By Carl Sagan
"A excellent ebook . . . A lively security of technological know-how . . . From the 1st web page to the final, this booklet is a manifesto for transparent thought."
*Los Angeles Times
"POWERFUL . . . A stirring safety of knowledgeable rationality. . . wealthy in extraordinary info and gorgeous writing."
*The Washington submit ebook World
How will we make clever judgements approximately our more and more technology-driven lives if we do not comprehend the variation among the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of technological know-how? Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and individual astronomer Carl Sagan argues that clinical pondering is necessary not just to the pursuit of fact yet to the very overall healthiness of our democratic institutions.
Casting a large internet via heritage and tradition, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the earlier as witchcraft, religion therapeutic, demons, and UFOs. And but, disturbingly, in modern so-called info age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with tales of alien abduction, channeling prior lives, and communal hallucinations commanding transforming into cognizance and recognize. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren track of unreason isn't just a cultural fallacious flip yet a perilous plunge into darkness that threatens our most simple freedoms.
"A transparent imaginative and prescient of what reliable technology potential and why it makes a distinction. . . . A testimonial to the ability of technological know-how and a caution of the risks of unrestrained credulity."
*San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
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Additional info for The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Psychic surgical procedure' thrives within the Philippines. Ghosts are anything of a countrywide obsession in Britain. given that global conflict , Japan has spawned huge, immense numbers of latest religions that includes the supernatural. An predicted 100,000 fortune-tellers flourish in Japan; the purchasers are typically younger girls. Aum Shinrikyo, a sect regarded as focused on the discharge of the nerve fuel sarin within the Tokyo subway method in March 1995, beneficial properties levitation, religion therapeutic and ESP between its major tenets. fans, at a excessive rate, drank thèmiracle pond' water - from the tub of Asahara, their chief. In Thailand, ailments are taken care of with drugs made from pulverized sacred Scripture. `Witches' are this present day being burned in South Africa. Australian peace-keeping forces in Haiti rescue a girl tied to a tree; she is accused of flying from rooftop to rooftop, and sucking the blood of kids. Astrology is rife in India, geomancy frequent in China. might be the main profitable contemporary international pseudoscience - through many standards, already a faith - is the Hindu doctrine of transcendental meditation (TM). The soporific homilies of its founder and non secular chief, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, should be obvious on tv in the United States. Seated in the yogi place, his white hair the following and there flecked with black, surrounded via garlands and floral choices, he has a glance. at some point whereas channel browsing we came across this visage. `You understand who that's? ' requested our four-year-old son. `God. ' the global TM association has an expected valuation of $3 billion. For a cost they promise via meditation as a way to stroll you thru partitions, to make you invisible, to assist you fly. by means of considering in unison they've got, they are saying, decreased the crime fee in Washington DC and prompted the cave in of the Soviet Union, between different secular miracles. no longer one smattering of actual proof has been provided for one of these claims. TM sells people medication, runs buying and selling businesses, clinical clinics and `research' universities, and has unsuccessfully entered politics. In its oddly charismatic chief, its promise of neighborhood, and the supply of magical powers in trade for cash and fervent trust, it truly is ordinary of many pseudosciences advertised for sacerdotal export. At every one relinquishing of civil controls and medical schooling, one other little spurt in pseudoscience happens. Leon Trotsky defined it for Germany at the eve of the Hitler takeover (but in an outline that would both have utilized to the Soviet Union of 1933): not just in peasant houses, but additionally in urban skyscrapers, there lives along the 20th century the 13th. 100 million humans use electrical energy and nonetheless think within the magic powers of indicators and exorcisms ... motion picture stars visit mediums. Aviators who pilot dazzling mechanisms created by means of man's genius put on amulets on their sweaters. What inexhaustible reserves they own of darkness, lack of knowledge and savagery! Russia is an instructive case. lower than the Tsars, spiritual superstition was once inspired, yet medical and sceptical pondering - other than through a couple of tame scientists - was once ruthlessly expunged.