Unweaving the rainbow

I like this Abstruse Goose comic about how scientists view the world:

Abstruse Goose 275

The author’s commentary on this is “Poor bastards.”  Presumably he’s being ironic, but lots of people do feel this way.  But I’m with Feynman:

I have a friend who’s an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don’t agree with. He’ll hold up a flower and say, “Look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree. But then he’ll say, “I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull.” I think he’s kind of nutty …. There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.

(From What Do You Care What Other People Think?)

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Ted Bunn

I am chair of the physics department at the University of Richmond. In addition to teaching a variety of undergraduate physics courses, I work on a variety of research projects in cosmology, the study of the origin, structure, and evolution of the Universe. University of Richmond undergraduates are involved in all aspects of this research. If you want to know more about my research, ask me!

3 thoughts on “Unweaving the rainbow”

  1. By the same logic, art majors cannot appreciate a painting because they keep taking it apart and it becomes dull.

  2. I actually have heard similar things said about literature: people who went through graduate school at times and places that emphasized high literary theory have claimed that it drained them of their ability to enjoy reading good books.

    I’m not saying that this view is widespread; I wouldn’t know. I’ve just heard one or two people say it.

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