My natural inclination has always been to see beauty in scientific explanation. A good friend once had the sense of giving me Feynman’s Rainbow at a time when I was feeling particularly down about science, and it worked a treat. It is absolutely true for me – a rainbow is always more beautiful because I know what makes it look the way it does. There’s not only a sense of awe, but one of smugness too. We’ve come up with this rather neat framework to interpret the natural world, and it’s obscenely satisfying.
I got further reminded of this earlier today, as I watched Life on BBC4. Today it was about fish. There were flying fish, climbing fish and fish that skip along in the mud. There were Predator-like fish, and dancing see horses, and I sat there and stared in absolute wonder at the beautiful diversity that evolution naturally gives rise to.
Sometimes one just wants to get up and give the whole wide natural and physical world a tight and enormous hug for having somehow turned out the way it did, and springing up consciousness in the shape of an ever-so-slightly hangover girl at this point in space and time.
So here – thanks, world. Sometimes it really does feel like a privilege.