|Dunes by Jon Sullivan|
Early Greek philosophers considered order in nature in broad pursuit of a philosophy of nature that is a precursor to modern science.
“There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres.”Symmetry, spirals, meanders, waves, tessellations, and cracks are a few common patterns we observe in nature.
― Pythagoras, Philosopher (570 – 495 BC)
Symmetry is perhaps the most recognizable pattern since the human form has bilateral symmetry.
Many flora and fauna have n-fold mirror symmetry, a pattern that duplicates mirror-like across an axis or axes.
Many plants and animals have a spiral pattern. Each chamber of the nautilus mollusk has a shell that is a scaled copy of the next one, scaled by a constant factor and arranged in a logarithmic spiral.
Sinuous curves in channels formed by water are meanders. Water movement causes erosion and deposition.
Waves are disturbances that carry energy as it moves through a dynamic system. Wave patterns are also expressed in a steady state where energy driven motion has reached temporal equilibrium like a sand dune.
“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.”Tessellations
― Tony Hillerman, Coyote Waits
Tessellations are repeating tile patterns. Tilings are common in living organism. Color patterns in flowers and the wax cells of honeycomb are examples of tessellation.
“Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.”Cracks
― Michael Shermer
Cracks are openings that form to relieve stress. Crack patterns indicate whether the material is elastic or inelastic.
“There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor