"A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought."
*Los Angeles Times
"POWERFUL . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing."
*The Washington Post Book World
How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don't understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.
Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.
"A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity."
*San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
About Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan was the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University; Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology; and the cofounder and President of the Planetary Society, the largest space-interest group in the world. For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, he was an adviser on the Mariner, Voyager, and Viking unmanned space missions, and he briefed astronauts for journeys to the moon. His Peabody Award-winning public television series, Cosmos, has been seen by more than 500 million people in over sixty countries, and the accompanying book spent seventy weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. The author of thirty books, Sagan was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence in 1978, and his novel Contact, is now a major motion picture.
In their posthumous award to Dr. Sagan of their highest honor, the National Science Foundation declared that his research transformed planetary science ... his gifts to mankind were infinite.