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Science as a Key to Understanding

Smacholdt's picture

 In his book Sagan reminds us that science is of vital importance and it is perilous to forget or ignore it. On page 10 he reminds the reader that, “Abandoning science means abandoning more than air conditioning, CD players, hair dryers and fast cars.” He debunks pseudo science by pointing out that pseudo science hypotheses are framed in such a way that they cannot be proved or disproved. But then again, science is also not always about certainties.

Sagan points out again and again that science is the way forward for our society, however, he is not as fixed in his view of what science is as other scientists. Many scientific minds dismiss religion but Sagan seems to feel that both have a place in our society. However, he point out that religion was an early way to explain scientific phenomenon and that “demons” were our earliest gods. However, he also points out that this was a way for people to explain things that they could not understand- like the unexplained weight some people felt on their chests while trying to sleep (p118). I think that in large part, in his book Sagan is trying to convey that myths and folklore were how people understood the world hundreds of years ago, but now science has taken the place of these stories to explain things that are difficult to understand.



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