Monday, December 14, 2009

Mathematical Equations of Perfection in Nature


“Nobody’s perfect,” I thought as I took my mountain walk one morning. “Is this a feeling of joy?” I wondered as I inhaled clean mountain air. Alongside the road I walked that morning many wildflowers and wild grown plants, some unique and rare and beautiful, grow seemingly randomly. A Daisy caught my eye, then another and another. I wondered, “Is there a perfect circle of yellow inside that flower?”

I am not a mathematician, and indeed, mathematics puzzles me, frustrates me—always logical, always right, always perfect? I am such a Right-Brainer. I imagine the right hemisphere of my brain is swollen and pulsing, the synapses firing off chaotically, but with their own kind of weird organization; however, I imagine my left hemisphere as a bit flat and aloof, sitting stoic at a desk while reading important stuff that it won’t share with the right brain (because the right brain can’t or won’t listen).

I wonder then, if a mathematician were to measure the golden inside of the Daisy, would it be a perfect circle? It looks to the eye to be. Is it? I need to know, for the eye gauge is not enough; is the soft sun inside of the Daisy a perfect circle? Who will measure for me and then let me know? And if it is not, would I enjoy the Daisy any less? Why of course not. I just have a need to know if there is some order to the Daisy that I never noticed before—is the round a perfect circle? I imagine mathematics both calms and excites the innards of the left brainers as my creative chaos both stills and energizes my right brain.

Are there other “Orders To The Universe” that mathematics can solve? Somewhere out there are people whose left brains pulse like my right brain and can figure all this out.

But this morning, I’ll just be grateful for that daisy I saw, with the perfect little happy circle in the middle. I’ll be thankful there are left-brainers who can figure out the mathematical equations of perfection in nature.

(repost from YOG)

9 comments:

Tamika: said...

Isn't it great to just be able to enjoy nature! I'd be miserable if I had to figure out the specifics.

Judith Mercado said...

Somewhere in my meanderings through one article or another, I read that there is a mathematical formula reflected in many of the things we observe. I don't know if it is pi; it might be. I too am not a math wiz, though I wish I were because at its core it's a mathematical image of our universe and how we organize it mathematically may lead to different observations of reality. Okay, that's more wonky than you wanted,but that's in part what your post triggered in me. And that tells you a lot,doesn't it?

Barry said...

Mathematics would undoubtedly tell you the circle was imperfect.

The little flower, however, is perfect in its imperfection.

And that is something math will never tell you.

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Yay for left brainers and their extreme logical! The daisy is perfect in my eyes :)

Debbie said...

What? There's math in nature? I had no idea. I thought it was just there to make me smile:)

Sheila Deeth said...

The mathematician in me delights in the patterns in nature. But perfection is abstract - the artist in me loves the reality too.

Marguerite said...

I'm a right brainer, too, but am glad someone likes to take on the more mundane task of mathematics. Your morning walk on the mountain sounds wonderful! Hope you are having fun, cher!

A Cuban In London said...

Lovely post. let's just say that maths will never ever be able to beat nature. The latter is more spontaneous, like that daisy.

Greetings from London.

Linda Leschak said...

Hmm, I know that many flowers follow the Fibonacci sequence. I wonder if the daisy does too? And there's always the Golden Ratio which is mathmatical prefection found over and over and over again in nature.