Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Golden Spiral

The Golden Spiral
According to common sense we judge a well-proportioned thing beautiful...
Pythagoras contended that all things exist because they are ordered and they are ordered because they are the realization of mathematical laws, which are the condition of existence and beauty.
-Umberto Eco

I am going to math-geek out on you a bit here.  The image of the "Golden Spiral" above mimics the proportions of many organisms found in nature and was designed by Pythagoras. Many architects and artists have used the "secret" equation of the golden ratio to inspire their work.  It is said to be a perfect reflection of the beauty of the natural world.

And yet... can beauty really be reduced to a mathematical equation? 

I believe that life is just a bit more messy than that.  I still just love the concept behind the Higgs boson discovery that in order for particles to exist a spark of energy breaks symmetry.  In other words- for creation to happen there must be a break down of structure.  We hunt around for patterns to make sense of our crazy world, but the patterns can only take us so far.  For the beauty of creation to occur asymmetry must be thrust into the mix.

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
-Sir Francis Bacon

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