This is the last book of the famous popularizer of science, astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan, which was published after his death. In it, the scientist considered the issues related to various pseudo-scientific theories and popular misconceptions among the commoners. The book consistently and vividly exposes myths about Atlantis and Lemuria, clarity and various manifestations of magic, astrology and many others.
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
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The author critically examines the stories of alien abduction – this is devoted to a significant part of the book, at the time of its release falsifications of this kind were very common. Sagan has not spared attention and is actively gaining momentum, already in our time, the conflict of the scientific community with supporters of young-family creationism, who seek to teach their views in schools, along with the theory of evolution.
Carl Sagan’s contribution to the popularization of science cannot be overestimated, for example, he has made a significant contribution to the development of the setI group of projects, which are engaged in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence today, but thanks to the support of private investors. The author was very popular with the television project “Space: A Personal Journey” of 13 episodes, in which he participated as a presenter and co-author.
Despite the fact that our views on the universe have changed and expanded since 1980, the series can also be safely recommended for viewing. You may also have watched the sci-fi film “Contact” (Hugo Award winner) starring Matthew McConaughey and Jodie Foster, based on Sagan’s book of the same name. In the scientific world, it is known, among other things, for its significant contribution to the development of the theory of global warming, as well as the hypothesis of the presence of oceans on Europa and Titan.
In the book under consideration it is not only about exposing pseudoscience, but also about skeptical, critical thinking in general. In the chapter “The Dragon in My Garage” the author gives a simple and vivid example with an invisible fire-breathing dragon, quoting it in its entirety.
“What is the difference between an invisible, disembodied, flying dragon spitting a temperature less flame and the complete absence of a dragon?” If there is no way to refute my claim if it is not possible to conduct an evidentiary experiment, what does the statement that the dragon even mean? You cannot disprove the hypothesis of the existence of an invisible dragon, but this does not mean that the hypothesis is proven or provable.”
People putting forward various “extraordinary” hypotheses and taking part in the promotion of pseudo-scientific myths can do this both because of their own ignorance or fear, and pursuing very specific selfish goals, Sagan emphasizes.
The book “A World Full of Demons” is a wonderful example of a scientific view of the world, a story about great discoveries and outstanding scientists. Our world is so amazing that there is no need to invent something, we ourselves are an example of the unimaginable miracle of nature. Science reveals amazing facts to us…
We are all made up of a variety of organic compounds, water, calcium, iron and a huge number of complex molecules. But 300,000 years after the Big Bang, only hydrogen and helium existed. From this simplest cosmic gas formed the first stars, but the stars are not eternal – they ended their lives in horrific explosions. These galactic catastrophes have thrown new heavy elements into the surrounding cosmos, created by nuclear reactions within the luminaries.
New stars were born and also exploded, and then the Sun was formed – a star of the third generation. The protoplanetary disk around our star contained a very wide range of different chemical compounds, from which the Earth eventually originated and evolved. It turns out that we and all that surrounds us – it’s stardust, so you can now read these lines – the stars explode. Your right hand may contain molecules born by one star and your left hand by another. Isn’t that amazing?