Thursday, July 12, 2012

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan is an author who focuses on skeptical inquiry.  His book, The Demon-Haunted World, is one in which his disbelief is presented.  In this book he focuses on the fact that skepticism must be proved with a validated truth in order to be accepted or before conclusions can be made.  He analyzes many different examples such as UFO’s, fairies, and witchcraft.  He is excited about science and looks to science as an “intellectual challenge” in order to find truth.  Sagan regularly discusses the gullibility of many people and how he frequently has to “let them down” with scientific evidence. 

Sagan spent much time explaining the falsification and mystification which is presented by the advertising industry.  He explains how influential the repetitive imagery is to impressionable viewers.  This industry is the cause of why the public believes in pseudoscience, because they can make people believe almost anything.  The public is exposed to all of these topics (aliens, witches, etc.) on a daily basis through television, movies, books, and tabloids.  Sagan always explains how the pseudoscience was first made public so we can better understand why the topic is so popular today.  This important part of the book is a reminder of what we learned about subliminal advertising and the effects that it has on the public.  If you don't remember the Derren Brown video in the lectures it is posted below.


One quote that I really enjoyed from this book was “it is much easier to present pseudoscience to the general public than science.” (17)  It really does sum up Sagan’s argument in this book.  I enjoyed his book because he makes everything easily understood with scientific proof.  I also like how he talks about the gullibility of the public because before this class, I can admit that I believed in many of the pseudoscience beliefs we have learned about.  This book shows how important it is to think critically.  Throughout the book he repeatedly reminds us to ask questions, and that is the best thing that I have learned from this book.  

 Carl Sagan is such an interesting man who talks about great topics.  This is the second book I have read of his and was even more interesting than the first one.  I recommend listening to this interview.

No comments:

Post a Comment