費曼:科學看見美麗

我想向大家分享科學,因為我覺得科學很有趣。

費曼 (Richard Feynman, 1918 – 1988) 也覺得科學很有趣。有一次,他的一個朋友對他說,科學拿走了事物之美,令事物變得枯燥。費曼回答說:

我也可以感受到花朵之美。同時,我看到更多。我能想像其中細胞之間互動之美。花朵之美不單止於厘米尺度,也在於更小的尺度、內在結構和過程。花朵演化顏色以吸引昆蟲傳播花粉這事實本身就很有趣:這代表昆蟲能夠看到顏色。這帶出另一個問題:昆蟲能審美嗎?它為何審美?一切這些有趣的科學知識只會加深我們對花朵的驚嘆、神祕和敬畏。這只會加深。我不明白這何以拿走了事物之美。

以下是費曼這段說話的錄音:

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.

若能拋開先入為主的概念去看,世上萬物本身就很有趣、很美麗。

費曼誕辰:談科學精神、機率和不確定性》- 余海峯

科學家巡禮:理查.費曼 (Richard P. Feynman)》- 余海峯

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