Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark


“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 WorldHow 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 sci…

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Do you guys think every poster in /r/paranormal is either trolling or letting their mind trick them?(r/DebateAnAtheist)

You may want to read Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Do you believe in UFO abductions? If not, how do you account for the thousands of personal abduction stories? This isn’t meant as a jab at you, it’s a serious question. I know that “they’re all hallucinating or something” isn’t a satisfying answer at all, and I wouldn’t accept it either. That’s why I’m recommending this book, because it explains very eloquently how you get thousands of UFO abduction stories without there being any UFOs.

As for your /r/paranormal posts, lets take a look at the first one.

Here is the evidence that OP is presenting us with:

  • a general feeling that something is off with his friend
  • friend admits he’s sleep deprived and having nightmares
  • his friend asks him about identifying silver after finding what looks like a silver book charm
  • He thought he heard muttering, but his friend was actually just watching TV
  • friend politely left a note that he wasn’t feeling well
  • OP is getting random texts that the friend says he doesn’t remember

I mean… I hate to say it like this, but is this really what’s supposed to pass as evidence for the supernatural? Oh, he asked how to identify silver after finding bracelet charm that might be silver. Why is that detail, or OP legit admitting that he was wrong about the muttering even included in this story? Feels like a ploy to make the situation more “spooky scary” than it really is. Or maybe OP is just blowing it out of proportion in his own mind.

Honestly, I’ve been in a rough living situation, moved and had nightmares for about a month. Sleep deprived people will have conversations they don’t remember. The only thing this whole story adds up to is that OP should be concerned about his friend for regular reasons, because perhaps he’s going through a bad time and hasn’t been able to talk to OP about it yet. Nothing about this actually evidence for the paranormal.

If you want to know whether I think they’re all trolling or letting their mind trick them, my honest opinion is that a lot of people don’t step back and examine what their experiences really mean. A book falling off a shelf is suddenly a ghost, a blur in the corner of your eye is suddenly a demon. A bad feeling is suddenly evidence of a haunting. I understand why people get unnerved, but the concept of evidence is incredibly important and quite frankly, none of these stories ever have anything approaching evidence even when you take what they’re saying literally.

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atheism, DebateAnAtheist, skeptic

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Carl Sagan

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Ballantine Books

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The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

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Do you guys think every poster in /r/paranormal is either trolling or letting their mind trick them?

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