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A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace “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 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. Praise for The Demon-Haunted World “Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”—The Washington Post Book World “Compelling.”—USA Today “A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”—The Sciences “Passionate.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
For first-century people, cosmology was a fundamental part of their worldview. Whether it was the philosopher contemplating the perfection of the heavenly orbits, the farmer searching the sky for signs of when to plant his crops, or the desert-dwelling sectarian looking for the end of the world, the cosmos held an endless fascination and occupied a prominent place in their understanding of life. For most ancient peoples, cosmology and theology were inseparable. Thus, when the Jewish and Christian Scriptural traditions begin with the bold claim, "In the beginning God created the heavens and earth," these words make statements which are at once cosmogonic, cosmological, and theological. Scholarship has begun only recently to investigate more fully the various cosmological and cosmogonic traditions that were current in the time of the Old and New Testaments. Much of this work, however, has focused on how OT conceptions of the world compared to other Ancient Near Eastern traditions. Much less has been done on the cosmological traditions which stand behind the views of the NT writers. Even fewer works have sought to connect cosmological views with NT theology. In light of the great importance that cosmology had in ancient peoples' worldviews and theological understanding, a thorough investigation of this neglected topic is in order. Cosmology and New Testament Theology systematically examines the NT documents to show how cosmological language and concepts inform, interact with, and contribute to the specific theological emphases of the various NT books. In some NT books, the importance of cosmology can be easily discerned, while in others what is required is a new and close examination of key cosmological terms (e.g., heaven, earth, world, creation) with an eye to the themes and theology of the book.
Joan Johnson-Freese argues that the race for space weapons and the U.S. quest for exclusive or at least dominant ownership of strategic space assets have alienated the very allies that the United States needs in order to maintain its leading role in space exploration. Taking a balanced look at the issues that have contributed to the decline of America's manned space program, such as lack of political support and funding, Johnson-Freese offers not only a critique but also a plan for enhancing U.S. space security through cooperation rather than competition. She begins with a brief overview of the history of international space development through four eras: before Sputnik, the space race, after Apollo, and globalization. Then she focuses on how policy changes of the mid-1990s have changed the nation, examining why the United States has grown obsessed with the development of space technology not just as a tool for globalization but as a route toward expanding an already dominant arsenal of weapons. Johnson-Freese claims that these policy choices have greatly affected the attitudes and actions of other countries, and in the fight to achieve security, the United States has instead put itself at greater peril. Johnson-Freese explains complex technical issues in clear, accessible terms and suggests a way forward that is comprehensive rather than partisan. America is not the only country with space ambitions, but it is unique in viewing space as a battlefield and the technological advancements of other nations as a dire threat. Urgent and persuasive, Space as a Strategic Asset underscores the danger of allowing our space program to languish and the crucial role of cooperation in protecting the security of our country and the world.
From the first episode to the latest feature film, two main symbols provide the driving force for the iconic television series The X-Files: Fox Mulder's I Want to Believe poster and Dana Scully's cross necklace. Mulder's poster may feature a flying saucer, but the phrase I want to believe refers to more than simply the quest for the truth about aliens. The search for extraterrestrial life, the truth that is out there, is a metaphor for the search for God. The desire to believe in something greater than ourselves is part of human nature: we want to believe. Scully's cross represents this desire to believe, as well as the internal struggle between faith and what we can see and prove. The X-Files depicts this struggle by posing questions and exploring possible answers, both natural and supernatural. Why would God let the innocent suffer? Can God forgive even the most heinous criminal? What if God is giving us signs to point the way to the truth, but we're not paying attention? These are some of the questions raised by The X-Files. In the spirit of the show, this book uses the symbols and images presented throughout the series to pose such questions and explore some of the answers, particularly in the Christian tradition. With a focus on key themes of the series--faith, hope, love, and truth--along the way, this book journeys from the desire to believe to the message of the cross.
Economic collapse, poverty, disease, natural disasters, the constant threat of community unrest and international terrorism--a quick look at any newspaper is enough to cause almost anyone to feel trapped and desperate. Yet the recent election also revealed a growing search for hope spreading through society. In the timely Hope in the Age of Anxiety, Anthony Scioli and Henry Biller illuminate the nature of hope and offer a multitude of techniques designed to improve the lives of individuals, and bring more light into the world. In this fascinating and humane book, Scioli and Biller reveal the ways in which human beings acquire and make use of hope. Hope in the Age of Anxiety is meant to be a definitive guide. The evolutionary, biological, and cultural roots of hope are covered along with the seven kinds of hope found in the world's religions. Just as vital, the book provides many personal tools for addressing the major challenges of the human condition: fear, loss, illness, and death. Some of the key areas illuminated in Hope in the Age of Anxiety: How do you build and sustain hope in trying times? How can hope help you to achieve your life goals? How can hope improve your relationships with others? How can hope aid your recovery from trauma or illness? How does hope relate to spirituality? Hope in the Age of Anxiety identifies the skills needed to cultivate hope, and offers suggestions for using these capacities to realize your life goals, support health and healing, strengthen relationships, enhance spirituality, and inoculate yourself against the despair that engulfs many individuals.
In this easily accessible text, Mark Erickson explains what science is and how it is carried out, the nature of the relationship between science and society, the representation of science in contemporary culture, and how scientific institutions are structured.
This revised edition of the Tough Questions series of small group curriculum faces head-on the difficult and challenging questions seekers ask about the Christian faith.

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