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Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion, and the Appetite for Wonder Paperback – 5 Apr 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 458 customer reviews

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Paperback, 5 Apr 2000
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (Trade); 1st Mariner Books Ed edition (5 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618056734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618056736
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 458 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,977,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Richard Dawkins has taken the title of his book from Keats, who believed that Newton had destroyed all the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to the prismatic colours. But, as the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, Dawkins naturally believes the opposite is true. And in Unweaving the Rainbow, he attempts to convince those who hold a similar view to Keats.

With a characteristic mixture of forceful argument and illustrations from scientific research, he shows how science, properly understood, does not disenchant nature, but rather enhances the poetry of experience by revealing the workings of the natural world in their full wonder. Even Newton's unweaving of the rainbow made possible the science of spectroscopy, which enables us to determine the elements stars are made of. But Dawkins touches on other subjects, including statistics, astronomy, physiology and genetics. One of the many absorbing topics examined--from a chapter on sense perception--is how brains create a "virtual reality" by filling in "background noise" ignored by nerves which only respond to signal changes in the external world. Dawkins also examines good (selfish genes) and bad (Gaia hypothesis) examples of poetic science. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"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."

"Like an extended stay on a brain health-farm . . .You come out feeling lean, tuned and enormously more intelligent."

"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

"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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