Carl Sagan's Demon-Haunted World

by SweetBabyCheezits 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • SweetBabyCheezits

    Full PDF online...

    For anyone not familiar, this is a book that contrasts science and pseudoscience/superstition. It's gold.

  • cofty

    Thanks for the link.

  • sabastious

    You guys are in an atheist cult! Worshiping Carl Sagan! Do you pratice shunning?


  • SweetBabyCheezits

    Quite welcome, Sir Cofty!

    And, Brother Sab, I only shun ugly babies.

    Ugh! lookat it!

  • unshackled

    BTTT for Cheez and Carl.

    And damn...where did you dig up that baby pic of Tony Clifton?

  • iamwhoiam

    Paranormality by Dr. Wiseman is a very good book also if you want to check it out. Even has some cult related things in there.

  • SweetBabyCheezits
    And damn...where did you dig up that baby pic of Tony Clifton?

    That's my daughter you son of a beast!

  • EntirelyPossible

    I endorse this book. It's quite excellent.

  • aSphereisnotaCircle

    Demon haunted world is called the bible around my house.

  • leavingwt

    For those unfamiliar with this book, Wikipedia has an article about it, including this summary of the themes discussed within:

    In the book, Sagan states that if a new idea continues in existence after an examination of the propositions has revealed it to be false, it should then be acknowledged as a supposition. Skeptical thinking essentially is a means to construct, understand, reason, and recognize valid and invalid arguments. Wherever possible, there must be independent validation of the concepts whose truth should be proved. He states that reason and logic would succeed once the truth is known. Conclusions emerge from premises, and the acceptability of the premises should not be discounted or accepted because of bias.

    As an example, Sagan relates the story from the Chapter "The Dragon In My Garage" (which he notes follows a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard L. Franklin [ 1 ] ) of the invisible fire-breathing dragon living in his garage. He asks, "what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true."

    Sagan presents a set of tools for skeptical thinking which he calls the "baloney detection kit". Skeptical thinking consists both of constructing a reasoned argument and recognizing a fallacious or fraudulent one. In order to identify a fallacious argument, Sagan suggests the employment of such tools as independent confirmation of facts, quantification and the use of Occam's razor. Sagan's "baloney detection kit" also provides tools for detecting "the most common fallacies of logic and rhetoric", such as argument from authority and statistics of small numbers. Through these tools, Sagan argues the benefits of a critical mind and the self-correcting nature of science can take place.

    Sagan provides a skeptical analysis of several examples of what he refers to as superstition, fraud, pseudoscience and religious beliefs, such as gods, witches, UFOs, ESP and faith healing.

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