The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

The Demon-Haunted World

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,...

Details The Demon-Haunted World

TitleThe Demon-Haunted World
Release DateFeb 25th, 1997
PublisherBallantine Books
Number of pages457 pages
GenreNonfiction, Philosophy, Religion, Skepticism, Atheism, History

Reviews The Demon-Haunted World

  • Ahmad Ebaid
    المراجعة عصية على التلخيص بنفس قدر أهمية الكتاب للمهتمين بالعلوم **"المنهج العلمي على ما يبدو عليه من الغلظة والسماجة لهو أهم إلى حد بعيد من مكتشفات العلم." ذُهلت عندما وجدت الكاتب يَسْتَهِل الكتاب بالحديث بجدية لتفنيد مزاعم الأطباق الطائرة؛ فالكا...
  • Dan
    I sit before my computer, typing out a review of what is my favorite book. I’m daunted by the magnitude of this task, having just finished the book for the fourth or maybe fifth time. I wish I could remember when I bought this book, likely close to a decade ago, but I’m sure that I must have been awestruck to discover a book written by a man who has influenced my life and my interests to such a great extent.One of the great memories of my ear...
  • Chris
    I miss Carl Sagan.Ever since I was a kid, Carl Sagan has been the face of science for me. I would watch Cosmos and feel a sense of amazement that the universe was as wonderful as it was. He'd be there in his turtleneck and his blazer, smiling as though he'd just heard the coolest secret and he wanted to share it with you. And he did, except that it wasn't his secret. Hell, it wasn't a secret at all - it was the combined results of thousands of ye...
  • David
    This is a marvelous book about the consequences of a population being scientifically illiterate. There are numerous consequences, all of them bad. Most notably, the growth of superstitious beliefs can lead to terrifying witch hunts that grow and grow, leaving a broad trail of torture, execution, mass hysteria and paranoia. Interestingly, Carl Sagan holds up science and democracy as mutually supporting concepts. He cites Frederick Douglass, Benjam...
  • Lightreads
    Hey, so, guess what? People who read the Weekly World News are stupid, but scientists are awesome! Did you know that?I just put this book down, 175 pages in. It's not that I disagree with the thesis, because I actually don't at all. Sagan uses the widespread belief in alien abductions to talk about the need for more critical thinking in this world. And I'm totally there -- yes, for the love of God, teach people to distinguish between fact and wha...
  • Brad
    If Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion is a nuclear bomb in the atheist arsenal, Carl Sagan's The Demon-haunted World is an anti-personnel mine.Where Dawkins goes for maximum destruction, piling the misery and mockery on those he's battling, Sagan doesn't even acknowledge his enemy. The Demon-haunted World poses, instead (and very effectively), as a book in defense of skepticism, a book persuading the unskeptical to embrace reason in the form of op...
  • David
    Full disclosure here, I did not finish this book; I made the decision to stop reading it after around 100 pages. I kept expecting the science to start at any page, but I got tired of reading accusations that the Weekly World News and Beavis and Butt-Head are sources of ignorance and misunderstanding. I won't argue that either of these are intellectual, but at best these are forms of entertainment and that is largely a product of taste, not intell...
  • Trevor
    Sagan has been a hero of mine since I saw Cosmos years and years ago. Now that was one of the truly great science documentaries and one that, on the subject of physics, has rarely been bettered.This is a supurb book. Many people say things like, "I've no idea how people without a belief in the supernatural can bare to live in this world". Well, Sagan gives a powerful answer here. Sagan understood the infinite joy that comes from understanding som...
  • Sebastien
    Wow. Just wow. This is one of the great paeans to science, logic, and critical thinking buttressed by philosophy and deep moral sensibility. This is the first book of Sagan's I've read, I was so impressed, wonderfully written, very accessible and easy to read. He is a scientist by training, a highly critical thinker, but he is clearly a very multidimensional multitalented man. He has grounding in many other areas outside of science, including phi...
  • Melki
    . . . every question is a cry to understand the world. In a nutshell, Sagan valiantly attempts to understand why people believe weird stuff, then explains why they shouldn't. I particularly enjoyed the several excellent chapters on the importance of literacy and education. There's also a probing (Sorry!) look into alien abductions.I think this quote, included in the book, sums everything up nicely:[I]gnorance more frequently begets confidence tha...
  • Daniel Bastian
    “We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” (p. 26) The omen above was put to print in 1995 and echoed thro...
  • Mitch
    I was very disappointed in this book. I serously don't understand why people consistantly rated this book so highly. I'm really out of synch on this one...and here's why:Carl obviously had an ongoing religious relationship with science and boy, is he ever tiresome about it. What a reckless evangelist! He condemns everything that does not stand up to science's demonstrable standards (whether such application is appropriate or not) and then....he v...
  • Tyler
    Sagan shows why learning to think in a contingent universe is ... well ... absolutely necessary. My reaction first reading the book was, "I've known for a long time that something's wrong. Now I know what." The discussions the author engages in in the book are eye-openers.I cannot recommend this book to those who are highly sensitive about their credos, but on other hand, I don't think more open-minded religious people will at all see this as the...
  • John
    My first Sagan book was Cosmos, which led me to this one. While Cosmos was good, this was great. It really opened my eyes to how important science is, and the underlying principles of science, and simultaneously how organized religion is virtually 100% philosophically opposed to science.Religion: Don't think, don't reason, don't use logic. We'll (religious leaders) tell you what to think, what our god(s) wants you to think/do. Our holy book writt...
  • ✾ بسام ✾ RIHANI ✾
    وتتضافر تروس الفقر والجهل واليأس وانخفاض تقدير الذات من أجل خلق نوع من آلات الفشل دائمة الحركة التي تسحق الأحلام من جيل إلى جيل وكلنا ندفع ثمن استمرارها في الدوران، والأمية مسمار عجلتها ــ............ــإن كنت من المهتمين أو "الفانز" المتابعين لكارل ساج...
  • Rıdvan
    Bu kitap hakkında özet falan çıkarmayacağım. Zaten sürpriz bir sonu da yok kitabın. Anatemasını falan da anlatmayacağım. Sadece bana hissettirdiklerinden bahsedeceğim. Böylece nacizane okurlara artistlik yapacağım. Şöyle ki;1. Arkadaş kuşkucu olun. Özellikle şu genellemeyi yapmama müsaade edin; Türkiye'nin en önemli sorunlarından biri bu. Bilimsel bakış kuşkucu olmak demektir. Her söyleneni hap gibi yutmayın. İpe s...
  • Jason
    If Carl Sagan was alive today I think he would probably cry if he saw the state of the world. He wrote this book as a kind of wake up call to the people and the government, he pointed out how bad the education system is, he tries to get people to understand how important science is, he warns us not to watch so much crap on TV, go out and get some real-life experiences and he warns us about the government abusing the bill of rights.Well it looks l...
  • Mark
    Every human should read this book.
  • Roy Lotz
    I’m not sure what potential audience Sagan had in mind for this book, and I’m doubly unsure if I’m in it. I doubt you will be sure, either; and this tension is one that runs through the whole of the book. Perhaps this is unavoidable. For, when a popular scientist writes a book, his readership is more than likely to consist, in the main, of reasonable and skeptical people; thus, when he spends the entirety of the work attempting to inculcate...
  • Arthur
    I wish I could give 6 stars to this book (but I guess that just indicates that I give 5 stars too easily). Carl Sagan covers a lot of ground in this book. One of his most important themes is that the scientific method is the best tool we have for separating fact from fantasy. He laments that a general lack of skepticism leads many people to believe in superstitions that can be easily explained. He devotes several chapters to the widespread belief...
  • melydia
    Have you ever read something that filled you with such furvor that you wanted to write your own thoughts along those same lines, but whenever you tried you found you did nothing but repeat the original article?That's been me all over the place with The Demon-Haunted World. I want to ramble about the wonder of science, the importance of skepticism, the fact that school all but completely robbed me of any desire to learn, the dangers of pseudoscien...
  • Orcun Ayata
    Aslında bitiremedim. Sebebi de basım değil, epub halini okuduğumdan dolayı gereğinden çok daha fazla yazım hatası olması. Dolayısı ile biraz da eski konular olduğundan dolayı bu beni kitaptan uzaklaştırdı. Ben de zorlamadan, tadında bırakma kararı verdim. Basılısını bulursam tabii ki seve seve okuyacağım. Verdiğim 4 yıldız, kitabın yarısına kadarki kısmına verdiğim puandır. Ayrıca bunu paylaşırken farkettim ...
  • Ivonne Rovira
    “All science asks is to employ the same levels of skepticism we use in buying a used car or in judging the quality of analgesics or beer from their television commercials.”Carl Sagan in The Demon-Haunted WorldThe Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark will turn 20 years old next year, but it’s just as relevant as when Carl Sagan first wrote it. Actually, more relevant. While Sagan had to deal with cigarette manufacturers pooh...
  • Ryan
    I might well be a fan of everything Carl Sagan ever wrote or said. His ability to effortlessly move and inform never ceases to amaze me. If Carl Sagans were more common and not just someone who turned up once in a generation the ignorance and scientific illiteracy that forms the basis for this book may hardly exist at all.This one gets 4 stars and not the full 5. Not because Sagan's thoughts and writing isn't as great at ever but because Sagan is...
  • Greg Brozeit
    I consider this book to be among the most important in my library. Carl Sagan wrote it when he knew he was dying of cancer. He had an unmatched gift of conveying and explaining science to make it understandable and relevant to non-scientists. For that reason alone, it is not far-fetched to list him among the great scientific minds of the 20th century.In this valedictory statement of scientific philosophy, Sagan elevates the idea and relevance of ...
  • Veronica Bolts
    As an ordinary non-scientific person, it is common to perceive information through a two dimension. The Demon – Haunted World on the contrary, leads the non – scientific reader to filter information through a three dimensional viewpoint. To mistake false information as valid without questioning the sources or claims being made is quite prevalent, thanks to social media. For example why do people believe in memes that circulate on the web at f...
  • Brooke
    For a while now, I've been saying that I need to start reading some non-fiction. For all the time I spend reading, some of that time should be spent learning about things that are new to me. But then I'd groan and say that I'm not yet far enough removed from being a student to be able to do that for fun.A GoodReads friend recommended this one during a discussion of sleep paralysis and aliens, and I decided that I should approach this like ripping...
  • Lou
    If you think you're open minded, you are not, until you've read this book. Give it a try. I dare you.--Wag--
  • Guilherme Passos
    Nossa, enquanto escrevo ainda to com coração disparado e meu olho ainda está cheio de lágrimas. Quantos sentimentos passaram por mim lendo esse livro, caramba!Essa obra é um apanhado de todas as ideias propostas por Sagan, com suas devidas correções e inserções. Nele podemos encontrar conceitos citados em CosmosCosmos, Bilhões e Bilhões: Reflexões sobre a vida e a morte na virada do milênioBilhões e Bilhões e até em ContatoContato...
  • Erin
    I hesitated to mark this as "Read" because I couldn't actually get through the whole thing. I was SO excited to read this book: I was under the impression that Sagan systematically explained in reasonable and scientific terms some of the myths and phenomena present in Western culture, and I thought it would be interesting to see how these things came about.That's not what it is. From the first about 100 pages, I gather that a) Sagan is reeeaaalll...