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

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Random House, 1996 - Science - 457 pages
"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-Chronicle

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kronomlo - LibraryThing

Sagan discussed this book in the last interview he did before he died, the video is on YouTube and he was on the Charlie Rose show if you are inclined to watch it. He said at the time that there was a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Razinha - LibraryThing

Not the best book on debunking the paranormal and pseudoscience, but Sagan does okay. Seemed as with most of his writings to want to reach to a majority, which in itself is a good thought, but the ... Read full review

Contents

The Most Precious Thing
19
Science and Hope
23
The Man in the Moon and the Face on Mars
41
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Carl Sagan is the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University; Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology; and co-founder and President of The Planetary Society, the largest space interest group in the world.

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