06 May 2013


In math, the Fibonacci sequence begins with 0, then 1, then progresses such that each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two, thus ~

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 ....

If one draws successive squares with sides of those dimensions, one arrives at a spiral, sometimes called the golden ratio ~ a shape which is widely present in the physical world, from the very small (the curl of a fern leaf, the seed patterns in a sunflower, the compartments of a chambered nautilus) to the very large (the shapes of hurricanes and galactic arms).  See the above image ~ click to enlarge.

Evidence of intelligent design?  Hardly.  One of the guiding principles of science is parsimony, also known as Occam's razor ~ that is, among competing hypotheses (proposed explanations for a phenomenon), the one with the fewest assumptions is most likely to be accurate.  The highly complex hypothesis of a deity is superfluous, since it has been shown repeatedly that matter and energy spontaneously adopt the form or path that is most efficient ~ like the hexagons in a bee's honeycomb.  Similarly, among growing organisms and among accreting energy systems, the golden ratio spontaneously forms because it is simple and natural.

Even intricate systems like fractals are hyper-branching elaborations of simpler shapes.  They, too, appear in nature ~ self-similar patterns repeating at different scales, like an aerial view of a coastline or a river network, or a microscopic view of a snowflake.

Isn't life grand?

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