Saturday, 21 May 2016

Complex Beauty in Sunflowers: Fibonacci Numbers and Even More Complicated Patterns Defy Darwinian Explanations

More complex beauty in sunflowers than we assumed. Image courtesy of Jon Sullivan, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

The more we get to know about nature, the more complex it appears to be. Think about sunflowers, for instance. Commenting on a recent paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, an article in Science says:

Mathematical biologists love sunflowers. The giant flowers are one of the most obvious—as well as the prettiest—demonstrations of a hidden mathematical rule shaping the patterns of life: the Fibonacci sequence, a set in which each number is the sum of the previous two (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, ...), found in everything from pineapples to pine cones.”

This kind of beauty is also seen in us.

The Royal Society paper reports on a citizen science experiment, with data on 657 sunflowers.

The researchers also “found more complex Fibonacci structures not previously reported in sunflowers,” which means that they could not use mechanistic models to explain this beauty.

This suggests that the beauty in the flowers is much more complex than we thought. Darwinists will have a hard time in trying to explain how such fine-tuning could have evolved.


Bohannon, John. 2016. Sunflowers show complex Fibonacci sequences. Science (17 May).