Richard Feynman – Ode To A Flower

In one interview on BBC for the Horizon, Richard Feynman shared a conversation he once had with his artist friends about ‘The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.’ Today, we call this monologue “Ode to the Flower.” Talented designer Fraser Davidson, made a lovely short animation for that part of the interview above.

I have a friend who’s an artist and has 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. Then he says “I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist 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…

I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than 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, at one centimeter; there’s also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, 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 the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.

Similar Videos

Snowtime | Making Snowflakes in Slow-Motion | Abakcus

Snowtime

Beautiful science behind snowflakes. The time lapse formation of snowflakes, recorded with a macro lens by Vyacheslav Ivanov.
Send this to a friend