Humans are creatures of explanation. Whether it’s explaining the elements of nature to the gods or looking for mathematical sources to analyze the universe; we hate arbitrary answers. However in a world of grey, it’s impossible for everything to fit into a mold and have a perceived justification. After hearing about the golden ratio in class and recounting some prior information about it from high school, I stumbled upon an article which challenged its influence as an authority of beauty. The main reason why we shouldn’t accept this theory is because nothing will ever perfectly fit it. While we recognize this and look for close resemblance to the infamous 1.618… we ask the question, if things which are beautiful come close to the mythical number, can’t anything remotely close be argued to be beautiful regardless of its actually beauty. For example, a scientific study at Stanford showed students different rectangles and asked them to point out which one resembled beauty the best out of the lot. The results showed that it was a crapshoot. The rectangles were chosen at random and when the test was repeated many picked different rectangles than the first time they completed the test. This tells me that beauty can’t be defined by a number or by a spiral. Beauty is random and when people try to create beauty by using a formula, the true beauty is lost. The Mona Lisa exemplifies the theory of the golden spiral yet personally, I don’t find it beautiful. I appreciate the art, but my first word to describe the piece would not be beautiful. This is the problem with this theory, there will always be outliers and unpopular opinions. The Golden Spiral is nothing but phenomena that humans have attributed to some of the greatest feats of mankind and nature alike.

Advertisements