Richard dawkins unweaving the rainbow
Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder by Richard DawkinsDid Newton unweave the rainbow by reducing it to its prismatic colors, as Keats contended? Did he, in other words, diminish beauty? Far from it, says acclaimed scientist Richard Dawkins; Newtons unweaving is the key to much of modern astronomy and to the breathtaking poetry of modern cosmology. Mysteries dont lose their poetry because they are solved: the solution often is more beautiful than the puzzle, uncovering deeper mysteries. With the wit, insight, and spellbinding prose that have made him a best-selling author, Dawkins takes up the most important and compelling topics in modern science, from astronomy and genetics to language and virtual reality, combining them in a landmark statement of the human appetite for wonder.
This is the book Richard Dawkins was meant to write: a brilliant assessment of what science is (and isnt), a tribute to science not because it is useful but because it is uplifting.
Review of Richard Dawkins’ “Unweaving the Rainbow”
Unweaving the Rainbow is as lucid, beguiling and serious as Dawkins's readers now expect. Some of them may be surprised by his literary range, but then his starting point is to take on a poet and Dawkins, apart from having a lifelong affection for poetry, has always got to know his enemy. John Keats, whose lines Dawkins quotes with open affection, is the hinge which opens the door of this book. It is reported by the painter and critic, Benjamin Haydon that Keats, at a dinner, with Wordsworth toasted 'confusion to the memory of Newton'. When Wordsworth asked for an explanation before he drank the toast, Keats replied 'because he destroyed the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to a prism'. Part of Dawkins's purpose here is to prove that science provides a much more 'awful' rainbow than Keats could ever dream of. In the chapter entitled 'Barcodes in the Stars' this unweaving of the rainbow becomes a springboard to instruct us in the electro-magnetic wavelengths of light light seen by the human eye, infra-red and ultraviolet light, our perception of colour, and our ability to measure the speed of light which can ultimately describe our distance from other planets and much else.
Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. “There is an anaesthetic of familiarity, a sedative of ordinariness which dulls the senses and.
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Keats accused Newton of destroying the poetry of the rainbow by explaining the origin of its colours. In this illuminating and provocative book, Richard Dawkins argues that Keats could not have been more mistaken, and shows how an understanding of science enhances our wonder of the world. He argues that mysteries do not lose their poetry because they are solved: the solution is often more beautiful than the puzzle, uncovering even deeper mysteries. Dawkins takes up the most important and compelling topics in modern science, from astronomy and genetics to language and virtual reality, combining them in a landmark statement on the human appetite for wonder. For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more.
However, as modern science, with its esoteric formulas and technical jargon, gradually receded from the grasp of non-scientifically trained thinkers, a gradual distrust, if not aversion, for science began to arise. Thus, in the course of the 19th century, with the Romantic reaction against the 18th century veneration of science and rationality, slightly different attitudes came to be expressed. When science seemed to be on the verge of becoming a veritable threat to artists, writers, and theologians, beginning to command more awe by its technological wonders than the admiration provoked by great art and literature, some began to accuse it of robbing human experience of the mystery of Nature which added a dimension to human life in generations gone by. It is this view that serves as a springboard for this charming dissertation on theme that cold science can be no less spell-binding, uplifting and enthralling than medieval magic, theistic religion, or symbolic poetry. For, in truth, science is as much a spiritual experience as knowledge and discovery. Dawkins is no narrow-specialist. His intellect is sharp, his vision is broad,and his culture sophisticated.