Unweaving the Rainbow

From Academic Kids

Unweaving the Rainbow (subtitled "Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder") is a book by Richard Dawkins, published in 1998 discussing the relationship between science and arts from the perspective of a scientist.

Dawkins addresses the common perception of ordinary people who find science dull and boring and cannot understand why scientists find it not only important but also thrilling, interesting and beautiful. Driven by the responses to his book The Blind Watchmaker wherein readers resented his describing the world as mechanical and emotionless, Dawkins felt the need to explain that for him as a scientist the world was full of wonders and a source of pleasure; this pleasure was not in spite of, but rather because of the fact that he does not assume as cause the unexplicable actions of a deity but rather the understandable laws of nature.

His starting point is John Keats's well-known accusation that Isaac Newton destroyed the beauty of the rainbow by explaining it. The agenda of the book is to show the reader that science does not destroy, but rather discovers poetry in the patterns and laws of nature.

It is not surprising that Dawkins is a supporter of the Brights movement as this book could be seen as a defense of the representative standpoints of this philosophy.

Chapters

The book has 12 chapters:

  1. The Anaesthetic of Familiarity
  2. Drawing Room of Dukes
  3. Barcodes in the Stars
  4. Barcodes on the Air
  5. Barcodes at the Bar
  6. Hoodwink'd with Faery Fancy
  7. Unweaving the Uncanny
  8. Huge Cloudy Symbols of a High Romance
  9. The Selfish Cooperator
  10. The Genetic Book of the Dead
  11. Reweaving the World
  12. The Balloon of the Mind

Editions

External links

Richard Dawkins
Books: The Selfish Gene - The Extended Phenotype - The Blind Watchmaker - River Out Of Eden - Climbing Mount Improbable - Unweaving the Rainbow - A Devil's Chaplain - The Ancestor's Tale
See also: W. D. Hamilton - Williams revolution - atheism - humanism - evolution - Lalla Ward
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