Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite

Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder [Reading] ➷ Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder By Richard Dawkins – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Did 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 Newton s unweavi Did Rainbow: Science, Delusion and PDF/EPUB or Newton unweave the rainbow by Rainbow: Science, ePUB ☆ reducing it to its prismatic colors, as Keats contended Did he, in other words, diminish beauty Far from it, says acclaimed scientist Richard Dawkins Newton s unweaving is the key to much of modern astronomy and to the breathtaking poetry of modern cosmology Mysteries don t lose their poetry because they are solved the solution often isbeautiful than the puzzle, uncovering deeper mysteries With the wit, insight, and spellbinding prose Unweaving the PDF/EPUB ² 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 isn t , a tribute to science not because it is useful but because it is uplifting.

10 thoughts on “Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

  1. pausetowonder pausetowonder says:

    The actual science bits in here are great Learned heaps about the workings of light and colour, sound and hearing was even reminded that the idea of superstitious behavior in animals is attributed to Skinner and not, sadly, my own idea Much geeky excitement experienced all round by yours truly Dawkins does a fine job of explaining complex ideas clearly and well.That s what was good about Unweaving the Rainbow.Sadly, what feels like way than half of the book was spent painstakingly trying to argue people out of believing in astrology, ghosts, remote viewing, etc using logic and scientific fact Its starts about one third the way in My problem with this is threefold 1 Dawkins is assuming that logic and scientific fact would have persuasive power for anyone believing in what he calls superstition or ad hoc magic And really, why would it I think believers would be the first to point out that this sort of thing is beyond the purview of science 2 Dawkins assumes that these deluded people are reading his book I can t say for sure, but personally, I would be surprised if a diehard believer in ESP or astrology would be interested in reading Dawkins explanation of Fraunhofer lines, the electromagnetic spectrum and other fairly hardcore sciencey topics that fill the first third of this book Seems like a different sort of audience So he ends up preaching to the choir and there is something rather uncomfortably self righteous about this Not to mention dull.3 Dawkins I don t mean to be unkind, but I can t think of any other to state the fact embarrasses himself when he wanders out of the world of science and into literature and the humanities Critiques of the scientific accuracy of Wordsworth poems or a fantasy story by Mark Twain are cringe making.What Dawkins doesn t understand about human psychology is a lot I think his whole crusade against religion has been a waste of a good scientific mind and has done a lot of damage to the discussion His aggressive, dismissive and disrespectful approach has only put people on the defensive and set an unfortunate example.I was hoping for a lot wonder of science Instead, I felt like I was getting lectured at length for something I didn t even do What do I care about astrology Anyhow, I was hoping for wonders of science and less railing Disappointing Better books on science and wonder that I d recommend

  2. Gabrielam13 Gabrielam13 says:

    Cred c aceasta a devenit cartea mea preferat de la Dawkins Spre deosebire de toate celalte pe care le am citit, de i mi s au p rut la fel de interesante din punct de vedere al informa iilor prezentate, Destr marea curcubeului este cea mai filosofic i liric Ceea ce, de fapt, este i ceea ce urm re te Dawkins s prezinte argumente n favoarea poetici ii tiin ei.Contrar a ceea ce mul i cred, tiin a nu distruge magia lumii sau, cum ar spune Blaga, ea nu distruge corola de minuni a lumii Dimpotriv Ea revel universul din care facem parte n toat m re ia lui i expune misterele care ne vin n nt mpinare c nd ncerc m s l descifr m Dar chiar i c nd afl m modul cum func ioneaz fenomenele din jurul nostru, chiar i cele care ne inspir frumuse e i venera ie precum curcubeul i stelele sau mintea uman , r spunsurile tiin ei nu distrug lirismul, ci ele inspir la fel de mult mirare i sublim ca n fa a oric rei opere de art Dawkins argumenteaz c Keats i to i ceilal i poe i care g ndesc asemenea lui gre esc c nd l acuz pe Newton c a distrus magia curcubeului atunci c nd l a explicat i c daca ei i ar folosi talentul poetic pentru a transpune n versuri explica ia acestor fenomene, tangoul ntre tiin i poezie ar fi cu mult mai frumos dec t orice alt explica ie inventat Nu pot dec t s fiu de acord n totalitate cu aceast perspectiv a lui Dawkins i mie mi se pare c lumea pe care ne o prezint tiin a este una fascinant i cuceritoare i am fost prins de farmecul ei nc de c nd am descoperit astronomia ns dincolo de teza principal a c r ii, a a cum ne a obi nuit mereu autorul, avem ansa i s descoperim i multe idei interesante din universul biologiei, dar i al informaticii i fizicii nchei cu c teva citate care mi se par c sunt cele mai gr itoare pentru mesajul c r ii Creierul este o mas de materie de circa 1300g, pe care o pute i ine n m n i care poate concepe un univers de o sut de miliarde de ani lumin n diametru Marian C Diamond Isaac Asimov ofera o ilustrare dramatica este ca si cum toata materia din univers ar fi un bob de nisip, asezat in mijlocul unei camere goale cu lungimea, inaltimea si latimea de 32 km Si totusi, in acelasi timp, este ca si cum acel bob unic de nisip a fost pulverizat intr o mie de milioane de milioane de milioane de fragmente, pentru ca acesta e numarul aproximativ de stele din univers Acestea sunt unele dintre faptele astronomiei si puteti vedea cat sunt de frumoase.

  3. Amanda Amanda says:

    The first half or so was amazing, and the rest was still really interesting especially the end , if not quite as exhilarating At the same time, you have to remember that even that powerhouse of scientific poetry, Carl Sagan, had some dry chapters every now and then Some dryness definitely doesn t make it any less worth the read, and its mild anyway Overall, this book was extremely enjoyable, and a breeze to get through 4.5 stars, will probably be 5 on the reread.

  4. Steve Steve says:

    Written a few years prior to The God Delusion, this book serves as a useful bridge for anyone familiar with Dawkins s atheist output but unfamiliar with his scientific titles His critics often like to portray him as arrogant, hectoring or that other old chestnut shrill and overly absorbed with the cold clinical application of the scientific method Well he may not be cuddly, and I may not agree with his approach to everything, but for the most part I find him genial, honorable and good natured, and this book essentially a non religious celebration of life and the scientific method displays his warmth and humanity in bucketloads as it reveals how a greater understanding of science enlarges rather than diminishes our sense of wonder This was enlightening, beautifully written and highly recommended I know I will read it again.

  5. Krista Krista says:

    One of the Goodreads reviews on this book relates, simply, that the writer of the review had been on a cruise ship with the author prior to reading the book When she DID read the book, she regretted that she didn t do some kind of small violence to his person while on the cruise with him.In many ways, that sums up my take beautifully This was the most interesting book I ve ever despised Certainly, I have a brain not suited to the exigencies of science But when he wasn t losing me in a web of convoluted explanation, he was was looking down his nose at me like a curmudgeonly professor who is inordinately piqued that an average undergraduate had the audacity to drop by during office hours and ask a stupid question.That said, I learned a lot and, while I did not become a convert to his thesis that science can be as beautiful as poetry, I will admit that, were my brain suited to the beauty of, say, probability, I would have been in ecstasy while perusing the pages of this tome In discussing how we discover our world we arrived by being born, and we didn t burst conscious into the world but accumulated awareness gradually through babyhood The fact that we slowly apprehend our world, rather than suddenly discover it, should not subtract from its wonder And maybe that s where he lost me I haven t accumulated enough awareness to see what he sees And to believe what he believes But condescension does not encourage me to become aware It encourages me to shrug and go back to my music, or my poetry, or my philosophy All of that said, there were several aha moments some I never knew that before aha, some I never thought about it that way before aha and some I had totally forgotten about that aha Like his analogy about how expansive the earth s past is Fling your arms wide in an expansive gesture to span all of evolution from its origin at your left fingertip to today at your right fingertip All the way across your midline to well past your right shoulder, life consists of nothing but bacteria Many celled, invertebrate life flowers somewhere around your right elbow The dinosaurs originate in the middle of your right palm, and go extinct around your last finger joint The whole story of Homo sapiens and our predecessor Homo erectus is contained in the thickness of one nail clipping As for recorded history as for the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Jewish patriarchs, the dynasties of Pharohs, the legions of Rome, the Christian Fathers, the Laws of the Medes and Persians which never change as for Troy and the Greeks, Helen and Achilles and Agamemnon dead as for Napolean and Hitler, the Beatles and Bill Clinton, they and everyone that knew them are blown away in the dust from one light stroke of a nail file In my opinion, that qualifies as scientific poetry But that s because it takes an idea and sketches it with metaphor and examples that are accessible and understandable to my way of thinking And Dawkins, too often, refuses to stoop to that level For example, consider this quote from astrophysicist Chandrasekhar beauty is that to which the human mind responds at its deepest and most profound Indeed Of course, I left out the beginning of the quote which talks about math and how it relates to nature That s not beautiful to me I understand why it s beautiful to those whose brains process math differently But my brain does not work that way My mind responds to a different beauty Does that make my idea of beauty any less valid Dawkins would undoubtedly say, Yes Then he d kick me out of his office and grumble discontentedly as he adjusted his suspenders and wandered back to his desk.But when Dawkins DOES lower himself to my level and speak my language, he pulls me right in his discussion on coincidence and how, in our multi media age, we are likely to see a pattern where there is none, was eye opening And his fascinating riff on the fact that science is an affront to common sense made me smile in satisfaction For example, every time you drink a glass of water you are imbibing at least one molecule that passed through the bladder of Oliver Cromwell there are many molecules in a glass of water than there are glasses of water in the sea solid matter, even a hard diamond, consists almost entirely of empty space Another riff that gave me pause was Dawkins take on God s covenant with Abraham He didn t promise Abraham eternal life as an individual But he did promise something else And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly and thou shalt be a father of many nations And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee Abraham was left in no doubt that the future lay with his seed, not his individuality God knew his Darwinism That is what I was looking for in this book Someone with the title Professor of the Public Understanding of Science should really like average, thoughtful humans a bit than Dawkins seems to And if one is going to celebrate the diversity of life, one should also celebrate the diversity of ways of looking at life We can t all think like Dawkins It is hubris of Dawkins to expect all of us to try And to belittle us when we fail Rather, he could have made his case for why his way of thinking is a valid and valuable addition to the layers of awareness that allow us to continually find beauty in our universe But to discount and belittle the other ways of finding beauty was a mistake He should have calculated that in some sort of equation before he published.

  6. Michael Michael says:

    As a person unlearned well, okay, let s be honest, frankly ignorant in science, I enjoyed this wide ranging book Dawkins largely achieves his aim to show that an understanding of the science of phenomena can create a sense of wonder equal to mythic or poetic metaphor, with a concomitant gain in understanding and an increased desire to know still and to look askance at delusions that are unsupportable in light of what we know and continue to learn Not every chapter is strong The part on bad science metaphors is not as interesting as the rest and serves simply as an attack on a view of evolution on which he disagrees Those well versed in science might find passages to carp at For the interested non scientist, this book is engaging and a useful primer on many topics Keats, no mean explorer of knowledge, in spite of his dismissal of Newton s optics as an unpoetic unweaving of the rainbow, would, I would bet, enjoy this book mightily once he became current with the growth of scientific understanding since his time.

  7. Vanesa Vanesa says:

    Dawkins no perdona a nadie , me encanta

  8. Sauerkirsche Sauerkirsche says:

    3,5 SterneDawkins ist genial wenn es darum geht, wissenschaftliche Themen der Allgemeinheit nahe zu bringen und was vielleicht noch wichtiger ist, naturwissenschaftliche Denkweise und Wertsch tzung Er beschreibt hervorragend den Konflikt zwischen Geistes , Sozialwissenschaften und Naturwissenschaft Auch dass die Meinung von Geistes oder Sozialwissenschaftlern in ffentlichen Diskussionen eher anerkannt und wertgesch tzt wird als die von Naturwissenschaftlern und das sogar bei naturwissenschaftlichen Themen Stichwort Gr ne Gentechnik, Landwirtschaft etcEr erw hnt auch sehr treffend, dass Naturwissenschaften von manchen Pseudo Feministinnen als m nnlich und kalt bezeichnet werden und Intuition und Glaube als weiblich, was der Selbstbestimmung von Frauen eher schadet als hilft.Was mich gest rt hat, waren die st ndigen Seitenhiebe in Richtung Religion, Mythologie oder auch Phantastik Es ist absolut in Ordnung wenn er Religionen aus wissenschaftlicher, logischer Sicht als fragw rdig darstellt Ich pers nlich bin Atheistin, lebe jedoch nach der Philosophie jeder wie er gl cklich ist, solange er mich nicht bekehren m chte und anderen nicht damit schadet Mythologie und Phantastik werden von Dawkins ebenfalls diffamiert, was ich etwas bertrieben finde Mythen haben ihre Bedeutung und ma geblich zur Entwicklung von verschiedenen Kulturen beigetragen Ich finde Mythologie faszinierend, auch aus wissenschaftlicher Sicht und bin ein gro er Fantasy Fan, trotz oder vielleicht auch gerade wegen naturwissenschaftlichem Studium.

  9. G G says:

    A weak book from Dawkins Regardless of his ideas being right or wrong, he is a bad writer, and here he is worse than ever He stumbles from the banal to the sublime, to the complex to the simple, to the popular to the academic without even noticing that One page you are reading a very important theory and in the next paragraph he goes on telling you about a trivial thing that has happened to him the day before Sometimes pages and pages are spent trying to explain something not important, and then when the important thing comes, Dawkins treats it as already explained and leave it as that.Other thing he loves to do, and it s just plain bad writing, is comparing things one with another As a first step to understand the problem, it s ok, but he dwells too long on metaphors I.e., comparing the human brain to a computer He goes on and on and on until there s no use using the metaphor it becomes harder and harder to believe in him, and things become ridiculous The worst part is a link he makes between the evolution of the human brain, memes, and a tango he cannot forget There s a lot of guessing in this book, too And some theories are not that credible His criticism of astrology and other spiritual stuff are or less correct, and it s something important that must be adressed, but he can t write a coherent chapter to express his ideas He criticises a bit, then talk about other thing, then comes a very complex but short paragraph, then it s a trivial thing again, etc.There are some good moments, very few, but in short very badly written.

  10. Aracne Mileto Aracne Mileto says:

    Siempre es un placer leer a Dawkins, es un escritor que puede simplificar los conceptos m s complejos y hacerte disfrutar de temas que a muchos les aburr a de j venes biolog a, qu mica, f sica, etc particularmente, yo a n no supero mis problemas con los vectores.Muchos piensan que la ciencia le quita el color a la vida con sus explicaciones complicadas y extensas, intentando arrebatarnos lo brillante y emocionante de lo desconocido Pues este libro nos demuestra que la ciencia hace de todo menos eso.En nuestro pasado, en nuestros genes, y en nuestra mente se esconden las respuestas a preguntas tan b sicas como De d nde venimos , C mo evolucionamos C mo surgi la vida no no fue en 7 d as Y Dawkins explica punto por punto aquella informaci n que no siempre es f cil encontrar, demostrando lo maravilloso que es estar informado, y te anima a seguir buscando m s por qu la ciencia nunca se detiene, siempre hay nuevos misterios que resolver Nunca han le do libros de divulgaci n cient fica alguna vez viste a una paloma supersticiosa Siempre comentas que el gen gay no existe pero no sabes que rayos es un gen Pues este libro puede ayudarte y mucho.

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