Back Cover Blurb
- Are we on the brink of a new Dark Age of irrationality and superstition?
- In this stirring, brilliantly argued book, internationally respected scientist Carl Sagan shows how scientific thinking is necessary to safeguard our democratic institutions and our technical civilisation. From an American president consulting horoscopes to a medieval court burning nine-year-old 'witches', Sagan shows the hazards of scientific ignorance. Convincingly debunking alien abduction, mediums, faith-healing fraud, and other modern-day 'demons', he also refutes the argument that science destroys spirituality, asks why scientific study is often stigmatized, and provides a ‘boloney detection kit’ for thinking through political, social and other issues.
- 'This is a stimulating study of science as, at its best, a positively inspirational answer to the irrational rituals that, at their worst, threaten the planet. Sagan helps us accept the world as it is, not as a fakeloric fantasy.'
→ Alan Bold, Glasgow Herald
- 'A brilliant populariser of astronomy and space science ... Sagan's writing is as lucid and stylish as ever.'
→ Clive Cookson, Financial Times
- 'My candidate for planetary ambassador can be none other than Carl Sagan himself. He is wise, humane, polymathic, witty, well read, and incapable of composing a dull sentence.'
→ Richard Dawkins, The Times
- 'No one has ever succeeded in conveying the wonder, excitement and joy of science as widely as Carl Sagan and few as well ... His ability to capture the imagination of millions and to explain difficult concepts in understandable terms is a magnificent achievement.'
→ The National Academy of Sciences, on awarding Carl Sagan its highest honour in 1994
Back Cover Blurb
Preface: My Teachers
- The Most Precious Thing
- Science and Hope
- The Man in the Moon and the Face on Mars
- Spoofing and Secrecy
- The Demon-Haunted World
- On the Distinction between True and False Visions
- The Dragon in My Garage
- The City of Grief
- The Fine Art of Baloney Detection
- Obsessed with Reality
- Newton's Sleep
- When Scientists Know Sin
- The Marriage of Scepticism and Wonder
- The Wind Makes Dust
- No Such Thing as a Dumb Question
- House on Fire*
- The Path to Freedom*
- Significance Junkies
- Maxwell and The Nerds
- Science and Witchcraft*
- Real Patriots Ask Questions*
* Written with Ann Druyan
Headline Book Publishing, 1997. Paperback.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)