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Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark [Format Kindle]

Carl Sagan
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Carl Sagan muses on the current state of scientific thought, which offers him marvelous 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 channeling; refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious, and other issues.

From Publishers Weekly

Eminent Cornell astronomer and bestselling author Sagan debunks the paranormal and the unexplained in a study that will reassure hardcore skeptics but may leave others unsatisfied. To him, purported UFO encounters and alien abductions are products of gullibility, hallucination, misidentification, hoax and therapists' pressure; some alleged encounters, he suggests, may screen memories of sexual abuse. He labels as hoaxes the crop circles, complex pictograms that appear in southern England's wheat and barley fields, and he dismisses as a natural formation the Sphinx-like humanoid face incised on a mesa on Mars, first photographed by a Viking orbiter spacecraft in 1976 and considered by some scientists to be the engineered artifact of an alien civilization. In a passionate plea for scientific literacy, Sagan deftly debunks the myth of Atlantis, Filipino psychic surgeons and mediums such as J.Z. Knight, who claims to be in touch with a 35,000-year-old entity called Ramtha. He also brands as superstition ghosts, angels, fairies, demons, astrology, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and religious apparitions.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 More than one candle power 22 décembre 2005
Par FrKurt Messick TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
I was first introduced to Carl Sagan, along with most of the public, through the series `Cosmos'. Perhaps I can be forgiven for not having heard of him prior to that, given I was twelve years old at the time. It became very apparent in that series, and all subsequent writings, that Sagan was a man of science, to his very core. I have known physicists and scientists of other fields who have embraced denominational and religious tenets, and followed other faith structures (albeit usually with modifications to the theological framework, which in fact puts them in company with their non-scientific intellectual companions). Not so for Sagan. It became clear to me, almost from the beginning his series, that science, the religion of rationality, was his religion. He worshipped the Cosmos, his dogma was the principle of rationality, experimentation and verification, and his heresies included the various irrational parts of the world, which comprise a good deal of popular culture (in every society) and, ultimately, much of what is commonly called religion.
Sagan's book, `The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark', is therefore, by an large, Sagan's Book of Heresies. Unlike many books of heresies throughout history, however, this is no simple text of dogmatic pronouncements, a list of things to avoid or distrust. This book has reasoning, research, and history. Sagan points out that even religious structures, who rely heavily on irrational aspects (revelation and inspiration) have certain guidelines of rationality by which to test these aspects.
`A 1517 papal bull distinguishes between apparitions that appear "in dreams or divinely".
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6 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 La science comme religion! 4 octobre 2002
Arthur C. Clarke écrivait dernièrement que le livre de Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World : Science As a Candle in the Dark devait être lu à l'école. Et bien il avait tout à fait raison. "The Demon-Haunted World" apporte une nouvelle vision de la science et de sa place dans notre société. A travers ce livre, l'auteur de Contact nous prouve que toutes les réponses que nous pouvons nous poser sur notre existence, sur notre monde et sur nos croyances peuvent trouver une réponse dans la science. De plus, Carl Sagan apporte de nombreuses preuves concernant le mystère des apparitions d'OVNI. Des preuves qui permettent de dire, sans quasiment le moindre doute, que ces objets non-identifiés n'existe pas! Apres avoir lu les 300 pages de ce livre hors du commun, une nouvelle vision de la science s'impose à nous. La science devient une religion.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Perfect ! 4 avril 2014
Par Azur D
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
After a way too long waiting I finally received the book and I'm very excited to read it.
A must read book and a real treat.
Enjoy your knowledge journey led by the one and only Carl Sagan !
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A book as important as it is wonderful 29 mai 2013
Par DrKev
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A book as important as it is wonderful. This book should be required reading in all schools all over the world.
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475 internautes sur 493 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Candle in the Dark 2 juillet 2004
Par CreepyT - Publié sur
Demons, UFO's, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, fairies and the like are all investigated in this incredible non-fiction book by the late Carl Sagan. Pseudoscience, and those who perpetuate it, find their place in today's society among those who want to believe in the impossible. In fact, Sagan too admits that he would love to find life on other planets, among other things (he was, after all, an advocate of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). However, science today has not been able to prove that such things exist. As the book states, "the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms."
This book challenges the reader to critically scrutinize information professed by supposed experts, and be more of a skeptic. Sagan states early on in the book that "some 95 percent of Americans are scientifically illiterate." By using the scientific method combined with a little bit of logic and common sense, one should find that it is much more difficult to be mentally taken advantage of by pseudoscience "experts." Intelligent inquiry and analysis of information presented, and those presenting it, proves to be an invaluable tool.
Nonetheless, stories regarding crop circles, area 51, and other such nonsense still abound. Sagan runs through various examples and places them under the hypothetical microscope. Once examined more closely, most of these theories and fallacious postulations crumble quite easily. What some people don't realize, and what Sagan points out, is that things just as mysterious and awe-inspiring can be found all around us, and they are indeed factual and are being investigated by those in science fields. We need not look elsewhere to find mysticism and intrigue. People are still trying to completely understand viruses and the molecular building blocks in gas in space, and if people were equally as drawn to understand real phenomena as they are fallacious theories, then more people would be working to unravel the true mysteries that are much more worthy of our efforts.
I truly feel that this is a book everyone should read. Not only does Sagan do an excellent job of attempting to popularize science, but he also tries to teach people how to think for themselves rather than to be force-fed information from less-than-trustworthy sources. The demons in this demon haunted world are both those who perpetuate such celebrated fallacies, as well as those who believe them without question. Sagan attempts to teach, in this book, how to distinguish "real science from the cheap imitation." Indeed, he does just that.
290 internautes sur 303 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Sagan took the road less travelled...... 1 avril 2000
Par Roger McEvilly (the guilty bystander) - Publié sur
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.
This great book (Sagan's last) is a fitting testament to a great man of science. Sagan, who passed away recently, was one of the great communicators of science, and this book is considered by many to be his best.
Reading it was something I'll always cherish.
115 internautes sur 120 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Best Spent $14.95 In My Life 14 février 2005
Par Mylifeyourmovie - Publié sur
Ok. To keep this as short and simple as I can:
My buddy kept ranting and raving about this book almost in the same way that I am about to convey in this brief recommendation. For months he told me I should pick it up. He's been pedaling it to everyone he considers close to him, or merely to those who have even a vague interest in science or comprehension of the world around them.
I'm 20 years old. A sophomore in college. In a reflection toward how much I THINK I know, or knew rather, I have come to discover just how insignificant my "knowledge" is.

To be blunt: This book is as much an exceptionally incredible gift as it is a curse to self reflection, rational thought, and skepticism.
I've been tortured by the countless internal monologues, views, and arguments spawning from numerous points the author presents in this text. You can't help but think about how it pertains to YOU. What do you think? What do I think?
I think where I am now, or where I was more specifically, is nowhere near where I want to be.

I'm not even into science. I'm a history major. It doesn't matter. You cannot read this book from cover to cover, without getting caught up in Sagan's passion. It's not just about science. It's not just about philosophy. Or knowledge. Or history.

His opinion may vary from yours. In fact, it probably will. He may present views or arguments you choose not to acknowledge or agree with. Once again, it doesn't matter. It is precisely these elements that continually compel me to learn more about who I am and what I think of the world around me.

If I had to choose one book for any of my friends to read from start to finish, this would be the one. So I guess now it's my turn to start pedaling this book to others who might want to enlighten themselves.
And I guess this is my way of doing it.
You're already here. What more do you need to know?
48 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The final statement of a great man 29 décembre 1999
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
In an age where we are surrounded by psychic hotlines and alien abduction stories, the vast majority of the population is consistently fooled into believing the most absurd of notions. As Sagan beautifully demonstrates, this is not because of our collective intelligence, but a part of human nature. _The Demon-Haunted World_ is easily one of the most important books of this century. High school students should read this book to graduate, at least a little exposure to sense will be advantageous to our growing society. Faces on Mars, aliens, faith healers, and various other practitioners of pseudoscience swirl around us in a pool of credulism and blind faith in the most absurd of Golden Calves. Sagan brings the razor of reason to the face of fallacy and superstition and cuts off delusion and myopic belief. There is perhaps no other person who could have exposed this seldom seen part of the human being. Carl Sagan, the man who loved science so much that he felt in his heart the desire to sing it to the rest of the world, deserves the highest recognition for his accomplishments. I can think of no better than to have _The Demon-Haunted World_ shown to the whole of the world.
62 internautes sur 69 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Life changing book 24 janvier 2000
Par Ana - Publié sur
Many are turned off by science since they find it to be cold, desenchanting or even a bit nihilistic. With a clever sense of humor and easy-to read writting style, Sagan proves that science can be an awe-inspiring spiritual experience, when we are confronted with the immense complexity of nature and our universe. He reminds us how to be a good skeptic: one who is open minded to new information, but will only believe after receiving proof. (Which consists of much more than anecdotal evidence )As Sagan states "I believe that the extraordinary should be pursued. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." He urges everyone to think skeptically and to express our opinions while being respectfull of others' beliefs. Unfortunately those who would benefit from more skepticism are the ones less likely to pick up this book. It takes courage to abandon the comforts of an "all-loving" ever present god, immortality, and belief in psychic powers in exchange for the truth. However, Sagan shows us how science has greatly improved the quality of life throughout history, and how the systematic search for truth can be more rewarding than blinded-faith. We should be open minded("Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence") without being gullible. And we must remember how "wishfull thinking" does not make something true.
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