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A Brilliant Mind, A Brilliant Book,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (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. There doesn't appear to be any room for study, he's summed up the likely origins for all pseudoscience: "Miracles are attested, but what if they're instead some mix of charlatanry, unfamiliar states of consciousness, misapprehensions of natural phenomena, and mental illness?"
The beauty of this book is that Sagan posits more than he seeks to have the last word, and that should engender the respect of skeptic and pseudoscientist alike.
I loved this book, and Sagan's wonderful, subtle humor -- don't miss this rare and informative treat.
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