Saturday, July 27, 2019


Carl Sagan’s Book; The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, was published in 1994 yet many of Sagan’s comments and concerns are still relevant for today’s audience. It is written in such a way so that people not particularly interested in science or psychology can understand rather complex and confusing subjects. This is accomplished by straight forward logical writing. There are no unnecessary words or large sections of loosely connected hearsay. One of the objectives of this book is to try and close the many gaps that popular media and recurring phenomena has made for UFO sightings/abductions to demonic/angelic visitations. Another objective is to show that real science has topics that are just as interesting as the fake stuff, has the added benefit of being true and therefore more satisfying to learn about. Most importantly though Sagan dose not treat the reader and therefor the public as massive group of illogical morons that need to be told by a superior being what the correct answers are. He knows that there is a larger amount of people who want to know more but are having a hard time finding the real scientific findings among all the mainstream articles that claim to be science.       

My favorite chapter of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is chapter 10; Theirs a Dagon in my garage. The chapter focuses on the how people will make “logical” excuses for things or ideas that illogical. The example Sagan uses is that of a dragon that has taken residents in his garage, however when someone comes around who want to test out this claim there always some explanation to why a current test wouldn’t work on the dragon. It gets to appoint were this dragon as more out of this world abilities then an average anime protagonist. I like it mostly for the humor. It’s funny visual, gesturing to a pocket of empty air and proudly proclaiming “here; be a dragon!”, then as people ask questions you make things up to negate/ shut down further inquiries, by the end of it your saying “here; be an invisible, perpetual hovering, incorporeal dragon that breaths cold fire!”. It Is a useful pattern for recognizing potential pseudoscientific claims, such as mythical beast, hoaxes, and objects with unheard of properties. Something to keep in mind, if a question about an extraordinary topic are proceeded by statements that reveal even more extraordinary properties the topic itself might not be based the same reality we all live in. As I read I began to rethink my stance on topics like UFOs, Atlantic, mythical animals and other topics that claim to have science behind it.

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