Re: HUMOR: schoolchildren on science

Joy Williams (
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 15:59:24 -0800

At 11:13 PM 1/26/97 +0100, Anders Sandberg wrote:
>On Sat, 25 Jan 1997, Chris Hind wrote:
>> >Rainbows are just to look at, not to really understand.
>> This one in particular disturbs me because it hints at the "peer
>> anti-intelligence" meme.
>Yes, it disturbed me too. At the same time it shows how useful it is to
evade the question (presumably "What causes rainbows?").<

I can see why it's disturbing, but I can also understand the point of view.
Sometimes explaining things to the extreme, can initially take the wonder
away. Sometimes it's better to just appreciate the beauty. I don't need
to, for instance, initially understand the chemical composition of the
paints used in a piece of art. I want to appreciate the *art*. Later on I
might be interested in the chemistry....

And a rainbow, which is beautiful and frequently evoke a sense of wonder,
can be explained later...but explaining it in the moment can trivialize the
experience, unless you can explain it in such a way that evokes more wonder
at the complexity of the process that created such a beautiful thing. That
would require some skill, but it could be done for a 5th or 6th grader.

I remember the last time I saw a Rainbow.....It was a triple...awesome.
And though I understand why they occur, I really didn't want to think about
that when I saw them, I just wanted to enjoy them.