Numbers are by definition orderly
we are facing the same dilemma that we all face with the larger questions of life: Is there meaning and order to life, or is it purely a random and chaotic universe?LEARN MORE
There are three possible answers to this question: the universe is ruled by randomness and chaos; the universe is infinitely orderly; or both randomness and orderliness exist.
Randomness is a state in which there is no order or larger meaning. Such a state of affairs would mean that the universe is ruled by chance events, and there are no orderly laws governing the universe. In fact, we know this premise to be untrue, since the natural sciences, such as physics, mathematics; biology, chemistry, and astronomy are all based on the orderliness, even predictability, of natural law. Moreover, if the universe were ruled by unpredictable events, there would be no sustainable structure to it. On the contrary, the universe not only maintains form and structure, it also changes in precise and orderly ways.
We are continually witnesses to this process of change: Day turns into night, and night turns into day; winter is followed by spring, and summer is followed by fall; and apples grow on apple trees, and figs grow on fig trees, and they never, ever, get confused.
Orderliness can be seen in every aspect of existence, from the subatomic world to the world of stars and galaxies. Therefore, we can cancel the first possibility to our original question: There is, at the very least, some orderliness.
When we look at the very basics of life—the world of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the molecular world, and the developing child—we see an awesome sequence unfolding. DNA is of such profound orderliness that it has been the template for producing literally billions upon billions of human beings with the same universal characteristics, two eyes, ten fingers, ten toes, et cetera. That no two sets of eyes are alike only shows the remarkable creativity and energy that are contained within this DNA molecule.
The gestation and birth of a child are also examples of remarkable orderliness: It still takes egg and sperm to produce an ovum, and nine months for a child to fully develop and to be born. The growth pattern of humans has remained essentially the same too: We are born very young, and grow through adolescence, puberty, adulthood, maturity, and old age, at which point we die. The arc of life is consistent and stable. This has been happening for about 2 million years, the length of time humans have inhabited the planet.
If we look up at the stars and see the planets, we see a further example of great orderliness. In creation, there is no randomness, a fact that is the basis for all physical sciences.
Yet, all of us experience events that we perceive as arbitrary or random. How can we reconcile the awareness that beneath our feet and above our heads—indeed, our very bodies—are the products of profound orderliness, while our lives seem permeated by random events of which we can make no sense?
We seem forced to say that, at first glance, both order and randomness exist simultaneously. But wait—doesn’t our perception of how much order there is in the universe constantly grow as we learn more? For example, only three decades ago, heart disease and cancer were regarded by most of us as random and terrible events in life. Today we believe that these illnesses are of the result of our daily behavior and eating pattern. Both illnesses have very logical etiologies. Consequently, they are the products of order. The illnesses have not changed; only our understanding of them has.
Many examples of so-called “natural disasters,” such as famine, drought, and mud-slides, are often perceived as random events. It is only later that the cause is usually discovered to be mankind’s ignorance. Specifically, we have not had (and still don’t have) a perspective large enough to understand all the variables that come into play when we begin to tamper with the underlying orderliness.
The point here is that our perception of what is random keeps changing as we learn more. Meanwhile, our appreciation of an underlying order was always implicit in these events that were previously regarded as random; we simply didn’t see the order.
Our growing understanding of order also changes the way we experience space and time. We all have had experiences that we cannot explain that fall in to the category of synchronicity or extrasensory perception. These experiences violate our normal perception of space and time. We think of these things as out-of-the-ordinary, but they are really glimpses of the underlying order that our rational minds cannot comprehend, and that we perhaps were not designed to understand.
Nevertheless, this underlying order, which can only be fully appreciated intuitively, is being proven by our most advanced science, quantum physics.
Continue with: Numerology and the Tao of Physics