THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD. Carl Sagan is the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for. Planetary. CARL THE DEMON- HAUNTED WORLD Science as a candle IN THE DARK ' Eloquent and fascinating I wish I had written The Demon-Haunted World. download The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark on site. com ✓ FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders.
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}OFFLINE} The Demon-Haunted World (Carl Sagan) na tablecie Senza pagare capitolo,wm-greece.info i. Book The Demon-Haunted World (Carl Sagan) download Book . The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is a book by astrophysicist . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD. Sometimes I dream that I'm talking to my parents, and sud- denly - still immersed in the dreamwork - I'm seized by the.
But the roles are played somewhat opposite to their types. This is particularly true for Mulder, who despite his endless sanctimony is rarely hotheaded, almost never hysterical. I think he was a mandroid. Usually unflappable and, apart from some occasional sarcasm, relatively humorless, Agent Scully performs her duties as a scientist and an FBI agent conscientiously and by the book.
This interpretation could be extended by noting how often Scully is a damsel in distress. In practically every third episode, especially in the early seasons, Scully is abducted and Mulder dashes in to save her at the last moment.
But the gender-political interpretation seems inadequate. She is, in short, subjected to traumas by precisely the paranormal oddities she so strenuously denies — and generally continues to deny even after several seasons of this treatment.
What Agent Scully endures is a kind of rationalist deconditioning program. And it is a vindication of the saving power of the one who is open to the real Truth. To be sure, Agent Mulder faces his own travails.
But these are far rarer, and when they do occur, they are steps on the path to him becoming who he is destined to be. This notion comes to fruition with a later abduction in which Mulder is portrayed as an overtly Christlike figure — suffering, disappeared, resurrected. Even the alien hoax, described above, can in retrospect be considered a test of faith, a trial on the path to full belief.
The X-Files toys with the way modern science understands itself. Science is not only a method but a worldview, with its own traditions and myths, heroes and villains. Consider the story of Galileo standing up to the Church, the classic tale of the champion of discovery persecuted by the powers that be for busting cherished beliefs. What The X-Files offers is a series of cunning inversions of these mythologies science has developed about itself.
Chief among these is the myth of the Galilean skeptic clashing with the orthodox believer. And he and Scully are quite evenly matched, both critical, insightful, and attentive to the demands of evidence.
More to the point, it is of course Mulder, not Scully, who is willing to reckon with the reality of the observable phenomena of their world, which after all is the point of the scientific method. And when she winds up seeing just about everything on this list and yet refuses to acknowledge it, her invocations of science begin to sound less like skepticism than clinging to blind faith.
The agents illustrate this again: scientific Scully is actually deferential to authorities of all kinds, Mulder suspicious and confrontational. The scientific imperative to question arguments from authority is meant to counter our inherent complacency and deference. But in the noir world of The X-Files, authority must be fought because anyone and everyone could be out to deceive. Though Carl Sagan dismissed the paranoid style of the show, it shared more with his science and his politics than he would have cared to admit.
Or, as The X-Files puts it: trust no one. Both seemed to agree that the authorities do not just happen to be wrong; it is in their interest to defend orthodoxy. But where Sagan saw science as the ultimate weapon in the struggle against power structures of all kinds, in the universe of The X-Files, the scientific establishment is both an orthodoxy and an instrument of the powers that be.
The ironic upshot is that The X-Files invokes the mythology of modern science in order to arrive at the very set of beliefs that modern science defines itself against.
It tells a story of how, in a world riven by demons and spooks and witches, science would fall into the same kind of dogmatism it claims to vanquish. Among the many interesting things about this literarily brilliant, philosophically perverse conceit of the show — making the scientific enterprise eat its own tail — is the way that it shows up in real-world debates about science.
Many of these debates are over subjects with higher stakes than the powers of the corner-shop psychic: most obviously, things like genetically modified foods, alternative medicine, the purported link between childhood vaccines and autism, and so on. They see themselves in much the same way Fox Mulder sees himself. For Mulder, the problem with science is that it is a form of bias, not only a deference to received ideas but a brute preference for certain kinds of worlds over others — simple over complex, spiritless over haunted.
The same principle applies to accounting for the origins of events, even if demons and little green men are admitted onto the list of possible causes.
The visitor suggests spreading flour on the floor so that the creature's footprints might be seen, which Sagan says is a good idea, "but this dragon floats in the air". When the visitor considers using an infra-red camera to view the creature's invisible fire , Sagan explains that the fire is heatless. He continues to counter every proposed physical test with a reason why the test will not work.
Sagan concludes by asking: "Now what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?
Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. In order to identify a fallacious argument , Sagan suggests employing such tools as independent confirmation of facts, debate, development of different hypotheses, quantification, the use of Occam's razor , and the possibility of falsification. Science as presented by Sagan is liberating — it is there for all to enjoy irrespective of race, gender, creed, or citizenship.
Science could be used by all equally and effectively. The Church demanded faith, labeling doubt as weakness. To Sagan, even doubt is useful. Doubt was not to be feared, but embraced.
Doubt is humbling and so I was humbled. I learned to be comfortable with not knowing all the answers. The Church told me to trust in prayers, fasting, priesthood blessings, and revelation based on feelings. Reason and evidence were secondary; and in cases where they did not support faith, they were irrelevant, or worse. On the surface much of The Demon-Haunted World seems preoccupied with science and the debunking of such wild notions as Atlantis, Bigfoot, and alien abductions — things I had already outgrown.
The demons of the world, however, are more subtle and hidden, yet more threatening and menacing. At a deeper level Sagan was championing reason. He illustratively showed that knowledge is always useful, even if we are wrong. Failure, which is inevitable, is and can be instructive. For Sagan, illusions require collaborators.
No longer a collaborator, I changed and exorcised my own demons. No longer silent, I voiced my thoughts to my family. To my utter astonishment, they confessed to having similar struggles with the same ideas, but like me, they were afraid to share them.