“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” —Albert Einstein

It’s that feeling you get when you learn we’re made of elements born of a star’s death. It’s contemplating the complexity of DNA. Or lingering on a sunset.

It’s the fierce desire to know why, even if perhaps we never will. It’s appreciating the mysterious order to the universe, and the apparent chaos this order produces.

Wonder is awe; wonder is curiosity.

Wonder has been described as a religious experience, although it’s one that doesn’t require the supernatural to enjoy. For the natural world has wonder enough for us all.

Reason is the most powerful tool we have to understand the universe around us. Yet even reason is motivated by passion. And the two are not mutually exclusive. Knowing that all elements on Earth heavier than carbon – including the iron in your blood – were formed in the cataclysmic death throes of a giant star doesn’t make that fact any less astounding. We should revel in this knowledge, share the wonder, not just chalk it up on the board and move on.

Wonder is an appreciation of mystery, the problems solved and the problems we may never solve.

Wonder is also a website dedicated to revelling in rational appreciation of the natural world. Our mission is to encourage wonder in all its forms and use it as a spark to ignite enquiry, discussion, appreciation and joy.

 “Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is ‘mere’… It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it.” —Richard Feynman

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Science, art, philosophy: rational appreciation of the natural world