Our Head of Maths, Mr Chaudhary, gave us a vastly wide-ranging and heartfelt exposition of the centrality of the ratio φ (“phi”) in the universe and the human body, and what that centrality meant.
He showed that the ratio (see above, equivalent to 1:1.618…, which is, uniquely, the same as 0.618…:1) lies behind the Fibonacci sequence, which we see in so many growth patterns in animals and plants, as well as in the relationship between a myriad of measurements of the human body. It’s also one of the commonest principles in the way we perceive beauty: painters place horizons at it.
Mr Chaudhary argued that the odds of this one ratio being at the centre of so much were virtually nil, and so it is convincing evidence of divine design behind creation. He showed us verses from the Quran which point out that God has designed the universe in a way whereby we can detect, even deduce, his hand.
Universal Laws and the Golden Ratio
15 Uncanny examples in nature
Disputed observations (Wikipedia)
Mrs Pewsey gave the Williams Project a really interesting account of how her home town, Lockport in New York State, was the scene of an engineering project which opened up vast tracts of the country’s interior to trade and development. By building an amazing staircase of five locks up the steep side of the Niagara escarpment, barges could now take goods and people from the Atlantic coast to the Great Lakes. She illustrated her words with original postcards taken from the book on the subject which she wrote herself.
She also spoke about some of the town’s characters, including a Mr Sutherland, who ‘monetised’ the ground-length hair of his seven daughters by marketing a hair tonic.
A Williams-Project first was her leading the audience in a rendition of a folk song about the Erie Canal (we were treated to the Bruce Springsteen verse beforehand so knew how to sing it).
A great afternoon: Mrs Pewsey managed to convey in her inimitably warm and human way a real flavour of the place, its history and its people.