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Publisher's Summary

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.

Introductory music from the original score for Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey composed by Alan Silvestri, used with permission from Cosmos Studios, Inc. and Chappers Music. All rights reserved. Special thanks to Fuzzy Planets, Inc.

©1996 Carl Sagan (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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  • DT
  • 09-05-17

Cary's new career

I should have known that Cary would be a fantastic reader. Great book and readers.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Carl Sagan is Astounding!

This was the first book to which I've listened from Carl Sagan and it is amazing! I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Carl Sagan expounds at length on the virtues of skepticism and the scientific method and how it has brought the world out of extreme superstition and greatly elevated the overall status of humanity and implores humanity to maintain a strong dedication to education and learning of science and math in order to better humanity so that we don't fall back into the wretched ways of the past.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Phenomenal

If, 1000 years from now, this book is the only surviving record of human existence, I will not be content. I will be dead. However, if I were paradoxically still alive, I would be content.

45 of 51 people found this review helpful

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The importance of rational skepticism.

An amazing read, I wasn't sure what to expect coming in and found myself pleasantly surprised. although there is a rather large chunk of the book devoted to UFO'S the message of Sagan comes through very clear. And the narration brings energy to the book that could have just as easily become monotonous.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Simply wonderful! Carl's work still holds up 20 + years later. A must read for students of any age!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A peek into Carl Sagan's thinking ...

Written for everyone this audiobook covers principles of human decency and advancement in general terms easily accessible to the non-scientist. It's timeless - written long ago but so germane to life in 2017. Loved this one.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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A supremely important work

I love Carl Sagan.
I think this is perhaps his crowning achievement. The importance of sceptical thinking and detection of baloney is critical.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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excellent skeptical primer

have waited a long time for this to come out on audio. it didn't disappoint.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Question yourself

Timeless. Some of the topics might seem dated, but the essence shall always be valid.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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An Excellent Reminder to be a Skeptic

if only this book was required reading for students in their junior year of high school. If only more to the extra step to think about why, we would be a better and more informed society.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • andrew
  • 07-01-17

A light not dimmed

Excellent audio book of a great book from the much missed Carl Sagan. You must own this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 08-19-18

Devoid of Sagan's Beautiful Curiosity

An uncomfortable, often distressing listen completely devoid of Sagan's beautiful curiosity of the wonders of the world around us.

This is a depressing and monotonous examination of the horrors that the human race has historically instigated. Torture, persecutions, witch-hunts, executions, political corruption, religious wars - I wrap myself in the wonderful legacy of Carl Sagan to escape from these horrors. Not so with this depressing work.

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  • Russell
  • 06-04-18

Utterly brilliant and timeless! Read it now!

Every chapter deals with an area of human vulnerability and highlights the villans and heros who have advocated or fought against ignorance and stupidity. I thought the subject might be dated but it is more relevant now in 2018 than before. Sagan would not want to be compared to the likes of Nostradamus but his writing has an eerie sense of the doom many of us feel today. Have we gone past the tipping point or can we somehow find a candle in the dark!

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  • scibreaker
  • 05-27-18

valid point

though this book present some extremely valid poinst the main focus of the story which is critical thinking could help advance the world and reduce many world issues. this could have been done i a different format which also has some scientific bonus to reading

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Fiona Summers
  • 05-08-18

S'alright

Mostly good. A bit dry at times, the narrator does not help this one bit in his monotony. The information is broadly given with a handful of specific mentions of events. There was this really weird bit where it almost felt like Sagan was advocating for not believing women when they've been raped, which not only was very out of place, made me feel supremely uncomfortable.

It's also very America-centric, but I suppose that's to be expected.

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  • M. Nuttall
  • 04-29-18

very important Infomation

really great book, but let down by a. rather. stilted. narration. It lacked carl Sagan's passion

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  • I. A. Wright
  • 03-22-18

Fascinating. Logical. Broad in scope.

Where does The Demon-Haunted World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Brilliant book. The reader is disturbingly staccato.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Far too long for me to listen to in a single bash.

Any additional comments?

Seems wrong for a Brit to pronounce some words in the USAmerican way: 'Mos-kau' instead of 'Mos-kohw', for example

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • epic amazing good brilliant it is a killer good games
  • 02-18-18

Carl Sagan at his best.

Sagan has a wonderful knack of imploring you to recognise your own innate ability to think critically, enquire reasonably and how to skeptically winnow deep truths from deep nonsense.

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  • R. Younis
  • 11-24-17

Carl Sagan lives on.

A brilliant insight into how Sagan's mind worked. Here was a person who thought deeply about every aspect of human life. He found ways to give perspective and spread compassion whilst remaining committed to the idea that knowledge should be available for everybody, not just a select few. The Demon-Haunted World applies just as much today as when it was written.

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  • Frank Malcolm Kembery
  • 10-31-17

The Demon-Haunted World

Logical imperatives and factualities of life. Flowing, sensible and somewhat creepy at time's. Extremely interesting and a definitive answer to avoiding chills.

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  • Toby
  • 06-28-18

Amazing book

If this was the only book I’d read in school I’d undoubtedly be a better and happier person.

If this was the ONLY book all kids read in school, the world we live in would be a better place.