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The Demon Haunted World

EVD's picture

I'm really enjoying reading The Demon Haunted World and I'm not sure if it is just because I agree with his ideas....but what I know for sure is that if I had come up with these ideas myself, I never would have found a way to convey them so well without offending the religious or the uneducated as Sagan does. I am impressed with how Sagan is able to discuss peoples' beliefs about the supernatural, for example, without insulting those who believe in things a scientist might deem outrageous. For example, on p. 30 Sagan writes "If you want to know when the next eclipse of the sun will be, you might try magicians or mystics, but you'll do much better with scientists. They will tell you where on Earth to stand, when you have to be there, and whether it will be a partial eclipse, a total eclipse, or an annular eclipse." By using this type of logic, Sagan doesn't have to say outright that asking a magician to predict an eclipse is ridiculous. He compares supernatural and scientific predictions as if they are both equally as useful to show that, in this case, science is right. By not immediately dismissing the supernatural, he also avoids dismissing religion, for example, all together and so appeals to a broader audience. I can't help but wonder if Sagan thinks people who believe in the supernatural really are stupid and he just writes in this careful way so that this audience might not dismiss his ideas.

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