitrary belief system, asks why scientific study is often stigmatized, discusses the dangers of the misuse of science, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious, and other issues."--Jacket.

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