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# Golden Ratio in Beauty?

poiko123
For those who do not know what the golden ratio is: it is a number represented with the Greek letter phi, which had a special importance to the Greeks. It is equal to (1 + sqrt(5))/2 and appears in pentagons, dodecahedrons, and many other shapes.

I have read a few articles about the golden ration appearing in nature and in the ideal proportions for humans. Ratios such as the length of your elbow to the middle finger tip to that of your forearm is almost exactly the golden ration. Also the ratio of each spiral of a conch shell, etc. Do you believe this is purely by coincidence or is this a natural phenomenon, similar to the constant appearance of e or pi?
benjmd
Haha, it hurts my brain to begin to think of the logical proof that would be required to answer this in the positive. That being said, we human beings tend to assign patterns to things. Its how we interpret them, remember them and use them. Even when patterns and systems aren't really there, we have a tendency to bend our perceptions enough to impose them. The golden ratio is ~ 1.618. My elbow to fingertip:forearm ratio is ~ 2.5/1.5 = 1.67. Is 1.67 close enough to 1.618 to say that the golden ratio applies? I would never round 1.67 to 1.62 ordinarily. But when you say "golden ratio" all of a sudden it sounds like it's supposed to fit. So I kinda get to thinking that really it's not real and it's all in our imaginations
deStructuralized
Sounds like coincidence to me...I'd like to say that its simply how things naturally worked out, but I don't know why this would be so.
poiko123
I believe that it would be very difficult to either proof or disporve. I would believe that, to a degree, the golden ratio exist, for the sake of balance; it is quite hard for me to explain, as I can see patterns in math, etc., but without words to describe it. But I also believe a large amount may be attributed to psychology. I'm sure there are several ratios in the body very close to pi (and I'm not just talking circles and other proportions you would expect to be near pi) or e, but that is just from the sheer number of ratios the human mind could create, and some are bound to be near the golden ratio, but that is just IMHO.