Re: NANFA-- Off topic: mathematical theory of biology

Bruce Stallsmith (
Wed, 18 Dec 2002 08:21:28 -0500

The series below, 1 2 3 5 8 13 etc., is also known as the Fibonacci series.
Many patterns in nature can be explained using these numbers as ratios,
especially the "Golden Mean"--approximately 1.62, described by the ratio of
13 to 8, or 21 to 13, etc. The twist of the Nautilus shell is described by
these numbers, as are the whorl patterns on many plants. (Fibonacci means
blockhead in medieval Italian, a long story...)

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>From: Brian Haas <>
>Subject: Re: NANFA-- Off topic: mathematical theory of biology
>Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 22:46:50 -0600
>All I can add is that patterns in nature such as those seen in the nautilus
>shell frequently follow the form of the number "e" and natural logarithms.
>("e" is a non-repeating decimal, as is the more familiar "pi".)
>Travis Haas
>Hazel Green, WI
>At 11:10 PM 12/17/02 -0500, Terri wrote:
> >Bob,
> >
> >I can't recall the name of the theory, but will try to discribe it.
> >Perhaps someone else will recognize it & put a name to it.
> >
> >Take the following numbers: 1 2 3 5 8 13 21...
> >
> >1+2=3 2+3=5 3+5=8 & so on, such that each number is the sum of the
> >previous 2 numbers.
> >
> >How this relates biologically? It is nature's magical building #. For
> >example, if you slice open a nautilus shell so as to show each of its
> >inner sections, the formula for each section's size, from smallest to
> >largest, equals the numbers I listed before: 1 2 3 5 8 13 21...
> >It is also nature's formula for many other natural forms.
> >
> >Can one of y'all put a name to this formula for us?
> >
> >Terri
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