Thursday, March 02, 2006
God, the Fractal Geometer
Last night, PBS played Arthur C. Clark's "Colours of Infinity" about the mind-bending field of fractal geometry. Even though it was made in 1995, the show was still pretty amazing. (Here's my previous post about the fractal nature of the reality we experience.) As I was watching, I remembered this 13th century illustration showing "God the Geometer." (link)
To me, the most interesting thing about this image is how the universe contained in the sphere that God is creating has an uncanny resemblance to the Mandlebrot Set, the most famous fractal formula & image. Check out the picture of the Mandlebrot fractal & compare. Of course, the painter could not have known what a 'fractal' even was, but to see the universe portrayed by this medieval artist as an irregular fractal-like form that so closely resembles the M-set is one of those things that makes you wonder about creativity and the insight of the human mind.