Re: The Magic Ratio--Evidence of Design?

Brian D Harper (
Fri, 24 Apr 1998 10:25:17 -0400

At 09:11 AM 4/24/98 -0400, Steven wrote:


> I don't think it's anymore surprising than pi which also pops up all over the
>place in unexpected places. It arouses my wonder that the natural world is so
>orderly as well but there are naturalistic explanations as well.
> Anyway, there has been work explaining these observations but I'd have to dig
>to get references which will have to wait until next week since I'm going down
>to D.C. for the weekend in a couple of hours. If you have access to a library,
>you might try searching back issue of Scientific American since I know they've
>done more than one article on this.

Since my example generated a little interest I thought I would
go ahead and type in my other two. Before I do this I thought
I should give an explanatory note that may avoid future
pain and suffering :).

In giving the examples I am not necessarily offering my
personal support for the design inference but rather
offerring some food for thought and discussion.

After giving my other examples I'll give my interpretation
of the Golden Ratio result. At this point my intention
should be clearer. What I want to do is argue against the
pattern matching approach of Dembski for reliably detecting
design. There is a natural explanation for which I will
supply the references. So, don't worry too much about
frantically trying to find the references that you seem
to remember :). Of course, I hesitate a little in saying
this because you may have some I haven't seen. I just
don't want you to get mad at me later for holding back :).

Brian Harper
Associate Professor
Applied Mechanics
The Ohio State University

"It is not certain that all is uncertain,
to the glory of skepticism." -- Pascal