Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Feynman’s flower

This video is from 1981. The interview is also the subject of Feynman’s book The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.

“I have a friend who’s an artist and he’s some times 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 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 could 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 are 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 that are… why is it aesthetic, all kinds of interesting questions which 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.”

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  1. Bookmarks about Feynman August 15th, 2008 5:45 am

    […] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by avinash on 2008-08-05 Feynman’s flower http://forgetomori.com/2008/science/feynmans-flower/ – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by […]

  2. […] found this via forgetomori, but it originally comes from a treasure trove called (with little attempt made at a creative […]

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