45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At night a candle's brighter than the sun...
The blurb on the back cover says; "...Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks...witchcraft, faith healing and UFOs" - this he does but it is not really the main point of the book.
Sagan never sets out to trash some compendium of "new age" beliefs or all the paranormal and paraphyschological bunk that is currently doing the rounds. Instead, he uses examples...
Published on 15 Jun 2007 by Sir Barnabas
2.0 out of 5 stars The demon-haunted World. Science as a candle in the dark
This book is badly printed and in fact I have given it up as the print face is too light and almost unreadable.
Published 7 months ago by Agnes Knight
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect capture of a passion for science,
This review is from: The Demon-haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark (Library Binding)
Few people capture love and passion for science in such a way that Carl Sagan do - both in his personality on stage or on video, and here in book. "The Demon-Haunted World" can clearly make anyone passionate about science and exploration.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
What is there to say about this book thats not been said already? I'd heard so much about it already & had been waiting to read it for ages. It didn't disappoint, excellent read. Some great subjects, fascinating stuff about the witch hunts, UFO abductions, the satanic panic etc, etc.
5.0 out of 5 stars Time for a new edition,
Grateful as I am to have this grand work in the shelf, surely some kind publisher will reprint with an intro from Dawkins or some such luminary.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good,
Very informative. Best of its type in print. I would definately reccommend this book to all who have an interest in the subject
5.0 out of 5 stars Carl Sagan, we still miss you,
A great communicator and advocate for Science, Carl Sagan has left a void not yet filled today. This book should be on the shelf of everyone and a mandatory reading in schools.
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid reasoning,
I have just finished listening to the audio version and am very impressed.
It was acutally a much better book than what I have expected.
After Dawkins, whom I like, I expected more ranting, however in this
case Mr Sagan presents a balanced worldview while warning of chilling
consequences. I especially liked his humuanist approach to normal people
who might believe in the supernatural.
After reading the book, I am more certain than ever that any school
wanting to have a really positive impact on young people, should have
science and the scientific method including humanism and scepticism, at
its heart. I hope my children will go to such a school, possibly a
Dawkin's foundation's schools, if we can afford it.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing. Life-affirming.,
In this book Carl Sagan argues that science is not something that begins and ends in the laboratory, but is a way of thinking that is vital to peace and democracy. And he argues his case convincingly, using examples of when science (rational, objective reasoning) has given way to credulity and superstition. Living in the times that we do, when half the world's most powerful nation are duped by a man peddling lies, this book seems vital and important. If it were possible, I'd ensure that every home would have a copy of this book and that it would be on every school syllabus. One of the most important books of our age, and one of the best books I have ever read. If you don't own a copy, now's your chance. You won't be disappointed.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading...,
As a widely acclaimed scientist, Carl Sagan has written an important book at the dawn of a new millennium, advocating science and debunking credulous claims of the supernatural and pseudoscientific.
Sagan begins with his childhood fascination with the nature of the universe and shows how an open-minded, scientific mind can see the obvious truth in a superstitious world. He goes on to illustrate the progression of human gullibility throughout the ages, from belief in angles, demos, witches, fairies, to more contempory paradigms such as the visitation of extraterrestrials from other dimensions. Striking "coincidental" parallels are drawn between these superstitions, such the sexual undercurrents and paralyzing abilities of incubi, sucubi and aliens.
Using brute-force scientific reasoning, Sagan successfully disproves the existence of UFOs, the healing powers of faith-healers, crop circles designed by extraneous entities, the validity of astrology etc... and hence reading, many would find these claims impossible to believe.
The first half of the book is packed with entertaining information, which will delight skeptics and scientists. Unfortunately Sagan, as a renowned scientist, is not the greatest writer. The book could be better structured and more concise. He has a tendency to state his thesis, and then assiduously ramble on to the point of banality. The latter half of the book is a tiresome advocation of science in today's age supported by superfluous, irrelevant information; for example, the historical opponents of science, the beneficial practical applications of science, the deterioration of science in America's educational system, literacy as an emancipator of slavery, politics and science, to the lack of science on television etc.. As somebody not from America, I believe his supporting arguments could be more "scientific" and less localized.
Apart from its misgivings, this book is highly recommended as a conscious raiser to the fallaciousness of the supernatural haunting our world today.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read this book,
By A Customer
this is the best book i have ever read. i have never read a book which echoed what i was thinking so clearly. it is a passionate argument for science and is a breath of fresh air in a world where superstition and other new ae rubbish is taken seriously. read this to reassure yourself that there is some sanity and rational thought left in the world.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring book.,
An amazing read . I think this is a great companion book to keep on the shelf with the God delusion ( by Richard Dawkins).
Here the late Carl Sagan takes a gentler approach at showing the terrible inhumanities caused by religious dogma and the its opposite relative of dark superstition and the suffering both unleashed.
In this wonderful book the late carl sagan lights a candle in the dark and shows us how science and reasoning still hasmuch to overcome .
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The Demon-haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan (Library Binding - 26 Jun 2008)