[BOOK] Unweaving the Rainbow Science Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder BY Richard Dawkins – 8p2.us
A weak book from Dawkins Regardless of his ideas being right or wrong he is a bad writer and here he is worse than he is a bad writer and here he is worse than 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 oes 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 "Dawkins treats it as "explained and leave it as thatOther thing he loves to do and it s just plain bad writing is comparing things "and leave it as thatOther thing he loves to do and it s just plain bad writing is comparing things with another As a first step to understand the problem it s ok but he dwells too long on metaphors Ie comparing the human brain to a computer He The Cowboy Takes a Bride (The Bridal Bid 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 ofuessing 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 etcThere are some Michaels Discovery (The Devaneys good moments very few but in short very badly written 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 eual to mythic or poetic metaphor with a concomitantain 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 Shotgun Wedding (Silhouette Yours Truly, growth of scientific understanding since his time The first half or so was amazing and the rest was still really interesting especially the end if not uite 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 toet through 45 stars will probably be 5 on the reread 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 with its simplicity to floor us by making the massive tangible and to tantalize us with the beautiful intricacy that can be seen if you just have the understandingSadly I can also describe this book as a long and rambling rant about the bountiful and varied thorns in Richard Dawkins side Sure I share the pain of many of those thorns But even to me his litany of complaints eventually started to feel like the mean spirited nit picking of a cantankerous old manIt is tricky to strike a balance between providing harsh criticism of bad ideas while still being respectful to the people who believe them And yet this is a challenge that skeptics should be uniuely well suited for I never cease to be amazed when a skeptic work explains the natural human fallacies that tend to lead to a particular faulty conclusion and the mechanism in our brains that make the belief appealing and intuitive then in the next paragraph have the audacity to call people who have made these entirely reasonable mistakes idiots or charlatansExcepting perhaps the small choir of skeptics that Dawkins is preaching to we all know someone who holds a scientifically unsound belief Even most enerally pro science people hold one or two personal superstitions Nobody appreciates their friends and family members mocked or accused of malicious intent and they take it even less kindly when the name calling is pointed their way It is a tragic irony that this is what leaves people wi. 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 Mysterie. Of thinking And Dawkins too often
to stoop to that levelFor consider this uote from astrophysicist Chandrasekhar beauty is that to which "consider this uote from astrophysicist Chandrasekhar beauty is that to which human mind responds at its deepest and most profound Indeed Of course I left out the beginning of the uote 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 rumble discontentedly as he adjusted his suspenders and wandered back to his deskBut when Dawkins DOES lower himself to my level and speak my language he pulls me "RIGHT IN HIS DISCUSSION ON COINCIDENCE AND HOW IN "in his discussion on coincidence and how in 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 lass of water you are imbibing at least one molecule that passed through the bladder of Oliver Cromwell there are many molecules in a lass of water than there are Only a Whisper glasses of water in the sea solid matter even a hard diamond consists almost entirely of empty space Another riff thatave 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 DarwinismThat 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 Copper Lake Secrets 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 euation before he published The actual science bits in here arereat 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 Brooklyn's Song geeky excitement experienced all round by yours truly Dawkins does a fine job of explaining complex ideas clearly and wellThat s what wasood about Unweaving the RainbowSadly what feels like way than half of the book was spent painstakingly trying to argue people out of believing in astrology Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti Devotional Study Guide ghosts remote viewing etc using logic and scientific fact Its starts about one third the way in My problem with this is threefold1 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 science2 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 dull3 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 Critiues of the scientific accuracy of Wordsworth poems or a fantasy story by Mark Twain are cringe makingWhat Dawkins doesn t understand about human psychology is a lot I think his whole crusade against religion has been a waste of aood 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 exampleI was hoping for a lot wonder of science Instead I felt like I was Plain Jane The Hotshot getting lectured at length for something I didn t even do What do I care about astrologyAnyhow I was hoping for wonders of science and less railing Disappointing Better books on science and wonder that I d recommend. Omy andenetics 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. Th a bad taste in their mouth leading to "the very science sentiments that Dawkins is trying to preventI wish I could recommend this book to friends "very anti science sentiments Dawkins is trying to preventI wish I could recommend this book to friends would love to be able to say Read this and maybe you will begin to see why being an atheist is not depressing as you are imagining but in fact wondrous and hopeful But I would be ashamed for a friend to read this book and be subjected to witnessing the cruel ridicule dished out by Dawkins Enjoyed this book a lot especially the chapters on how humans delude themselves or allow others to delude them including newspapers that include astrology columns That seems very fitting "For Todays World Where "todays world where yell fake news if they don t like the story about themselves The final chapter is really Family of Her Dreams great as well about memes and language 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 Have you ever while sheltering in space time under threat of a belligerent snippet of information enclosed in a flimsy lipid membrane sat on your porch during the rain and tried to derive from first principles how it is that a rainbow forms Trying to discard all the things you ve learned about droplets of moisture and the refractive index of light Imagining how you d interpret the phenomenon from a position of scientific ignorance For me this brought to mind two things First that Keats should ve had his testicles artfully tied into a balloon animal and smacked across the forehead so hard that his shoelaces exploded Second this conversation that I had recently with a friend who was thinking about attending a large socialatheringMe Don 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 Blackmailed Into the Italians Bed good science inspiresood poetry The sense of wonder we feel when watching the sun set 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 himIn 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 piued that an average undergraduate had the audacity to drop by during office hours and ask a stupid uestionThat 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 Girls Night Out 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 ando 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 Bound To Ransom (Bound Series Book 2) 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 ando 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 fileIn my opinion that ualifies 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. S 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 astron.
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