Demon Haunted World

By: Carl Sagan 1996 Type: NF

75% Sagan says "Let's respect science"
Review : Pretty logical book about science and democracy
meaning : Science is good applying scientific principles to other things like coming up with the constitution is good

- science inspired him as child
- broad knowledge is important

The war against Science

- pseudo-science LIKED seen as +ve, it's easy and reassures. What we don't understand we assign to God so always has an answer

- Real-science NOT LIKED seen as -ve - not understood (society is science illiterate, dumbed down), but some bad CFC etc, also boring and unsexy cos skeptism is part of process, takes away the magic - science moves too fast so people lose faith
- but science is good there are real results e.g. it can predict sex of baby, but pseudo cannot.
- science accurately predicts the future religion doesn't
- science welcomes skeptics religion doesn't .. when you lose ability for critical thinking can't have a proper debate
- individual scientists are fallible, but scientific process picks up errors, so science itself doesn't get weaker but moves forward
- float ideas which are then disproved, but eventually get universal truths
- scientific truth is not questionable unlike history
- e.g. Soviet political interference kept their genetics study 30 years behind
- e.g. 2 if prayer worked Kings wouldlive longer than other nobles
- Uncool nerds - well they keep the world alive Radar etc

- blames bad counselors for causing false beliefs, e.g. 1 alien abduction, 2. false sex abuse
- worst is to disbelieve, but say you believe (calls it infidelity)
- same lies in commercialism
- lies cover evils - scientists in pay of business, fake science crystals etc

Balony detection kit
  1. Independent confirmation
  2. debate encouraged from all levels
  3. alternative hypotheses
  4. don't be loyal to a hypothesis
  5. numbers
  6. check every stage of chain
  7. choose simplest explanation - Occams Razor
  8. can it be faked ?
  9. controlled expt
  10. double blind
Bad Logic
  1. criticise the man
  2. blind trust in authority
  3. external arguments - if we don't find him guilty it might encourage others
  4. not been proved false so must be true
  5. word games
  6. assuming
  7. cherry picking stats
  8. small sample
  9. bad statistical principles e.g. must be due for a win soon
  10. coincidence=cause + effect
  11. false dichotomy - "you are with us or against us"
  12. slippery slope
  13. building a straw man (misrepresenting the opp opinion then demoloshing it)
  14. not based on truths

- interesting ship owner story.. he didn't apply rules of logic and took a risk sending his ship to sea. Yes conned hisself, but is reponsible for deaths
- Deutomy expressly forbids divination

Morality in science

- Rant against H-bomb Mr Teller
- "devil can quote scripture to his purpose"

Science principles to life
- CSI-COP - rationalism not just ridicule
- science is for everyone even Bushmen use it
- teaching - need to learn by experience e.g. play at writing a constitution
- whinge at bad science teaching in US schools
- literacy important
- whinge at bad science on TV
- science needs to be generally funded can't just commercially direct, it grows organically can't be programmed
- whinge against spending on military science
- more money is spent on quack medicine than research
- problem is short termism of commercial investors
- politicians are afraid cos they know science sceptism will lead to political sceptism, but just like it's good for science it's good for society

Constitution is Great
- separation of Church and state is important so there can be different religions
- democracy is good to stop tyrants
- people can be misled so seperation of powers justice/legaslature / federation is important
- policies are only experiments, so scientific principles should be applied
- scientists wrote constitution Franklin and Jefferson
- seems that American got the vote 100 + years earlier than UK working man/women in 1919
- Freedom of speech important cos stupid ideas get debated
- oath "I promise to question the leaders.."

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