The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Science lost one of its most eloquent and persuasive spokesmen with the death last month of Carl Sagan. While he was best known as an astronomer and planetary scientist, The Demon-Haunted World should remind us that his interests were far broader than that. Here, he addresses at greater length some questions of pseudoscience that he briefly discussed in Sunday Parade magazine articles. But he also writes about many others, including aliens and UFO's, witchcraft, spoofing and the cold war, hallucinations, and the nature of scientific evidence and proof. I think that teachers will especially find Chapter 12, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection" to be a handbook for dealing with irrational student beliefs in pseudoscience. Chapters 19 and 20, "No Such Thing as a Dumb Question" and "House on Fire" deal specifically with the state of science education in the U. S. Every teacher of science should read them.

Pick Attribution: 

Carl Sagan

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 1997