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The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle…

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (original 1995; edition 1997)

by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan

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5,267771,280 (4.27)93
Title:The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Authors:Carl Sagan
Other authors:Ann Druyan
Info:Ballantine Books (1997), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Science, Skeptisism

Work details

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

  1. 20
    Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: 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
    The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs: fundamentalism and the fear of truth by Solomon Schimmel (bertilak)
  3. 00
    A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom by Andrew Dickson White (myshelves)
  4. 00
    Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End . . . by Philip Ph.D. Plait (foxjwill)
  5. 00
    The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World's Most Famous Seer by 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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» See also 93 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
I really liked this one. It is very readable, but somewhat out of date. Still, it seems to predict the shortcomings of many ideas and systems. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Sagan is an inspiration. There were parts of this book that soared. I loved it! ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
An essential course in critical thinking that should be on every bookshelf, and taught in schools. ( )
  chaosfox | Feb 22, 2019 |
My dad has recommended many books over the years, but this one has to be the most timely - and it was written twenty years ago! I suppose that means reason is timeless. Carl Sagan questions why humanity is so enamored with pseudo-science and the paranormal as opposed to, you know, the truth.

Sagan's writing is warm and funny in a dry way. I liked that here is a guy who would genuinely love to accept the existence of extraterrestrial life and life after death, but needs to see the evidence. His disappointment is touching. Sagan scrutinizes ghosts, witchcraft, alien abductions, Atlantis, telepathy, and other phenomena and runs through the evidence. The evidence just isn't there. Sagan examines why people ignore the genuine discoveries of science for tabloid stories and fantastic claims with nothing backing them up. They are also more widely disseminated. Sagan was convinced that more people are aware of the theory that aliens have been "diddling" us for centuries than the mapping of the human genome. Too much credulity leaves us open to superstition, and we've all seen the results of that.

The book can be a little dry, but its refreshing reading and I would like to see an updated edition come out. ( )
2 vote ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 19, 2019 |
For someone that was a strong advocate of scientific integrity and consistently slammed superstitious beliefs and blind faith, Sagan still believed in extra-terrestrials his entire life (unseen entities in the sky). He held this belief strong enough that he got NASA to send a gold record on Voyager to commune with ET (his god) and even had the SETI institute named after him. His understanding of proper scientific methodology is impeccable but his lack of self-awareness regarding his own religious instincts contained in his UFO sky-god fantasies makes him look like a bit of a crack pot from a purely scientific standpoint. Surprisingly, this book has good advice on thinking scientifically and critically particularly Sagan's "Baloney detector" which I just used to call baloney on his ET god. ( )
  Chickenman | Sep 12, 2018 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345409469, Paperback)

Carl Sagan muses on the current state of scientific thought, which offers him marvelous opportunities to entertain us with his own childhood experiences, the newspaper morgues, UFO stories, and the assorted flotsam and jetsam of pseudoscience. Along the way he debunks alien abduction, faith-healing, and channeling; refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious, and other issues.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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."--Back cover.… (more)

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» see all 2 descriptions

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