Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A book with a misleading title
Book: The Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan
The subtitle of this book gives a clearer vie of what it's about: "Science as a Candle in the Dark." It's about science, skepticism, hoaxes, and evaluating evidence. It was recommended to me as a book that's useful in reasoning with flat-earthers.
Part of the book's appeal is that Sagan doesn't condescend. He acknowledges that he would love it if alien encounters turned out to be real, or if there was proof of communication with the dead. And if new evidence emerged, he'd look at it fairly, but currently the evidence for either goes in the same category as the medieval belief in witches. He has harsh words for fake "faith healers" who get rich off staged "cures," but doesn't sneer at religion in general.
He offered suggestions for teaching scientific literacy in schools and media, and warned of dire consequences otherwise. Thirty years later, in a world with climate change denialism and the news reduced to a shouting match, it's clear his warnings should have been heeded.
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