I chose to do my book report on The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan for a few reasons. First, I thought this would be a perfect book for me to focus on because it really questions and challenges, just like this class, my previous beliefs. I have been raised to believe more in pseudoscience rather than science and in this book Sagan discusses why this is problematic for our society. Sagan begins the book with stating that scientific illiteracy amongst Americans is so high and extremely dangerous. Sagan questions why Americans are not more skeptical about what popular culture feeds us, which according to him, is essentially “dumbing us down.” Sagan reflects on the lower emphasis and lower tests results in mathematics and sciences amongst American students and how science works among our own political leaders. Sagan also dedicates chapters to discuss what has happened when science has disproved extremely popular religious beliefs, such as witch hunts, exorcisms, demons, Gods, and devils. Sagan suggests that we do not all have to be professional scientists in order to apply the scientific method in order to make scientific conclusions or opinions. Sagan merely suggests that everyone should use science, not just pseudoscience, when evaluating things such as UFO’s, demons, dreams or hallucinations, etc.
If you guys are interested in learning more from Carl Sagan, but do not want to buy the book... they have the audio version on YouTube for free!!