However, as modern science, with its esoteric formulas and technical jargon, gradually receded from the grasp of non-scientifically trained. Consider the following passage from Richard Dawkins’s book Unweaving the Rainbow: We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. UNWEAVING THE Unweaving the Rainbow Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder Richard Dawkins A MARINER BOOK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN.

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The Prel ude Part of the romance of the rainbow comes from the illusion that it is always perched on the horizon far away, a huge curve unattainably receding as we approach.

The genes allow one to reconstruct a picture of the range of ways of life that the species has experienced; in this sense DNA would act as a palimpsestic ” digital archive ” if only its language of encoding history could be fully understood. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.

But the consequences can be laughable; as in the case of Kennewick Man. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. There must be some added value. Knowing how red and blue look doesn’t unweavinv us remember which wavelength is longer. The meaningless wordplays of modish francophone savants, splendidly exposed in Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont’s Intellectual Imposturesseem to have no other function than to impress the gullible.

Review of Richard Dawkins’ “Unweaving the Rainbow” | Metanexus

His scholarly wit makes his critical comments a pleasure to read in their own right. Includes bibliographical references and index. A little shorter than violet are ultraviolet rays, which burn our unwdaving and give us cancer. The human retina has four kinds of light-sensitive cell: And so on back, through your four grandparents and eight great grandparents, back to where it doesn’t bear thinking about. Within decades we must close our eyes again. But regularly recurring fiction — soap operas, cop series and the like — are legitimately criticized if, week after week, they systematically present a one-sided view of the world.


In old age Yeats sought a daakins and sought for it in vain, finally returning, in desperation, tue enumerate old themes of his fin de siecle young manhood.

Scientists may transform the world more effectively than politicians and statesmen, but that is not all they do, and certainly not all they could do. Her vision held it together, and I wouldn’t have finished it without her help and encouragement. But that is not all it is. In theory, if you wire-tapped the nerves leading to the separate ink pixels and stimulated them electrically via a computer, you could play out Charlie Chaplin movies on the squid’s skin.

A cell is not just a bag of juice. Newton was not the first to make an artificial rainbow with a prism, but he was the first to use it to demonstrate that white light is a mixture of different colours. This was beautifully expressed in his written statement to the Oxford of the future his endowment is in perpetuity, yet he characteristically eschews the wary meanness of lawyer language and we have discussed these matters from time to time since becoming friends after my appointment.

Doesn’t that lift the anaesthetic’s pall? If your eye gets a beam of green light from one particular raindrop, the blue light from that raindrop goes above your eye, and the red light from that particular raindrop goes below. Sometimes he overstates his case. And unlike, say, quantum theory or relativity, it certainly isn’t difficult to understand, though it may be difficult to credit.

Different observers, looking at the same shower from different places, will piece together their own separate rainbows using light from different collections of raindrops.

By simple analysis, he reveals the quackery and trickery of psychics, clairvoyants, et. Fictional gainbow may become consciously malevolent or even, in Douglas Adams’s masterly science comedies, paranoid; spaceships may warp- drive themselves unweaging distant galaxies using some postulated future technology, but the decencies of science are essentially maintained. But we can recapture that sense of having just tumbled out to life on a new world by looking at our own world in unfamiliar ways.


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This maximizes running at the expense of swimming, but even this is not quite the fastest course because of the greater total distance travelled. Or right across Greece from the Adriatic to the Aegean. This is precisely what drives us to find out. It is no accident that our kind of life finds itself on a planet whose temperature, rainfall and everything else are exactly right.

For another thoughtful British journalist, Bryan Appleyard, writing inscience is dawins ‘appalling spiritual damage’. But we as individuals are still hugely blessed. Simple, sober clarity will do nicely, letting the facts and the ideas speak for themselves. Parts of the lecture have been reworked and expanded in chapter 9.

The Anesthetic of Familiarity; 2.

Review of Richard Dawkins’ “Unweaving the Rainbow”

He read a great deal of science and fancied himself as a scientific thinker, not least on the subject of light and colour, where he claimed to have anticipated Goethe. With the concept of petwhac Population of Events That Would Have Appeared Coincidentalhe gives statistical explanations for so-called astounding coincidences which have fooled people over the ages. But we’ve only just begun our journey back to the trilobite. Black objects absorb light of all wavelengths.

The skin of a squid behaves like an LED screen. One of the two, Scully, favours a rational, scientific explanation; the other agent, Mulder, goes for an explanation which either is supernatural or, at very least, glorifies the inexplicable. The sun is behind and slightly above you, and light from it enters the raindrop.

Two types of collaboration are co-adaptation tailoring simultaneously the different parts of an organism, such as flower colour and flower markingsand co-evolution two species changing together; e. Unfortunately poetry cannot celebrate them, because their deeds are concerned with things, not persons, and are, therefore, speechless.