Here's an interesting topic for discussion, not without a little controversy. It's quite topical too for those who have read the Da Vinci Code. The number phi (?)keeps recurring in terms of dimensional ratios in living organisms. This fact was recognized by Leonardo Da Vinci, who used the golden ratio to great advantage in his drawings and paintings.

How can we explain this phenomenon, and would there be parallels on Mars? Would local gravitational conditions change the golden ratio for hypothetical Mars-based life. If mankind settles on Mars, would we evolve towards having body parts conforming to this new ratio (?)?

Interesting topic. This ratio was discovered by Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci:


The Fibonacci number sequence is:


The ratio of the first and previous numbers converges to the value at the top of the thread.

IMO, this would be a realistic criteria for many (but not all) extraterrestrial lifeforms as it is on Earth. (Earth Examples: Octopus' and spiders with eight legs, humans with five fingers, to name a few).

I have no idea if local gravitational conditions would affect this ratio.

If humans were to settle on Mars, I would think that they would ultimately evolve into whatever was required to adapt to the local gravity conditions on Mars (unless we invent artificial gravity sometime in the near or somewhat distant future).



Thanks for the link, Marsman.

What isn't clear from that article is that the Fibonacci sequence is made up by adding the two previous numbers, and as you point out, the ratio between the last number in the sequence and the previous tends towards phi.

It's a interesting subject which gives us some insight into the mathematics of life.



A brazen and ardent defender of truth on the blog.

The answer to this sort of question might depend on whether mathematical propositions are real entities. See the link below for a discussion.


:twisted: hello

Aldebaran, here is another one, with references to the solar system:


The honeybee uses a hexagon shape to build it's comb. Coincidentally, the hexagon is the most space saving shape she can utilize.

If trial and error teaches a young lion that the turtle is a waste of time for a meal, then what teaches the generations of honeybees who learned to use a hexagon to build a home?

There is a solution to the riddle. The collective lives of each generation is also a memory, a genetic memory. In other words, the species has a memory stored in it's genes. The genes are like a giant brain, absorbing, suggesting, adapting, and trying new things. What works and what doesn't is memorized by the genes. In effect, the species becomes a giant living organism, and we are it's slaves.

If life is common in the universe, then why wouldn't it already have learned all the lessons of natural selection? This is a great thread that deserves more attention here.

Hi RW,

This belongs in my suggested Epistemology section of the blog. The connection between "physical reality" and "mathematics" is an extremely "deep" topic -- one that I personally have studied for about 50 years.

I hold the radical position that they are one in the same.

I believe Wolfram's work A New Kind of Science" is a first step in realizing this idea.

I say "believe" because such a statement is not provable. It is an assertion about the future direction of study in "knowing" and "being".

The entire work is available on-line at the above site.

hmmmm....does pi only work in base 10 only ? IF aliens had 8 fingers or 6...what would the results be and would they infinite?

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In answer to Blito3 -
In our number base 10 system pi's 'representation' is as a fraction with an infinite number of digits after the decimal point.

But you need to remember that it is an actual value ie the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its radius in a flat (Euclidian) space. The value of this ratio doesn't change regardless of changing conditions such as the Constant of Gravity or whatever.

In the same way basic ratios such as '1' or '6' will stay constant also.

Changing the number or counting base will only alter the fixed ratio's representation in that base.

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