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Een regenboog ontrafelen: over wetenschap, waanideeën en wonderen

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4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  8,471 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
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. Mysteries don't lose their poetry because they are solved: the solution ofte ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 2009 by Olympus (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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pausetowonder
The actual science bits in here are great. 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 geeky excitement experienced all round by yours truly. Dawkins does a fine job of explaining complex ideas clearly and well.

That's what was good about Unweaving the Rainbow.

Sadly, what feels like way more than half of the book was spent painstakingly
...more
M Gilbert
Dawkins is one of those Oxford profs who wags his finger at anyone who doesn't completely embrace empiricism and common sense. Actually, I don't mind that--he's part of that old intellectual tradition after all. I remember reading Hobbes' Leviathan in college where he says "Metaphors, and senseless and ambiguous words are like ignes fatui" or "foolish light". Dawkins quotes Hobbes but doesn't go quite that far (thank God). His thesis is that science can be as full of beauty and wonder as poetry, ...more
Amanda
Nov 13, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
The first half or so was amazing, and the rest was still really interesting (especially the end), if not quite 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 to get through. 4.5 stars, will probably be 5 on the reread.
Gabrielam13
Cred că aceasta a devenit cartea mea preferată de la Dawkins. Spre deosebire de toate celalte pe care le-am citit, deși mi s-au părut la fel de interesante din punct de vedere al informațiilor prezentate, "Destrămarea curcubeului" este cea mai filosofică și lirică. Ceea ce, de fapt, este și ceea ce urmărește Dawkins: să prezinte argumente în favoarea poeticiății științei.

Contrar a ceea ce mulți cred, știința nu distruge magia lumii sau, cum ar spune Blaga, ea nu distruge ”corola de minuni a lumi
...more
Michael
Jul 14, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 equal to mythic or poetic metaphor, with a concomitant gain in understanding and an increased desire to know still more 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 o ...more
Megan Olivier
Watch my October Reading Wrap Up to hear my thoughts!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRPR1...
Gustavo
Nov 28, 2014 Gustavo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A weak book from Dawkins. Regardless of his ideas being right or wrong, he is a bad writer, and here he is worse than ever. 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 goes 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 ...more
Steve
Sep 25, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, favorites
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 more scientific titles. His critics often like to portray him as arrogant, hectoring (or that other old chestnut: 'shrill') and overly absorbed with the cold clinical application of the scientific method. Well he may not be cuddly, and I may not agree with his approach to everything, but for the most part I find him genial, honorable and goo ...more
Aracne Mileto
Apr 05, 2017 Aracne Mileto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Siempre es un placer leer a Dawkins, es un escritor que puede simplificar los conceptos más complejos y hacerte disfrutar de temas que a muchos les aburría de jóvenes: biología, química, física, etc (particularmente, yo aún no supero mis problemas con los vectores…).

Muchos piensan que la ciencia le quita el color a la vida con sus explicaciones complicadas y extensas, intentando arrebatarnos lo brillante y emocionante de lo desconocido. Pues este libro nos demuestra que la ciencia hace de todo m
...more
Krista
Sep 25, 2009 Krista rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 him.

In 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
...more
Sergio Flores Niklitschek
Un libro acerca de la capacidad que tiene la ciencia para maravillarnos con la realidad. Aprendí cómo funciona el modelo que nos fabrica el cerebro acerca de la realidad, y otras cosas interesantes. No dice cosas tan distintas a sus otros libros, pero escribe siempre con tanta rigurosidad e inteligencia
Elizabeth Rhea
In this mindblowing science-based philosophical text, Dawkins invites the reader to see wonder in a world which, though often counter-intuitive and surprising, invites deep understanding.

Though Dawkins is a skilled scientist, this text shows that he is equally impressive as a philosopher. In his case, science and philosophy are closely linked-- before beginning this text, I described my anticipation at reading "this Athiestic firecracker of a mind", and my hopes were not disappointed. Dawkins sk
...more
Alissa Thorne
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 ...more
Mark
Feb 27, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, good science inspires good poetry. The sense of wonder we feel when watching the sun set should if anything be enhanced if we are aware of the physics of light reaching our retina, the 93 million miles the light had to travel to reach us, the ability of the light to at times be refracted into a rainbo ...more
Abi
Nov 15, 2009 Abi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century, england
Hmmm, I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand I agree with him wholeheartedly that science and a scientific understanding of natural phenomena is a source of wonder. BUT, I think Dawkins throws the baby out with the bath water to a certain extent. To think of the rainbow in terms of water drops and light waves evokes one sort of beauty. But to think of the rainbow in terms of mythology, as something mysteriously wonderful, evokes quite another, one that is infinitely more suited to ...more
Denise
Feb 25, 2014 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dawkins takes his title from John Keats, who decried Isaac Newton's explanation of light as "unweaving the rainbow." Far from robbing the wonderment of light by revealing some of its mysteries, Dawkins maintains that the greater understanding can only increase one's sense of wonder at a commonplace phenomenon, that we have, indeed, become immune to the wonder of the commonplace by not looking too deeply into it.

Starting from Newton's discoveries on the nature of light, Dawkins works his way thr
...more
Chris
Nov 05, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Chris by: Richard Dawkins
Shelves: atheism, science
Dawkins has done it again with _Unweaving_the_Rainbow_. After reading _The_God_Delusion_ I was left with a sense of wonder about science, reason, and a need for clarity of the meaning of life. A popular criticism of atheism is that it the power to turn anyone into a narcissist, and I can see the reasoning. It takes a strong-willed person to accept that once they die there is nothing waiting on the other side; there is no other side. Nevertheless _Unweaving_the_Rainbow_ has elegantly shown that t ...more
Tony
Apr 30, 2017 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW. (1998), Richard Dawkins. ***1/2.
Here is another good book from Dawkins, though this one tends to be more contemplative than most of his works. He manages to look into the world of science and explain its workings in such a way that the average reader can pick up on them. In the course of this work, he covers topics in Astronomy, Electricity, Optics, Biology – with particular interest in the study of genes – and wave/particle phenomena. He backs up his approach in this book
...more
Steffi
Dec 31, 2011 Steffi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dawkins appelliert an das Bestaunenswerte der Naturwissenschaften und dass Künstler diesem Aspekt mehr Aufmerksamkeit zollen sollten als einer irrealen Phantastik. Das ist an vielen Stellen richtig, aber oft liegt Dawkins auch ein wenig daneben. So greift er die These der Kulturwissenschaftler an, dass es keine Objektivität/Wahrheit geben könne. Natürlich sollte diese Auffasung nicht dazu führen, naturwissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse zu verneinen, aber die damit verbundene Kritikfähigkeit halte ic ...more
Aimee
It has good parts and bad parts. The beginning half was more interesting with how things work like Dopler shift and DNA fingerprinting. Dawkins tends to go on rants which is great in that he is unapologetic on his views but I feel, in doing so, he might lose some of the audience he is trying to gain (those who are uncertain why science is good). Still, an interesting read, overall.
Emma
Dec 23, 2012 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-general
Pretty good all things considered. I'm not overly into poetry but it's a nice addition to the book. It's a few years old so some of the information needs updating and expanding and if you know your science or have done a lot of science reading then the text is rehashing information. Still, his writing is good, as per usual, and I do like a good Dawkins book.
Tedwood Strong
Jan 07, 2009 Tedwood Strong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meals
Probably my favorite so far. Dawkins has a gift for helping the layman understand scientific principles. This book convinced me that reasoning like a scientist could be helpful to anyone.
Aaron
Apr 25, 2008 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, non-fiction
Not as consistently good as his other books, but some real gems in here around how we interpret light and sound.
V. A. MENON
Dec 15, 2012 V. A. MENON rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book
Tomas
Jul 10, 2017 Tomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Premise of this book is wrong. Why search for link between scientific evidence and poetry ? Poetry is not going to persuade anybody about scientific facts. The person who doubts relentless efforts of scientists to discover truth about life and universe because it is not poetic is an idiot. It almost co-relates with the religions views on life. Everything must be pretty, non-chaotic and explained in one or two sentences. Truth about almost everything is complicated and there are really no simple ...more
Danut
Jul 22, 2017 Danut rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scrisa in '98. Tarziu a ajuns la noi.
Contine un calup mare de biologie, evolutie, ADN, gene etc. dar se ocupa si de alte probleme (demistificari, criticarea unor alti cercetatori, comentarii personale).
Poate fi citita de oricine, exceptie face doar partea de stiinta. Daca nu stiti ce este gena, proteina, enzima, evolutia etc. cautati-va alta carte.
Foarte amuzanta anecdota/amintirea despre zborul copiilor cu avionul. Trebuie sa fac si eu asta odata :D
Iami Menotu
Jun 03, 2017 Iami Menotu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written book. A scientist write for everyone to understand about the beauty of science and how it made our world better for all
Martin Pribble
Feb 03, 2013 Martin Pribble rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This month, while in a Twitter hiatus, I managed to get around to reading a book. Yes, a real book, with paper and pages and a cardboard cover! The book I chose to read is by Dr Richard Dawkins, and this is one that is overlooked in terms of its importance and place in society, having been overshadowed by his more groundbreaking and most famous publications such as “The Blind Watchmaker”, “The Selfish Gene” and of course “The God Delusion.”

“Unweaving the Rainbow” was originally published in 1998
...more
Clarence Cheong
Mar 12, 2016 Clarence Cheong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That this book proclaims to be about 'delusion and the appetite for wonder' is puzzling, for Dawkins devotes only a few sections to ridiculing mystics and offering slightly demeaning explanations for our naiveté when faced with an authoritarian account of the unaccountable. Dawkins spends more time elaborating on another considerable obstacle towards public acceptance and appreciation of science: our tendency to see science as cold, calculating, and devoid of poetry. This book is rife with examp ...more
Sinn
Dec 17, 2011 Sinn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Obwohl Richard Dawkins zweifelsfrei zu den genialeren (Evolutions-) Biologen zählt, möchte ich dieses Buch nur einem eingeschränkten Publikum empfehlen. Zwar hat sich der eloquente Engländer inzwischen einen Namen in Sachen Religionskritik gemacht (vermutlich ist er DER Paradeatheist); dieser Umstand alleine macht ihn aber, trotz aller Kontroversen, noch nicht interessant genug um sich als Laie durch dieses Buch zu quälen.

Nicht falsch verstehen - an und für sich ist es sicherlich interessant. Le
...more
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“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. 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. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?” 1222 likes
“The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite.” 151 likes
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