Asked in Animal Life
Animal Life

Why are logarithmic spirals important?

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08/26/2013

It has been often pointed out that the spiral is a conventional term by means of which the human mind can classify and describe certain formations in Nature, or even certain processes in thought ; but it seems necessary again to emphasise the fact that the occurrence of many different natural formations which we can classify as spiral is no proof either of Design (as one school suggests) or of the conscious production of that formation by any plant or animal.

The spiral is merely an extremely useful heading or formula under which certain phenomena can be grouped and their common characteristics examined. And as the spiral is pre-eminently a mathematical convention, it appears right to insist here that the use of mathematics is not an object in itself ; indeed, I have shown in many ways on previous pages that Nature abhors exact mathematics (if the phrase may be permitted me),…But no finer instrument than the higher mathematics was ever conceived for enabling the human brain to grasp the unity of apparently complex phenomena.

Theodore Andrea Cook, The Curves of Life