Monday, February 25, 2008

God the Geometer

I was looking around tonight on Wikipedia and stumbled on this painting and thought of our class. I'm not sure of the significance, but it made me think.

As I mentioned in class, the Lunar Eclipse on Wednesday has been on my mind as of late. I was reading up on it the other day and found something I had never thought of: it is complete "luck" that Earth's size, the moon's size, and the distance between the two line up so that our shadow can perfectly cover the moon during a Lunar Eclipse.


Anyway, this painting from the 13th century and is said to reflect Proverbs 8.27 in which Wisdom speaks of creation:

"When he established the heavens I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the deep. . ."

From what I've read, for mathematicians in the Middle Ages, geometry was a divine activity. We understand our universe through numbers and measurements; why wouldn't our Creator have taken the same things into account?


Jess said...

Math and God may have possibilities. Have you ever read about the Golden Ratio or Rectangle? It shows up everywhere: the human body, pine cones, flowers, shells, etc. Here's a link about it:

Dana said...

Jess, the Golden Ratio page just hurt my head, but I like the connection that is forming here. Ryan, that's a really cool painting.

Dana said...

Also, my roommate Cait is in Prof. Goddu's Science and Belief class and she knows a lot about astronomy, physics, and math. I'm going to see what I can dig up from her notes.