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

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9780141026183: Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

From the bestselling author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins's Unweaving the Rainbow explores the most important and compelling topics in modern science, and our appetite for wonder.

Keats accused Newton of destroying the poetry of the rainbow by explaining the origin of its colours, thus dispelling its mystery.

In this illuminating and provocative book, Richard Dawkins argues that Keats could not have been more mistaken and shows how an understanding of science in fact inspires the human imagination and enhances our wonder of the world.

'Beautifully written and full of interesting, original ideas. Essential reading'
  The Times

'A brilliant assertion of the wonder and excitement of real, tough, grown-up science'
  A.S. Byatt

'The way Dawkins writes about science is not just a brain-tonic. It is more like an extended stay on a brain health-farm ... you come out feeling lean, tuned and enormously more intelligent'
  Sunday Times

'For Dawkins there is more poetry, not less, in the rainbow because of Newton ... warming to his theme, he weaves rainbows of wonder from other provinces of science and then unleashes his fury on those who accuse scientists like him of being unimaginative for not believing in horoscopes, telepathy, ghosts and gods'
  Matt Ridley

'Brilliantly entertaining and stimulating'
  Observer

Richard Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature, and Vice President of the British Humanist Association. He was first catapulted to fame with The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books: The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Unweaving the Rainbow, and an impassioned defence of atheism, The God Delusion.

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Why do poets and artists so often disparage science in their work? For that matter, why does so much scientific literature compare poorly with, say, the phone book? After struggling with questions like these for years, biologist Richard Dawkins has taken a wide-ranging view of the subjects of meaning and beauty in Unweaving the Rainbow, a deeply humanistic examination of science, mysticism and human nature. Notably strong-willed in a profession of bet-hedgers and wait-and-seers, Dawkins carries the reader along on a romp through the natural and cultural worlds, determined that "science, at its best, should leave room for poetry."

Inspired by the frequently asked question, "Why do you bother getting up in the morning?" following publication of his book The Selfish Gene, Dawkins sets out determined to show that understanding nature's mechanics need not sap one's zest for life. Alternately enlightening and maddening, Unweaving the Rainbow will appeal to all thoughtful readers, whether wild-eyed technophiles or grumpy, cabin-dwelling Luddites. Excoriation of newspaper astrology columns follow quotes from Blake and Shakespeare, which are sandwiched between sparkling, easy-to-follow discussions of probability, behaviour and evolution. In Dawkins' world (and, he hopes, in ours), science is poetry; he ends his journey by referring to his title's author and subject, maintaining that "A Keats and a Newton, listening to each other, might hear the galaxies sing." --Rob Lightner, Amazon.com

Review:

"A spellbinding storyteller." The New York Times"Brilliance and wit." The New Yorker"An extended rebuttal - not so much by argument as by radiant example - of perennial anti-science convictions. Few among us are better qualified for the job. If any recent writing about science is poetic, it is this." The Wall Street Journal"Like an extended stay on a brain health-farm . . .You come out feeling lean, tuned and enormously more intelligent." The Times of London

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Nachdr.. 196 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A dazzling, passionate polemic against anti-science movements of all kinds Cover note: Each copy of the new edition of Unweaving the Rainbow features a unique wavelength pattern. No two covers are exactly alike. 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. Cover note: Each copy of the new edition of Unweaving the Rainbow features a unique wavelength pattern. No two covers are exactly alike. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141026183

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Nachdr.. 196 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A dazzling, passionate polemic against anti-science movements of all kinds Cover note: Each copy of the new edition of Unweaving the Rainbow features a unique wavelength pattern. No two covers are exactly alike. 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. Cover note: Each copy of the new edition of Unweaving the Rainbow features a unique wavelength pattern. No two covers are exactly alike. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141026183

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Book Description PENGUIN, 2006. Book Condition: New. 2006. 0th Edition. Paperback. Keats accused Newton of destroying the poetry of the rainbow by explaining the origin of its colours, thus dispelling its mystery. In this book, the author argues that Keats could not have been more mistaken and shows how an understanding of science in fact inspires the human imagination and enhances our wonder of the world. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: PDZ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 195 x 130 x 23. Weight in Grams: 264. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141026183

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