Monday, August 6, 2018

The Demon-Haunted World Review

Immediately as I saw this book on the list I knew it was going to pull me in, this book is all about why people believe in things that to a skeptic sound crazy. The book starts out with Sagan getting off of a plane and into a car with a driver that was sent for him. In this car the driver asks Sagan many questions which he believes are very scientific although they are all pseudoscience. Over the course of the book Sagan discusses why people believe pseudoscience. There is an emphasis on critical thinking and how it is a tool to combat pseudoscience.
My favorite part in the book is from chapter ten the dragon in my garage, the imaginary conversation that Sagan has is very reminiscent of children playing a game they made up and adding rules in their favor when they want to. In my experience this is how people react when someone tries to challenge what they believe. There is no winning with a person who has this kind of attitude because anything that you say to dispel their claims gets met with a new factor that they conveniently didn’t tell you about before, such as the UFO they took a picture of is invisible. This book relates to the course because it deals with a lot of the same pseudoscience examples that we learned about in the lectures.
The baloney detection kit in this book can be used in real life to analyze pseudoscience and help ourselves to disprove it. It may not be able to be used to convince others on a wide scale but it can be used on a personal level. The baloney detection kit may be able to be taught to other people o help them identify the baloney they believe.

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