Enemies Of Reason By Richard Dawkins Analysis

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Zafer Çavdar
DR. LENKER
ACWR 101 – 11 / Spring 2015
Essay B: Analytical Synthesis – Second (Conference) Draft
Analytical Synthesis of Enemies of Reason by Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan’s article A British biologist Richard Dawkins has presented a documentary film, Enemies of Reason, in 2007 to disprove that pseudoscientific practices have reliable logic as well as science has. The documentary’s first part includes Dawkins’s investigations which aim to find out whether these practices have any scientific base or not. As Dawkins, a famous astrophysicist and astrobiologist Carl Sagan probes the reasons of increasing popularity of pseudoscience in his article “Does Truth Matter: Science, Pseudoscience, and Civilization”. Sagan points out the
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A great number of people do not believe in these practices, however they do not consider superstitions harmful to themselves. Although lots of people do not regard these beliefs and stories as damaging, Sagan and Dawkins agree on the point that superstitions and pseudoscience cannot be innocent anymore. Dawkins remarks a popular practice which is about communicating with dead people and examines psychics’ language used when he talks to his visitors. Dawkins believes that this superstitious nonsense can be far from harmless fun for some people (Enemies of Reason). Because, making anguished people believe that dead people still can communicate with the ones who are alive does not give anything these people except for fear and psychological disorder. In addition, Sagan criticizes one of the most known pseudoscientific doctrine which claims that wishing is the only way to obtain something. According to him, believing this doctrine causes the loss of importance of hard work. He adduces the genie from the lamp and the enchanted fish example to show that how our children’s brains are conditioned to believe these useless superstitions based on just wishing (par. 9). Considering that both Sagan and Dawkins examine widespread practices, we conclude that they share the same concern that these practices are big threats to…show more content…
Both of them give preference to use rhetorical questions. After performing an experiment to find out whether or not weekly horoscopes only fit the people in same zodiac, Dawkins asks this rhetorical question: “Astrologers say this should fit just Capricorn and not the rest, but what actually happened (Dawkins, Enemies of Reason)?”. Also, before starting his article, Sagan asks “Do we care what is true? Does it matter (Sagan, par. 1)?” Actually Sagan does not want any answers to his questions as well as Dawkins. They just intend to draw readers’/audience’s attention and to make them curious about further parts of the documentary/ the

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