Talk:The Demon-Haunted World

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I don't think the article as it is shows much NPOV. I read the book and it seemed there was more much dogma about science than actually explaining to anyone how to use the scientific method. He also makes several criticisms of particular pseudoscience which are in fact, not correct and attacks the validity of Near Death Experiences using faulty analogies.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Arundhati bakshi (talkcontribs)

The article, as it stands, prefaces much with "Sagan states", "Sagan claims", and "he believes", so I think that's perfectly NPOV, since it's factual. If there are aspects of the book that you can add to the article in an NPOV manner, please do so. --Ds13 21:02, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
And please sign your talk-page comments. Thanks! RobertAustin 19:23, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I read the book as well and while I actually agree with much of your opinion, you could easily include some of this in the article. However, you would have to be able to back it up with good reasoning and facts. Otherwise, it would lean the article heavily into a POV of someone who just didn't 'agree' with the book. Romperroom

  • "Dogma about science" what? It would be nice to read some examples of your claims, Arundhati bakshi. I have read the book, and I definitely disagree with you. Please enlighten me. — isilanes (talk|contribs) 13:26, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

I added a quote to the article that has to do with this -starting with "Is it fair to...". I think Sagan makes a good point. However, in 'fairness' every scientific 'cure' I can think of is simply helping the body use its own ability to cure itself as well. "Faith healing" often involves installing thoughts and beliefs in someone that they didn't have before which then can produce a profound effect. When it works, this is no less of a 'miraculous' intervention than taking a pill when it works. Many medications (e.g. Prozac) have been shown to be mostly a catalyst for the placebo effect (a person feels an 'effect' of the pill, then believes 'it must be working' and then the body's chemistry responds powerfully). In other words, in any medication you can think of, it's not the medication that does the healing, it's the body's *response* to the medication. A person's chemistry responds powerfully to new beliefs as well. Romperroom 15:45, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

But that's clearly not true. Antibiotics, for example, kill bacteria; they do not help your body kill bacteria. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy destroy cancer cells. Some drugs, like epinephrine and ibuprofen actually reverse your body's natural reaction, since your body is harming itself. Many drugs replace hormones your body should produce, but does not (e.g. insulin, HGH, IGF). This is also the principle behind prosthesis, artificial hearts, dialysis, etc.
Drugs that are not more effective than placebos cannot be legally make medical claims in advertisements in most countries for this reason. And it is not true that Prozac and other antidepressants are no more effective than placebos. However, one meta-analysis did find that while the difference between the antidepressants and placebos was definitely statistically significant, it was not clinically significant. That is not because they are not clinically active (in fact, they inhibit a large number of metabolic processes), but because they are not very effective at treating depression. Eebster the Great (talk) 20:22, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Demon-Haunted World.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 20:31, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


Just curious, are sources not cited because everything in this article can be found in the book? (Never worked on a book review before.) I only ask because every article I have worked on that has to do with religion has been plagued by demands for more and more sources, usually by people like the one above using all caps. :) Greenw47 (talk) 11:10, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Critical reception[edit]

I'd like to see a section on the critical reception of this book and by critical, I mean by book critics people - not critical as in opposed to. This is a fairly important work of on the status Skeptical thinking at the time of it's writing. It would be interesting to read what the book critics had to say about it, and especially any reviews by fellow skeptics or by religious figures who may have taken issue with the books various assertions.LiPollis (talk) 11:06, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Date of publication?[edit]

The article says "first published in 1995". My copy says "copyright 1996". The author died in 1996. The article has "Category:1997 books". A little consistency would be more convincing. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 14:56, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Amazon gives "Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (March 5, 1996)" for the hardcover -- however prepub reviews dated 1995. Vsmith (talk) 15:20, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

References to book[edit]

It may be worth adding a section on references to the book.
For example at the beginning of this episode of Mr. Deity, the lead character is seen reading a copy of The Demon-Haunted World.
Aberdeen01 (talk) 09:37, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Discussion to restore content from The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark to the Alternative medicine article[edit]

A discussion to restore the first 14 sources of this version, including The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, is now going on here. ParkSehJik (talk) 03:24, 22 November 2012 (UTC)


I for one, think a table of contents would be valuable for this article. It would show exactly which pseudosciences he tries to debunk.--Bellerophon5685 (talk) 00:40, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

If you want to explain which pseudosciences Sagan criticizes, then you can easily do that by other means than listing the names of the chapters of Sagan's book. Did that not even occur to you? As I said when I removed the list of chapter titles, there is no relevant information in them that cannot be better conveyed by other means. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:04, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Agree. No need whatsoever for a list contents. No improvement to article. David J Johnson (talk) 08:46, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Parable of the Invisible Gardener[edit]

Isn't the Dragon in the garage another version of John Wisdom's Parable of the Invisible Gardener? Should this fact be included in this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aldonogueira (talkcontribs) 17:14, 27 July 2016 (UTC)