Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)
Published: July 6, 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307801047
ISBN - 13: 9780307801043
From the Publisher
"A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the
first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear
*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
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 the Author
A respected planetary scientist best known outside the field for his popularizations of astronomy, Carl Sagan was born in New York City on November 9, 1934. He attended the University of Chicago, where he received a B.A. in 1954, a B.S. in 1955, and a M.S. in 1956 in physics as well as a Ph.D. in 1960 in astronomy and astrophysics. He has several early scholarly achievements including the experimental demonstration of the synthesis of the energy-carrying molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in primitive-earth experiments. Another was the proposal that the greenhouse effect explained the high temperature of the surface of Venus. He was also one of the driving forces behind the mission of the U.S. satellite Viking to the surface of Mars. He was part of a team that investigated the effects of nuclear war on the earth's climate - the "nuclear winter" scenario. Sagan's role in developing the "Cosmos" series, one of the most successful series of any kind to be broadcast on the Public Broadcasting System, and his book The Dragons of Eden (1977) won the Pulitzer Prize in 1978. He also wrote the novel Contact, which was made into a movie starring Jodie Foster. He died from pneumonia on December 20, 1996.