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

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

Format:  Paperback,

480 pages

Edition: Ballantine Book

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Mar 1997

ISBN-13: 9780345409461

ISBN-10: 0345409469

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
" 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.

*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

*San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle


Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Mar 1997
ISBN-13: 9780345409461
ISBN-10: 0345409469
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 480
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.85
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.0 x 8.25 x 1.0

About the author

Biography of Sagan, Carl

A respected planetary scientist best known outside the field for his popularizations of astronomy, Carl Sagan was born in New York City on November 9, 1934. He attended the University of Chicago, where he received a B.A. in 1954, a B.S. in 1955, and a M.S. in 1956 in physics as well as a Ph.D. in 1960 in astronomy and astrophysics. He has several early scholarly achievements including the experimental demonstration of the synthesis of the energy-carrying molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in primitive-earth experiments.

Another was the proposal that the greenhouse effect explained the high temperature of the surface of Venus. He was also one of the driving forces behind the mission of the U.S. satellite Viking to the surface of Mars. He was part of a team that investigated the effects of nuclear war on the earth's climate - the "nuclear winter" scenario. Sagan's role in developing the "Cosmos" series, one of the most successful series of any kind to be broadcast on the Public Broadcasting System, and his book The Dragons of Eden (1977) won the Pulitzer Prize in 1978. He also wrote the novel Contact, which was made into a movie starring Jodie Foster. He died from pneumonia on December 20, 1996.

Chapter outline

Preface: My Teachersp. xi
The Most Precious Thingp. 1
Science and Hopep. 23
The Man in the Moon and the Face on Marsp. 41
Aliensp. 61
Spoofing and Secrecyp. 79
Hallucinationsp. 97
The Demon-Haunted Worldp. 113
On the Distinction Between True and False Visionsp. 135
Therapyp. 151
The Dragon in My Garagep. 169
The City of Griefp. 189
The Fine Art of Baloney Detectionp. 201
Obsessed with Realityp. 219
Antisciencep. 245
Newton's Sleepp. 265
When Scientists Know Sinp. 281
The Marriage of Skepticism and Wonderp. 293
The Wind Makes Dustp. 307
No Such Thing as a Dumb Questionp. 319
House on Firep. 337
The Path to Freedomp. 353
Significance Junkiesp. 367
Maxwell and the Nerdsp. 379
Science and Witchcraftp. 401
Real Patriots Ask Questionsp. 421
Acknowledgmentsp. 435
Referencesp. 439
Indexp. 449

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