Academic journal article et Cetera

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

Academic journal article et Cetera

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

Article excerpt

Professor Carl Sagan, who has made a life's work conveying the wonder, excitement, and joy of science to the general public, worries that as the Millennium approaches a gullible populace may be susceptible to the fraudulent claims of the pseudosciences (faith healing, channeling, astrology, UFO abductions, etc.). Many of the articles and essays in this book focus on debunking those claims.

Sagan cogently points out that the method of science is the best tool that we have for advancing reliable knowledge. This method is characterized by built-in error correcting devices and it encourages a sense of skepticism and wonder in its practitioners. Unlike the pseudosciences the scientific method is predicated on the bedrock principle "Mistrust arguments from authority" (though Sagan acknowledges that, "Scientists, being primates, and thus given to dominance hierarchies, of course do not always follow this commandment.") .

Sagan argues that the findings and the methods of science be made available to the public on the broadest scale. To this end he implores his scientific colleagues to talk about their work to gatherings of the lay public. He also believes that although newspapers and TV can give us a glimpse of science, the best way to popularize it is through textbooks, popular books, CD-Roms, and laser disks. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.