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.
You can grab a copy of the book from your favorite local bookstore, or order on Amazon here:
For our first week, let's read the Preface "My Teachers" and Chapter 1 "The Most Precious Thing". (This section will be updated each week, so check back if you need to.)
This is an online event hosted on Zoom. You can register here:
Zoom is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and OSX. Here are some resources to help you get started:
* Getting started guides: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697
* Video tutorials: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials
A microphone is required if you would like to participate in the group discussion, but not to simply be present. (A webcam is preferred so we can see each other during this period of physical isolation!)
I hope to see you there!