Saturday, September 18, 2010


In high-school, math was my nemesis. I could not understand the attraction to memorizing formulas that have no immediate application to everyday life. However, as I grow older, I'm seeing the benefit of those formulas and that logical process of thinking in every area of my life. I was thinking about it the other day and realized that, wow, math is a glorious reflection of God. He is a God of order, not of chaos. The more I thought about it, the more the dots started connecting in my mind. Math is beautiful.

For instance, ferns are a great illustration of symmetry as seen in nature. Ferns are soft, lovely and make for really nice ground cover. Yet, look at them closely and what do you see?

Symmetry, proportionality, balance. Yet thriving with life and springing forth in verdant beauty.

Another nature example: ripples in a lake. You can't tell me that order is not beautiful.

And an example of God's creation in the hands of man: Music.

Music is simply math. Rhythm is created by allotting a certain number of time to each note/pitch. Harmony is created by symmetry of relationship between notes. Even phrasing and musical expression must be balanced and in good order. If a performer takes too much liberty with a song, slowing and speeding up so that the original rhythm is barely discernible, then it will not be pleasing to the ear, and the audience will get bored. An interpretation that is beautiful will consist of a balance between the written notes, and the expression of the performer. A balance between silence and sound. A balance between loud and soft. Music is ordered and centered around formulas, and yet it is one of God's most precious and beautiful gifts to mankind.

May math as beauty be recognized! Unfortunately, even though I am now aware of this relationship,  I am not any better at math. But I do appreciate it more. I no longer discount it as boring drills made use of to train our minds to think logically.  I now enjoy the process of organization and symmetry, as I see it with all it's wondrous every-day glory around me.

Listening: Loud Pipes ~ Ratatat

PS As I'm in the midst of a very heavy semester, posts may be quite infrequent. Just a heads up for any readers, if you're out there somewhere. :)


  1. Wonderful post. :) I think you would enjoy *Mathematics: Is God Silent?* by James Nickel. It explores how those mathematical patterns in nature point to a Creator. Have you read about the Fibonacci numbers?

    Note what he says about the piano. ;) Fascinating stuff.

  2. Ah, my journey with mathematics has been so similar! I think our preconceived mental distinctions are far too sharp between science and art, order and poetry, math and beauty. I still don't exactly enjoy doing math, but I appreciate it more all the time. :)