This is my reply to the latest and interesting comment I received to my eight-year-old yet still widely read blog, Famous Astronauts and Good Faith.
Comment: “today i read an article regarding the location of kaaba in mecca is conforming to the magic number or universal number or golden number or creator’s no of 1.618(fibonacci no). Claiming the ratio of distance of holy place from north pole to its distance from south pole. Same way ratio of distance from east extreme end to its west extreme end.
i checked the distance of mecca between north and south poles and the ratio is exact. but don’t know how to check east and west, as i don’t have idea about east and west extreme ends.”
Some people would do anything to fit a square into a hole. Pseudo-science is a good tool for that kind of things. You have come out with a new one, no doubt believing in the ‘divine miracle’ you found.
To reiterate what I had said in the original blog, I must insist that no pseudo-scientist (of any faith) has come out with a proven miracle yet. No Christian, Hindu or Jewish astronaut has so far heard the Muezzin’s call while flying in space; no Muslim Jihadi or saint has been found lying fresh with blood flowing in arteries after buried as dead (allowing for a few days of rotting time), there is no way that CMBR is radiating from Mecca, nor are Mecca and Medina the brightest places on earth when seen from space. Neither have Muslim astronauts, who are quite a few by now, who had been flying in mostly Christian, Jewish or atheist-made spacecraft been able to make up their minds as to which way to turn for saying their prayers while in outer space.
Now, to your observation
The relationship of the Golden ratio, (also known as a Divine Proportion) symbolised as phi, is the mean of a series of results you could get from the equation
a/b = (a+b)/a.
The result is never an integer except when b=0, but number 1 followed by an infinite number of decimals. Mathematically, this number can be shown to be equal to (1+Sqrt5)/2. Since Sqrt5 is not an integer, you get 1.618033988749…… It is not a repeating decimal as stated by certain Islamic websites where the Golden ratio of Mecca’s location is mentioned. There is, incidentally, no mention of the North and South poles in Quran, which states that earth is spread out like a carpet (Q. 15:19). Quran has at least two verses about Kaaba and (2:127) and (5:97) which tells us how and why Kaaba was founded, but there is no mention of its location with regard to the geography of this earth that is spread out like a carpet.
Ancient mathematician Fibonacci (AD 1175-1250) proposed an arithmetic series that follow the rule f(n1)+f(n2) = f(n3). Thus, you have 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34… (by now you get the pattern). It is often claimed that nature follows a number from this series more often than not. This, again, is an attempt at fitting a square into a hole. For instance, many flowers have 3, 5 or 8 petals. There, however, also are flowers with 4 and 7 petals. Number of Planets in our system is not 8 (there are said to be a couple more even if you discount Pluto), nor are the 7 layers of heaven and an equal number of hell that Quran mentions. Also, Fibonacci’s ratio between two adjacent numbers is not always the golden ratio as given, although as you go along, it does approach in pairs of higher numbers in the series. 1/2 is not = 3/2; 5/3 is not = 8/5. As you go further, say, 21/13approaches 34/21., but whatever adjacent numbers in the series you might take up, you would not get the 1.618033…. I am mentioning this because you mentioned Fibonacci along with the Golden Ratio, sometimes even known as the Divine Proportion, phi. Davinci’s sketch of the Vitruvian man has his range (horizontal length when his arms are stretched) to his height is supposed to be of this ratio. If this is so, it is because Davinci sketched it with that ratio in mind. There are people with long arms and short height (or the other way around) and do not answer to this ratio. The name Divine Proportion was given to this ratio because it is supposed to be a pleasing one for geometrical shapes. With this in mind, Taj Mahal, designed by Italians and Portuguese, is supposed to have this proportion in its height and width. If you are whimsical enough, you would find two quirks in the DNA spiral and exult that their ratio is equal to phi. Neither the Quran nor any Hadith mentions golden ratio. The most pleasing things on earth supposed to be created by God – mountains, rivers, trees, grass, clouds, vegetables or flowers, human eyes, antelopes or tigers do not correspond to this so-called divine proportion. You would rarely find a human face that corresponds to this ratio, and if you do, it might not be the most beautiful face you had seen. It is extremely unlikely that Greeks, Romans or even later Europeans till the twelfth century used the phi ratio with the precision of 1.618 using their character-numerals. Try finding the Golden ratio in I, II, III, V, VIII, XIII, XXI.. and so on. Even if many of the ancient architecture is supposed to correspond to a specific ratio, it could be 3:2 or 1.5. It is easy enough, if you are out to prove a point, to show 1.5 as 1.618., let alone 1.618033988749.. The most common rectangles you view more often than any other are television and movie screens – they are either 4/3 (1.333′..or 16/9 (1.7777′..). Did you ever feel that this ratio was not pleasing enough?
Speaking of sacred numbers, Indian Mathematician Srinivasan Ramanujan once challenged his mentor, GH Hardy, that any number one could pick at random had something special about it. (So, you could call it a Divine number). Hardy picked the number of the taxi in which he had gone to visit convalescing Ramanujan: 1729. Ramanujan without hesitation pointed out that the number could be seen as a sum of two different cubes – 1^3, +12^3 as well as 9^3 +10^3. Thus 1729 came to be known not as Creator’s number, but Hardy-Ramanujan’s number. The ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, Pi, has much significance in construction and every aspect of engineering and science. In higher mathematics, wave calculations, electronics, mechanics and nearly all physical applications, Pi is an inescapable ratio. If one has to strain to find phi in anything physical, Pi takes its place as a natural. Pi was known to ancient Indians and Arabs; Indian mathematician Aryabhata (476–550 AD) calculated the value of Pi accurately to the fifth or sixth decimals; Europeans whose whim invented the so-called divine proportion had, till the 12th century, their traders had to be secretive about using the addition and subtraction tables that their Arab counterparts had given them – the ‘divine’ church wouldn’t let them use those tables because they were non-Christian!
Magicians often make use of the fact than the cumulative digital sum of any number added to 9 would remain the same as the (cumulative) original. Many Muslims (and some Hindus) in South Asia revere 786 as equal to reciting Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim; I do not believe that Muslims in any other Islamic nations give such significance to it. Numbers 751 to 780 have great significance in Catholic Catechism; for many Christian sects, 666 is a number that would invoke the devil. Many Messianic Christians and Jews expect that on a certain 26th date of some month, rapture would happen in a catastrophe when the believers of their own faith would be elevated to the heavens and the rest – including Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and all – would be destroyed in floods and fire. Hindus believe odd numbers to be propitious; if your Hindu uncle wishes to gift you a million, he would add a rupee (or a dollar if you are luckier) coin to make the number odd. Eka-dashi, the eleventh day of the Hindu calendar, is considered especially auspicious. Many hotels and hospitals across the world do not have a room numbered 13 because it is reminiscent of the Last Supper. So, goes the divinity and devilishness of numbers in human mind.
That, for now, is as far as divine (and satanic) numbers go. Now you say you checked the ratio of the North Pole and the South Pole with respect to Kaaba. How did you measure it? Let us assume that you took the Great-Circle distance as available on the ‘Net which is admittedly far more accurate than the scaled distance shown on flat maps. In this case, a, the larger distance to South pole is 12404 km and that to North Pole b is 7634 km, So a/b= 1.624836….. This can be considered close to the Golden (Divine) Ratio only when (a+b)/a is the same number. However, the result we get is 1.6154466… Neither result is equal to the other, nor close enough to the divine ratio as defined. Nonetheless, let us concede that both results are within tolerance levels. So, would all the places, mosques, churches, temples and godless towns along the same latitude as Mecca situated in the same Golden (Divine) ratio. You would find that the Ramnagar Shiv Temple and Swaminarayan Mandir (both exactly on the same latitudinal line) in Nagpur, India is closer to the Golden ratio than that of Kaaba. Strange, no Hindu pseudo-scientist has found this out yet. Perhaps Hindus have even more superstitious things to think about. The largest religious book in the world (729 stone slabs – divinely, if you will, the exact cube of number 9 which is the number of attributes of Buddha) is to be found in a pagoda of the same latitude in Buddhist Mandalay, Burma. Cities such as Maui, Hong Kong, Guadalajara, Hanoi (none of them Islamic), and Guantanamo Bay (where Americans religiously practised their torture skills on innocent Muslims) and Puerto Vallarta of Mexico (mostly Catholic) exist in style with only minor variations of less than 0.15% in tolerance within the same Divine Ratio. You could find precise points in these towns where they make an exact fit to 1.61803…
To prove that all these cities do not share the same Allah’s blessings as Kaaba in Mecca, there is one thing you could do: arbitrarily fix a point along latitude 21.1458° N with a point in geographic longitude of earth such that the Golden ratio of distance of Kaaba to the West and that to the East is exactly 1.618033… This would make it much easier to establish your claim. As of now, sadly, the 0 longitude had been fixed arbitrarily by arrogant, warmongering and enormously smarter Christian (hence kafir) seafarers of yore in Greenwich, England, which couldn’t be of much help to Islamic pseudo-science.