science is another layer of beauty
March 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
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, you 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 that he sees. I can imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty….
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 scientific knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds; I don’t understand how it can subtract.