“The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.”
Where most scientists dismiss the paranormal and occult out of hand, Carl Sagan used the Demon-Haunted world as an opportunity to provide a demystifying look at the pseudo-science of the paranormal, and a rare attempt to illustrate the value of reason and critical thinking.
Carl Sagan (1934-1996), was a gifted scientist who personally accepted the challenge of making the off-putting realm of science accessible to anyone who would take the time to listen. He is best known for hosting the show Cosmos, and authoring a series of bestselling books on science. Sagan’s mission was to harness the natural curiosity of the masses, and to provide them with the tools necessary to better understand the world around them.
The Demon-Haunted World is a plain-spoken attempt to encourage readers to critically evaluate the claims they are presented with, not a dismissal of all things paranormal. The chapters in the book are relatively short, and are clearly focused on particular topics. If one was so inclined, it would be possible to skip ahead to the portions that are of the most interest. However, the entire work is of such quality that a complete reading is strongly recommended.
Sagan stresses that thinking critically requires one to be open to all evidence, both in favor and against, the question presented. Topics range from Atlantis, to evidence of Ghosts, to UFOs and even Satanic Rituals. Given Sagan’s distinguished status, each subject is given a surprising amount of respect and the evidence for and against these phenomenons is weighted in a very logical way. The purpose of the book is clearly to teach the reader to think critically by scrutinizing material specifically chosen to make the discussion as engaging as possible. While similar material was covered on his show Cosmos, the book discussions are much more in depth and cover many topics which were never seen on air.
The Demon-Haunted World is a must read for those with even a passing interest in the occult or paranormal. After reading this book, the many reality and pseudo-documentary shows on Television concerning Atlantis, Aliens, and Ghosts cannot be viewed the same way again. The Demon-Haunted World meets Sagan’s goal of ensuring that future generations will have “…a world free of demons and full of light.”