Science and Aesthetics

Does explaining the nature in terms of science spoil the beauty of it. Consider the rainbow. English poet John Keats once bemoaned that Isaac Newton had "Destroyed the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to a prism". Michael Shermer thinks the opposite. In his regular column Skeptic in Scientific American he writes that science and aesthetics are complementary, not conflicting.Scientific explanation for any given phenomenon would not diminish its beauty or its ability to inspire poetry and emotional experiences.I concur with him.Even after knowing science behind it, nature would be as awe inspiring as ever. Science enables us to appreciate nature better.

5 comments :: Science and Aesthetics

  1. I agree with you Prabhu, when I understand the inner workings of nature, I am more and more astounded by nature.

  2. I forgot to add, I prefer your old template more but this one is also nice.

  3. Venkat,

    The new template looked more appelealing than the earlier one to me..hope this one stays long!. Thanks for your opinion Venkat.

    Prabhu S

    9:30 AM

  4. I know not whether science enables us to appreciate nature more, but ofcourse I agree with (both of) you, that science and the experience of beauty are not contradictory.
    Nevertheless I do think Keats would have meant something else with his lamenting statement. It is not that nature has lost its beauty because of science, but it has lost its divinity, and that is something quite different.
    When nature was divine we could be near to the gods, but "reduced" to a scientific equation it has lost some of its depth - which reflects back on the romantic poetry.

    With kind regards
    Chr. S. Karlsen

  5. Karlsen,

    I agree with you that things may lose their divinity a bit by explaning them but I think that their ability to inspire romanticism would not be lost.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Karlsen.

    Prabhu S

    9:58 AM