Richard Feynman

“i have a friend who’s an artist and he’s sometimes taken a view which i don’t agree with very well. he’ll hold up a flower and say, “look how beautiful it is,” and i’ll agree, i think. and he says - “you see, i as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.” and i think that he’s kind of nutty. first of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, i believe, although i might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is; but i can appreciate the beauty of a flower. at the same time i see much more about the flower than he sees. i can imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty. i mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension of one centimeter, there is also beauty at a smaller dimension, the inner structure. also the processes, the fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting - it means that insects can see the color. it adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? why is it aesthetic? all kinds of interesting questions which shows that a science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. it only adds; i don’t understand how it subtracts..”


Richard Feynman
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