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doc õ The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark ☆ Paperback read ✓ [Download] ➿ The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark ➻ Carl Sagan – How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology driven N 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 elouence the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms The Demon Haunted World is the 4th Carl Sagan 1934 1996 book that I've read There is no doubt this astronomer can write Sagan with this book has shifted from his usual topic of astronomy and astrophysics to lecturing the reader against pseudoscience superstition and some theological teachingsSagan successfully debunks the pseudoscience beliefs such as ufology with well presented arguments sometimes over elaborated as these observers or believers never demonstrate clear evidence for their extraterrestrial visitors or abductors Sagan advises that skepticism that is usually not taught in schools should be applied when hearing such storiesSome people that suffer from hallucinations or are prone to deceit convince themselves they saw human like faces temples and religious symbols in the sky on the moon or on other planets In fact they are consciously or subconsciously searching for physical evidence and signs to support their beliefs or are gullible enough to believe or this is a result of their illness in the existence of a supernatural event At times like these our rationality should takeover to distinguish truth from falsity We have to be aware of our human fallibility therefore when witnessing and hearing about such occurrences we should employ a constructive evaluation of that eventWe are advised to think scientifically following the scientific method and to only believe in verified science data confirmed by experiments Along with that we must not lose our capacity for critical thinking Sagan recommends using his baloney detection kit to expose the falseness of such ideas and beliefsThe book does not clearly introduce what this scientific doctrine or manifesto would look like or should one exist at all Also science and occasionally some morally ambiguous scientist do not have the best reputation For many of us it is not clear if some scientific achievements such as the process and development of nuclear weapons are of a benefit or danger to our society and existence On the other hand for many of us it would be difficult to find consolation and purpose in this atheistic sounding universeThe last uarter of the book discusses in a rather displeasing and concerning tone the US education system and the lack of funding for science and research projects which gave a political connotation to these last couple of chapters All in all this book is written for the general reader and I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about pseudoscienceSagan's love for science is clear and this book is like his personal statement I have to say I agree with his arguments On the other hand it's perhaps our ability of imagination and fantasizing not critical and rational thinking what intellectually separates us from other living beings Which in return could be an essential capability behind human scientific achievements Therefore pseudoscience could be viewed as an expected side effect of science Perhaps you can't have one without the other

mobi å The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark ¸ Carl Sagan

How can we make intelligent decisions about Haunted World PDF #8608 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 critica I miss Carl SaganEver since I was a kid Carl Sagan has been the face of science for me I would watch Cosmos and feel a sense of amazement that the universe was as wonderful as it was He'd be there in his turtleneck and his blazer smiling as though he'd just heard the coolest secret and he wanted to share it with you And he did except that it wasn't his secret Hell it wasn't a secret at all it was the combined results of thousands of years of thoughts deductions mistakes missteps experiments accidents and achievements Whether he was talking about the orbits of the planets or the genetics of peas you could feel an almost palpable sense of wonder coming from him You'd listen to him and think Y'know maybe we humans aren't too bad after allThen the smile would fade his eyes would get serious and he would explain how for all our achievements as a species humans were still terribly fallible creatures Our knowledge has perhaps outpaced our morals and we are only a few simple steps away from losing everything that we've gained Our mastery of nuclear technology could wipe out civilization in a day Our carelessness with industry could do the same in a century His earnestness was clear as was his disappointmentIt was in this latter mood perhaps that he wrote this book Simply by looking at the title one can glean his attitude not only towards science but towards the world around it When he looks at the world he sees a place filled with demons not literally of course the demons of irrationality superstition and an unfortunate willingness on the part of people to believe in things that just aren't soThis book is about the advocacy of skepticism and critical thinking In a world where people are obsessed with celebrity where people trust their feelings over their observations where rulers make decisions based on the predictions of astrologers Sagan feels rather threatenedI can certainly understand whyIt still angers me that now in the 21st century we are still arguing about evolution over creationism It amazes me that newspapers even print horoscopes to say nothing of the fact that there are people who take them seriously It horrifies me that evil men are still able to use fear and superstition to convince people that they should kill in the name of God And it saddens me that so many people have given control of their lives over to a deity rather than taking responsibility for it themselvesSagan's premise in this book is simple knowledge is better than ignorance Full stop Whether it's witches intelligent design UFO abduction or anything else it is always better to find the truth rather than to rest comfortably in a lie The truth is hard yes and it may feel better to stay wrapped up in our illusions but no matter how comfortable they are they're still illusions Still liesHe spends a lot of time on UFOs and abductees actually and uses that as a bridge into other areas of skeptical inuiry This is because UFO abductees and the legions of enablers who encourage them psychologists writers newspapers and conspiracy nuts exhibit the same behavior that allows unreason to flourish an unwillingness or inability to consider other options Yes the UFO explanation would be a romantic and weird one but wanting something doesn't make it so There is probably a reason why you saw things out your window and that explanation is probably perfectly terrestrialWhether you're talking about UFOs reiki power crystals witchcraft tarot cards channeling telepathy past lives Indigo Children psychic surgery miracles visitations by angels demonic possession the hollow Earth theory The evidence just isn't there As interesting and entertaining as a world containing such things would be they're just not soWouldn't it be better Sagan asks if we could all dismiss such things If everyone could think critically about them dismiss them and turn their vast amount of energy and resources towards actually making the world better If instead of putting together high budget shows about ghosts and Bigfoot networks made programs about scientific inuiry and achievement Or perhaps a show about mysteries that science has solved Instead of portraying scientists as either nerds or maniacs why not show the scientists who are looking for ways to make safer materials better medicines and efficient cars I suppose that the Discovery Channel has done a very nice job of trying to realize this dream with shows like Mythbusters and Penn Teller strongly advocate critical thinking in their Showtime program Bullshit But I reckon Sagan would want This is where he does come across as something of a curmudgeon in this book You get the feeling that if Old Man Sagan had his way there'd be no X Files or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Flintstones Science fiction would all be something like Contact nothing that isn't reasonably explainable by our current understanding of science No evil robots or planet busting Death Stars would survive such skeptical scrutiny Indeed you get the feeling that he would not only disapprove of those shows he would definitely look down on those of us who doThis is an attitude I've noticed a lot of in modern skeptics a certain annoyance with fantasy and a rather condescending attitude towards those who haven't signed on to the skeptical view of the world I am a regular listener of the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast and I enjoy it except when they turn on the arrogance when talking about people who believe in things like religious revelation UFOs and the like I can understand the attitude towards scammers they deserve nothing but contempt but there are people who take real comfort in their world view regardless of how irrational it might be Sagan addresses this as well in his bookAll of us cherish our beliefs They are to a degree self defining When someone comes along who challenges our belief system as insufficiently well based or who like Socrates merely asks embarrassing uestions that we haven't thought of or demonstrates that we've swept key underlying assumptions under the rug it becomes much than a search for knowledge It feels like a personal assaultHe goes on later to say In the way that skepticism is sometimes applied to issues of public concern there is a tendency to belittle to condescend to ignore the fact that deluded or not supporters of superstition and pseudoscience are human beings with real feelings who like the skeptics are trying to figure out how the world works and what our role in it might be Their motives are in many ways consonant with science If their culture has not given them all the tools they need to pursue this great uest let us temper our criticism with kindness None of us comes fully euippedSo in other words even if you know a lot don't be a know it allSagan had a lifelong love of science and the wonders that scientists have performed The world today every part and parcel of it from that computer that you're reading this on to the fact that you didn't die before you were five years old is attributable to the work of dedicated scientists trying to better understand the world And that is the key message of this book knowledge makes the world better Science has performed wonders that aliens witches and apparitions of the Virgin Mary have never been able to doA well educated rational populace is the greatest protection we have against tyranny and it behooves every citizen to acuaint him or herself with the methods and principles that science uses It is the greatest tool available to us if we want a better world Yes there will be missteps along the way but the errors of science can if we act out of clarity and reason be repaired Teach your children encourage them to think critically about the world and no one will ever gain mastery over them For an educated person is a free one And if you can spread this kind of freedom then perhaps Sagan can rest well

Carl Sagan ¸ The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark text

The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the DarkL not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well being of our democratic institutionsCasting 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 The Demon Kindle And yet disturbingly in today's so called informatio This is a marvelous book about the conseuences of a population being scientifically illiterate There are numerous conseuences all of them bad Most notably the growth of superstitious beliefs can lead to terrifying witch hunts that grow and grow leaving a broad trail of torture execution mass hysteria and paranoia Interestingly Carl Sagan holds up science and democracy as mutually supporting concepts He cites Frederick Douglass Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson as examples of literacy and science literacy in particular for supporting democracy This concept is developed further by Timothy Ferris' excellent book The Science of Liberty Democracy Reason and the Laws of NatureSagan spends a lot of time explaining the reported sightings of UFO's and aliens I particularly enjoyed this passage Occasionally I get a letter from someone who is in 'contact' with extraterrestrials I am invited to 'ask them anytheng' And so over the years I've prepared a little list of uestions The extraterrestrials are very advanced remember So I ask things like 'Please provide a short proof of Fermat's Last Theorem' I never get an answer On the other hand if I ask something like 'Should we be good' I almost always get an answerSagan also uotes many of the letters that he received some hilarious and others uite sad For example a tenth grader wrote Our society is doing just fine with what discoveries we are making It's going slowly but the cure for cancer is coming right along A parent wrote The problem in science education is that God isn't sufficently honored Concerning UFO's I'm going to lobby my Representative to try to cancel funds for this program of listening for alien signals from space because it would be a waste of money They're already among usSagan has some interesting approaches for making science interesting He claims that since many kids are interested in sports there is a wealth of science concepts to teach related to sports Probability winning streaks ballistics angular momentum and center of mass are all useful concepts Even though this book was published eighteen years ago it is just as relevant today as when it was written In fact the growth of pseudo science is still rampant and scary thinking about anti vaccine campaigns climate change deniers exorcism astrology ESP and anti environmentalism Sagan is famous for popularizing science but he writes that it isn't an easy task For example a deep understanding of uantum mechanics really does reuire about 15 years of study of mathematics and physics and uantum theory is so resolutely counterintuitive But an esoteric religion may reuire a similar degree of study before acuiring a deep understanding So how are religions any different from uantum mechanics when they are both eually mysterious The first difference Sagan explains is that uantum theory works; it makes extremely accurate predictions that can be observed and measured The second difference is that religions are infallible and rely on faith while science advances and relies on experience it never stands still