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1996 "First Edition" stated on copyright page; Random House publishers, New York; hardbound with black boards and gilt stamp lettering along spine; decorative dust jacket; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.

 

Description -

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is a 1995 book by astrophysicist Carl Sagan, in which the author aims to explain the scientific method to laypeople, and to encourage people to learn critical and skeptical thinking. He explains methods to help distinguish between ideas that are considered valid science and those that can be considered pseudoscience. Sagan states that when new ideas are offered for consideration, they should be tested by means of skeptical thinking and should stand up to rigorous questioning.

 

Dragon in the Garage -

As an example of skeptical thinking, Sagan offers a story concerning a fire-breathing dragon that lives in his garage. When he persuades a rational, open-minded visitor to meet the dragon, the visitor remarks that they are unable to see the creature. Sagan replies that he "neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon". The visitor suggests spreading flour on the floor so that the creature's footprints might be seen, which Sagan says is a good idea, "but this dragon floats in the air". When the visitor considers using an infra-red camera to view the creature's invisible fire, Sagan explains that the fire is heatless. He continues to counter every proposed physical test with a reason why the test will not work.

 

Sagan concludes by asking: "Now what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true."

 

 

The Demon-Haunted World, Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan

SKU: BS120n
$35.00Price