The Demon-Haunted World

Science as a Candle in the Dark

Paperback, 480 pages

English language

Published Feb. 24, 1997 by Ballantine Books.

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5 stars (2 reviews)

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.

26 editions

Eye opening? Grim? Depressing? Optimistic? Let’s just call it a roller coaster.

5 stars

Context on why I was sent this epub from my friend in the first place:

I was perplexed over people’s obsession with the most bizarre nonsense. Astrology, crystal healing, modern witchcraft, and many more things I see all too often. My friend suggested this book and sent me over an epub as they felt it’d give nice context around the phenomenon.

Well, I have a much deeper understanding of the issue after reading this book. Sagan deeply loves science and has made me view science in a completely new light, it’s truly inspirational. I’m doing so, he covers pseudoscience and the many wonders of why we believe in things we believe in. Little did I know my questions of why people believe crystals cure cancer has a lot to do with our belief in witches (leading to thousands of burned women at the stake just a few centuries ago) and …


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