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little_dreamer

Carl Sagan book - "The Demon-Haunted World"

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I read Carl Sagan's book "The Demon-Haunted World" (1997) about eight years ago. Unfortunately I don't have this book now, it seems to have disappeared in my many travels.

In the book, he dismisses almost all paranormal phenomenon, such as aliens, ghosts, etc. He suggests sleep paralysis, etc as a cause.

He also is critical of pseudosciences such as astrology, crystals, etc. In short, if it can't be tested using the scientific method, it doesn't exist as far as he was concerned.

He notes that certain religious groups consider all aliens to be demonic manifestations, and that if aliens really visited Earth in the future, such a belief could be disasterous.

Sagan himself was an athiest. He died of cancer around the time this book was published.

I thought he was a good scientist. I certainly want my scientists to be as skeptical as possible.

I was curious to see if anyone has read this book here.

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I read Carl Sagan's book "The Demon-Haunted World" (1997) about eight years ago. Unfortunately I don't have this book now, it seems to have disappeared in my many travels.

In the book, he dismisses almost all paranormal phenomenon, such as aliens, ghosts, etc. He suggests sleep paralysis, etc as a cause.

He also is critical of pseudosciences such as astrology, crystals, etc. In short, if it can't be tested using the scientific method, it doesn't exist as far as he was concerned.

He notes that certain religious groups consider all aliens to be demonic manifestations, and that if aliens really visited Earth in the future, such a belief could be disasterous.

Sagan himself was an athiest. He died of cancer around the time this book was published.

I thought he was a good scientist. I certainly want my scientists to be as skeptical as possible.

I was curious to see if anyone has read this book here.

I read the book and I loved it. But I felt sad at the same time because supernatural events are like using cheat keys in video games.

To many people, supernatural phenomenons can be seen as shortcuts. I guess tons of folks at UM forums love to hate Dr. Sagan.

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Gosh, guess he knows the truth now, eh ?

;)

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I'm reading this book now :) and I'm such a huge fan of Carl Sagan, "The Cosmos" moved me to tears at points.

I apologize in advance -I wax poetic on this issue:

---------------------

While I've always been fairly skeptical by nature, the truly rigorous and methodical skepticism that Sagan applies to all these phenomena is impressive. Slowly but surely he picks apart everything from crop-circles to OBEs...

His case is horrendously compelling, too compelling to ignore and leaves one feeling....

Well a little sad. I've never truly believed but to have the wind totally taken out of my sails like that, the world definitely loses some magic. Much as when one goes to the theater or watches a movie, concerning these matters I have willfully suspended my disbelief in order to take in the show.

Thats almost exclusively why I come to UM -its almost all nonsense but so fun to read!

Yet this is magic od a lower order...

Sagan's book leaves me feeling stupid in my consciouse naivete, childish for thinking that I could convince myself the world is otherwise. I feel ashamed frankly. A battle with reason is futile.

And yet there's a something very beautiful and hopeful in it: Sagan calls us to revel in the beauty of the world, to find a source of inspiration in so many of the wonders that science has shown us. His call is one that appeals to people such as myself -cognisant of the every day majesty that surrounds us yet filling the dark corners of our ignorance with ghosts and aliens: just for fun.

It is somewhat disengenuous to engage these phenomena like a carnival attraction; knowing deep down it is merely an amusement and always somewhat mocking of those who genuinely believe it. I feel almost predatory, condescending to people who for whatever reason see the world this way. This was wrong of me. It is an attitude I think you will find pervasive around the skeptics here, a gleeful relish at bursting bubbles and knocking people down.

I dont mean to apologize for magical thinking of course, it has a bloody past in itself, serves as a barrier to progress in the sciences and often leads people totally astray on fruitless and sometimes ultimately painful endeavors. The skeptic on the other hand shold be a compassionate, unbiased and democratic ear, wont to probe in earnest and not to make fools of others for sport.

In the end I think this book has a positive message: that even without spectres and demons, angels and aliens, the universe and the human experience should overwhelm us with awe, fill us with pride in our witness and knowledge-

When the gods have died and beauty is no longer something outside us, man will claim his rightful place in the cosmos.

And that shall be the first day...

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Carl Sagan is probably my favorite scientist of all time; Cosmos is excellent!

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I'm not a die-hard skeptic about everything. I get a lot of entertainment value reading about the paranormal.

I'm content to say "I don't know conclusively" about a lot of subjects.

But politians and scientists should be held to a higher standard, and should know the difference between

real science and junk science. Especially when their decisions dictate public policy.

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I'm not a die-hard skeptic about everything. I get a lot of entertainment value reading about the paranormal.

I'm content to say "I don't know conclusively" about a lot of subjects.

But politians and scientists should be held to a higher standard, and should know the difference between

real science and junk science. Especially when their decisions dictate public policy.

I read the book when it came out, but carl segan never said that he didn't belive in aliens, but rather there was no proof that there was aliens visiting the earth.Infact I thought he belived that there had to be other advanced civilizations out there but the chances of them comming here to the eath was not very high.Carl segan was awsome and had alot of knowledge and ideas, but there are other very serious scientists out there that have other views on the subjects of paranormal phenomenon, as well as life on other planets.

There was a quantum physicist who said, "imagine that another civilization out there is billions of years ahead of us in science and technology, they may have the ability to travel from on point of the universe to another in a matter of seconds, or even interdimensional travel is a possibility as well.So it is reasonable to say that it is very possible that even a small percentage of ufo sightings are real and you can not just dismiss it all together as pure fantasy".

Either way it does not really matter, because carl segan was awsome and he just seemed to have this ability to spark the interests of peoples imaginations to the possibilities in this world and of our understanding of the universe.He always seemed like he was an open minded skeptic who did all he could to seek out knoledge of the unknown and traverse the mysteries of the universe using scietific methods.

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I wonder if it is really so good.

If I had to belive the book at everything I probably would have to say that I don't excist to. :alien:

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I just started researching Carl Sagan and was wondering if anyone knows if he was also a psychic, or more importantly, a Prophet?

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I think he'd hate being called that.

He was a scientist.

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Posted (edited)

He was a great teacher, but he was misguided for failing to see intellect behind order, suggesting that he had a low IQ.

"God does not play dice with the universe" Albert Einstein

There is a big difference between having creative thoughts and creative thinkers.

Edited by Raptor Witness

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Posted (edited)

He was a great teacher, but he was misguided for failing to see intellect behind order, suggesting that he had a low IQ.

"God does not play dice with the universe" Albert Einstein

There is a big difference between having creative thoughts and creative thinkers.

Einstein was in denial. Perhaps you need a higher IQ to have known what he meant.

http://www.hawking.o...-play-dice.html

Edited by Rlyeh
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I think trying to pin belief, disbelief ot ambivalence on intelligent is misguided.

More often than not a persons experiences define their system. Some rectify their understanding of the universe with the idea of a higher power, others don't feel the need to.

Ultimately it's about whatever lets you sleep at night

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I spoke with a physicist about aliens. An alien race must have the ability and knowledge to create a sun, only under these circumstances they could travel to the earth. But if they had that knowledge they wouldnt have any interest in the earth, that`s what he said. (He explained it in depth but I am not a physicist. .p sorry :P )

He also said there could be beeings on earth which humans can´t notice, because of the human percipience and the composition of the beeings.

Anyway most of the so called paranomal is bull**** in my opinion. But I certainly won`t deny that humans have far more to ofter than what science believes.

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i read the book, then later on youtube listened to the audiobook! Loved it

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Einstein was in denial. Perhaps you need a higher IQ to have known what he meant.

http://www.hawking.o...-play-dice.html

You worked real hard to refute my argument. How about something with a little meat to explain yourself.

Sagan was a pothead, and that alone tells me he had a low IQ. It's fun, but it doesn't help make you smarter.

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Yeah, people like Richard Feynman, Thomas Jefferson...total low IQ class there of pot smokers.

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Posted (edited)

You worked real hard to refute my argument. How about something with a little meat to explain yourself.

Sagan was a pothead, and that alone tells me he had a low IQ. It's fun, but it doesn't help make you smarter.

Is quote mining really even an argument? If you bothered to look up Einstein's quote, he said it because he disliked the randomness in QM.

How about you work on your reading comprehension skills, that is if your low IQ allows you.

Edited by Rlyeh

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I have Carl Sagan's book "Demon Haunted World" and it is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

Mr.Sagan is respectful without pandering to any particular belief and does what any scientist or thinking person should be

doing and that is to analyze claims without mindlessly accepting them without and evidence to back it.

The example of the invisible dragon in the garage was a funny one because it accurately described the course of how most claims progress. No matter what solutions or tests you suggest to apply, the claimant will adamantly claim they know better about their own claims and why no real tests would work.

I would like to see school students reading books like this that introduce them to real thinking and showing them how to analyze obviously ludicrous claims.

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Is quote mining really even an argument? If you bothered to look up Einstein's quote, he said it because he disliked the randomness in QM.

How about you work on your reading comprehension skills, that is if your low IQ allows you.

I don't think you even understood what my argument was in the first place. So speak for yourself, please.

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I don't think you even understood what my argument was in the first place. So speak for yourself, please.

The difference being is I understood the quote even if you didn't.

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The difference being is I understood the quote even if you didn't.

You haven't a clue what I meant. You just jumped to a conclusion without thinking it through, and now are lost in a hazy cloud of smoke.

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You worked real hard to refute my argument. How about something with a little meat to explain yourself.

Sagan was a pothead, and that alone tells me he had a low IQ. It's fun, but it doesn't help make you smarter.

One of the most ignorant comments I've read in all my time here at UM, no other response is warranted.

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Since we are quoting Einstein: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

They are two different disciplines, but there were and are quite a few scientists with religious faith and many have led to important discoveries. King Solomon was an avid naturalist as can be seen in his proverbs; he loved and studied the natural world and would be considered a scientist of his day, should he therefore have nothing to say about God and religion? And I believe the very last sentence of "The Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin acknowledges evolution by natural selection to a Creator. That would almost make Darwin a scientific heretic in the eyes of hard core evolutionists today. So even those we considered men of faith loved science and those we often consider only as scientists have a personal faith as well.

I prefer to think that God gave us a brain to interpret our world and we may use science to do that, among other disciplines, but not science alone. Many will argue otherwise. Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Edited by Sundew

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