31 May 2008

Unweaving The Rainbow - Richard Dawkins

Review by Kendrick Frazier
The central challenge addressed in Richard Dawkins's Unweaving the Rainbow is the perception among many that science somehow diminishes our appreciation of the world. It is a problem all who attempt to explain science to the wider public must sometime face, and noted thinkers like Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, and Martin Gardner all have written about it. In 1995, Dawkins, the noted Oxford zoologist and evolutionist (and CSICOP Fellow), became the first Charles Simonyi professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford. In this book he faces these wider issues, which go far beyond evolutionary biology but are still enriched and informed by Dawkins's intimate familiarity with that subject. His title is from Keats, who believed that Newton had destroyed all the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to its prismatic colors.

Dawkins quickly lays that particular complaint to rest by showing how Newton's optics led to spectroscopy which led to measurement of emission and absorption line spectra and thereby to direct understanding of the nature and characteristics of stars-their size, luminosity, history, and future ("Barcodes of the Stars")-and then to our wider understanding of the cosmos.

"Newton's dissection of the rainbow into light of different wavelengths led onto Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism and thence to Einstein's theory of special relativity," notes Dawkins, adding: "If you think the rainbow has poetic mystery, you should try relativity." All from a little "unweaving of the rainbow." And nothing about it need diminish our astonishment and appreciation of the beauty of a rainbow arcing across the rain-darkened sky. (click for full review)

http://rapidshare.com/files/118957346/kitap5.rar (539 KB, şifre: 5kitap3)

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