Science and the Sacred

In this TED Talk, science writer Margaret Wertheim discusses the mathematical patterns of coral reefs and her attempt to recreate them through the art of crochet.  By following a set algorithm, Margaret and her sister were able to recreate the hyperbolic geometry that coral organisms exhibit.  However, as the project grew and individuals began to add their own embellishments to the algorithm, the crochet replicas began to evolve and more closely resemble natural coral.  A diverse taxonomy of creatures soon emerged.

Her findings point to the mathematical order of nature and how small changes to a pattern (like DNA) can produce sizable changes in biodiversity over the course of time.

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