Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion, and the Appetite for Wonder

by Richard Dawkins
Boston: Mariner Books, 2000. 352 pages.

The author of Climbing Mount Improbable and The Selfish Gene argues, in his characteristically lively prose, that understanding science increases, rather than decreases, the sense of wonder that we feel in contemplating the world. The title alludes to the poem Lamia, in which Keats complained that "cold philosophy" proposes to demystify the world; in contrast, Dawkins insists, through a series of illuminating vignettes and reasoned discussions, that unweaving the rainbow is itself profoundly poetic.