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Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

Unweaving the Rainbow Science Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder 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

  • Title: Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
  • Author: Richard Dawkins
  • ISBN: 9780618056736
  • Page: 210
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 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 ofteDid 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 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 is 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 isn t , a tribute to science not because it is useful but because it is uplifting.

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    1 thought on “Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

    1. 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 more than half of the book was spent painstakingly tr [...]

    2. 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.

    3. Cred că aceasta a devenit cartea mea preferată de la Dawkins. Spre deosebire de toate celalte pe care le-am citit, deși mi s-au părut la fel de interesante din punct de vedere al informațiilor prezentate, "Destrămarea curcubeului" este cea mai filosofică și lirică. Ceea ce, de fapt, este și ceea ce urmărește Dawkins: să prezinte argumente în favoarea poeticiății științei.Contrar a ceea ce mulți cred, știința nu distruge magia lumii sau, cum ar spune Blaga, ea nu distruge ” [...]

    4. One of the 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 convol [...]

    5. 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 more 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 o [...]

    6. 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 more 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 goo [...]

    7. 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 [...]

    8. Siempre es un placer leer a Dawkins, es un escritor que puede simplificar los conceptos más complejos y hacerte disfrutar de temas que a muchos les aburría de jóvenes: biología, química, física, etc (particularmente, yo aún 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 [...]

    9. Un libro acerca de la capacidad que tiene la ciencia para maravillarnos con la realidad. Aprendí cómo funciona el modelo que nos fabrica el cerebro acerca de la realidad, y otras cosas interesantes. No dice cosas tan distintas a sus otros libros, pero escribe siempre con tanta rigurosidad e inteligencia

    10. In this mindblowing science-based philosophical text, Dawkins invites the reader to see wonder in a world which, though often counter-intuitive and surprising, invites deep understanding.Though Dawkins is a skilled scientist, this text shows that he is equally impressive as a philosopher. In his case, science and philosophy are closely linked-- before beginning this text, I described my anticipation at reading "this Athiestic firecracker of a mind", and my hopes were not disappointed. Dawkins sk [...]

    11. I would love to praise Unweaving the Rainbow Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder as a layman's introduction to the wonders of science. The premise of the book is that the scientific view is not the bleak and cold perspective that it has a reputation for. In support of this, the book is chock full of little tidbits that demonstrate the beauty, the elegance, the chaos and the awe-inspiring complexity of the world around us. Dawkins endeavors to make science real to us, to seduce us wi [...]

    12. Dawkins makes a strong case for those of us who believe that scientific literacy not only does not have to come at the price of aesthetic appreciation, but can actually enhance it. Put another way, good science inspires good poetry. The sense of wonder we feel when watching the sun set should if anything be enhanced if we are aware of the physics of light reaching our retina, the 93 million miles the light had to travel to reach us, the ability of the light to at times be refracted into a rainbo [...]

    13. Hmmm, I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand I agree with him wholeheartedly that science and a scientific understanding of natural phenomena is a source of wonder. BUT, I think Dawkins throws the baby out with the bath water to a certain extent. To think of the rainbow in terms of water drops and light waves evokes one sort of beauty. But to think of the rainbow in terms of mythology, as something mysteriously wonderful, evokes quite another, one that is infinitely more suited to [...]

    14. Dawkins takes his title from John Keats, who decried Isaac Newton's explanation of light as "unweaving the rainbow." Far from robbing the wonderment of light by revealing some of its mysteries, Dawkins maintains that the greater understanding can only increase one's sense of wonder at a commonplace phenomenon, that we have, indeed, become immune to the wonder of the commonplace by not looking too deeply into it. Starting from Newton's discoveries on the nature of light, Dawkins works his way thr [...]

    15. Dawkins has done it again with _Unweaving_the_Rainbow_. After reading _The_God_Delusion_ I was left with a sense of wonder about science, reason, and a need for clarity of the meaning of life. A popular criticism of atheism is that it the power to turn anyone into a narcissist, and I can see the reasoning. It takes a strong-willed person to accept that once they die there is nothing waiting on the other side; there is no other side. Nevertheless _Unweaving_the_Rainbow_ has elegantly shown that t [...]

    16. UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW. (1998), Richard Dawkins. ***1/2.Here is another good book from Dawkins, though this one tends to be more contemplative than most of his works. He manages to look into the world of science and explain its workings in such a way that the average reader can pick up on them. In the course of this work, he covers topics in Astronomy, Electricity, Optics, Biology – with particular interest in the study of genes – and wave/particle phenomena. He backs up his approach in this [...]

    17. Dawkins appelliert an das Bestaunenswerte der Naturwissenschaften und dass Künstler diesem Aspekt mehr Aufmerksamkeit zollen sollten als einer irrealen Phantastik. Das ist an vielen Stellen richtig, aber oft liegt Dawkins auch ein wenig daneben. So greift er die These der Kulturwissenschaftler an, dass es keine Objektivität/Wahrheit geben könne. Natürlich sollte diese Auffasung nicht dazu führen, naturwissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse zu verneinen, aber die damit verbundene Kritikfähigkeit ha [...]

    18. It has good parts and bad parts. The beginning half was more interesting with how things work like Dopler shift and DNA fingerprinting. Dawkins tends to go on rants which is great in that he is unapologetic on his views but I feel, in doing so, he might lose some of the audience he is trying to gain (those who are uncertain why science is good). Still, an interesting read, overall.

    19. Pretty good all things considered. I'm not overly into poetry but it's a nice addition to the book. It's a few years old so some of the information needs updating and expanding and if you know your science or have done a lot of science reading then the text is rehashing information. Still, his writing is good, as per usual, and I do like a good Dawkins book.

    20. Probably my favorite so far. Dawkins has a gift for helping the layman understand scientific principles. This book convinced me that reasoning like a scientist could be helpful to anyone.

    21. Not as consistently good as his other books, but some real gems in here around how we interpret light and sound.

    22. 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 Wertschätzung. Er beschreibt hervorragend den Konflikt zwischen Geistes-, Sozialwissenschaften und Naturwissenschaft. Auch dass die Meinung von Geistes- oder Sozialwissenschaftlern in öffentlichen Diskussionen eher anerkannt und wertgeschätzt wird als die von Naturwissenschaftlern und das sogar bei naturwissensc [...]

    23. I was happy to appreciate the inside reference for Chapter 8's title, (all you Brief Encounter fans out there, etc.) In reading through, I had the feeling that somewhere in the editing process someone said, "Please add more sign posts at the beginning and ending of all your chapters. Please continue to remind your reader what your point is because your reader is probably stupid." From that advice I'm imagining Dawkins was made to make those written reminders against his will because it makes the [...]

    24. Premise of this book is wrong. Why search for link between scientific evidence and poetry ? Poetry is not going to persuade anybody about scientific facts. The person who doubts relentless efforts of scientists to discover truth about life and universe because it is not poetic is an idiot. It almost co-relates with the religions views on life. Everything must be pretty, non-chaotic and explained in one or two sentences. Truth about almost everything is complicated and there are really no simple [...]

    25. Scrisa in '98. Tarziu a ajuns la noi.Contine un calup mare de biologie, evolutie, ADN, gene etc. dar se ocupa si de alte probleme (demistificari, criticarea unor alti cercetatori, comentarii personale).Poate fi citita de oricine, exceptie face doar partea de stiinta. Daca nu stiti ce este gena, proteina, enzima, evolutia etc. cautati-va alta carte.Foarte amuzanta anecdota/amintirea despre zborul copiilor cu avionul. Trebuie sa fac si eu asta odata :D

    26. "Il mistico si accontenta di cullarsi nello stupore e di crogiolarsi in un mistero che a suo avviso l’uomo non è “fatto” per penetrare. Lo scienziato prova l’identico stupore, ma non si accontenta e, pur riconoscendo di trovarsi di fronte a un grande enigma, dichiara: “Stiamo cercando di chiarirlo”." (p. 23)

    27. Dawkins kendini okutturuyor ve hiçbir zaman sıkılmıyorsunuz. Bilimin mucizevi yapısını ortaya koyuyor ve gökkuşağının bilimsel açıklamasının gökkuşağının güzelliğinden hiçbir şey kaybettirmediğini hatta aksine gökkuşağını daha da güzelleştirdiğini belirtiyor. Siz de buna katılıyorsunuz. Bilim her zaman iyidir !

    28. niet uitgelezen. ik kan niet door de zelfingenomenheid van Dawkins heen lezen. een mening is prima maar dan wel onderbouwd en niet (naar mijn gevoel) op persoonlijke arrogante titel

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