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Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. Februar 1997


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Carl Sagan muses on the current state of scientific thought, which offers him marvellous 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 channelling, refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious and other issues. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Originally published in January 1996 and now available in paperback, an examination of scientific thought, which suggests that scientific thinking is necessary to safeguard democratic institutions and technical civilisation in the face of increased superstition and delusion. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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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. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Kundenrezensionen

Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 6. Januar 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
An emminently successful popularizer even if often a slightly fuzzy and stilted writer and thinker on the cutting edges of science, this book appears to represent something of an explanation of the underpinning philosophies present in much of Carl Sagan's work.
As with so much else that he has written, there are numerous high-points here. Unfortunately, there are also a plethora of low points, including an unwillingness to introduce empirical data and analyses that might make his task (berating "straw men") more formiddable -- and significantly more interesting.
Rather than providing us with a most pursuasive account of views contrary to his own, too often Sagan side-steps the messiness of science to present the enterprise as a unified front. As a rhetorical device, this is a fine mode of addressing "uncritical minds". Ultimately, however, it udnermines much of what he expounds, since a thoroughly critical mind will find much to quibble with and even more to question.
Ironically, Sagan suggests that what we (as "Americans") need to foster is more critical thinking. To have written the book without being willing to engage in the nuanced discussion of criticism against the propositions he makes -- which would be necessary to pursuasively argue many of his key points -- sets the work up for disaster. Applying the tools of critical thinking he proffers to his own work demonstrates two things:
1) These tools *are* useful (presenting them is one of the book's high points),
2) Many assertions and editorial choices in the direction of the book's discourse do not withstand the application of his tools.
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9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von George Dalzell am 17. Juli 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
It was because of my interest in what Sagan term's "Pseudoscience" that a die-hard skeptic suggested that I read SCIENCE AS A CANDLE IN THE DARK as a reality check. While I don't agree with 100% of Sagan's perspective, I respect the man and his work. This invaluable book should be a primer for Humanities and Science courses, especially in the context of the Post Cold War Era where the "Next" culture searches for direction and meaning. Sagan's work provides American Culture with a much needed historical context for growth, poking and prodding in the areas where he challenges the quality of our thinking and insists that we are offered the choice to take either the high road of critical thinking, or the low road of a "dumbed down" entertainment-obsessed brave new world.
The sections on Edward Teller and Frederick Douglas were especially illuminating. Don't miss out on finding out more about them as Sagan presents biographical data that will blow your mind.
Where I disagree with Sagan is his thesis at the beginning of the book; the generalization, "Occasionally we hallucinate. We are error-prone" hardly accounts for ALL phenomena, but then Sagan is quick to respond, "But of course I might be wrong," modeling the kind of good scientist he advocates others explore becoming. And while I find his explanation of the UFO phenomena of the 1940s through the present to be the most cogent arguement against the reality of "alien abductions," I don't find Sagan advocating the study of other phenomena, like evidential mediumship.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Roger McEvilly (the guilty bystander) am 1. April 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
One word: OUTSTANDING.
I read this book over two nights, couldn't put it down, and afterwards was eagerly searching for more of the same. Science at it's best-accurate, timely, well-argued, emotionally and mentally invigorating, spiritually uplifting; and filled with boundless enthusiasm and hope. Like the author, Carl Sagan himself.
This book describes the 'scientific journey'. Alternately curious, cautious, inquiring, uplifting, compassionate, humane, warning, discovering and fulfilling. Topics include UFOs, alien abductions, witches, religion-both good and bad, Roswell, frauds, scientific genuises, skeptical thinking, wishful thinking, deceptive thinking, balanced thinking, belief, superstition, astrology, ESP, myth, and the like; and the role and place of science and scientific inquiry in all of this. For those who think science "destroys" spirituality-does not scientific inquiry with its' abundant curiosity and courageous endeavour accurately describe a spiritual journey to find the truth? Sagan contends, with great clarity and enthusiasm, that it assuredly does. It's just that this scientific journey is not an easy one, neither for the individual, nor humanity, by any means. But when has the attempt to find "truth" and "light" in this complex world of ours, ever been easy? Sagan argues that science and the scientific method is a noble and enlightening endeavour, an unquenchable candle, lit by the human yearning for truth, and able to steer humanity towards truth and goodwill in a world of mists, shadowy truths, and darkness.
For those who wish to open their minds to science and what it has to say about much that goes in this beautiful, yet sometimes dark world of ours, this is the book for you.
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