Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Let's face it - phi is the best

  1. Jul 19, 2013 #1

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This whole post is just for fun -- here is an article about applying phi (Golden ratio) to human faces and esthetics of human beauty.


    If you don't know much about Phi try::

    The authors constructed 1.6... x 1 rectangles superimposed on faces and then try to establish the relationship of perception of beauty to phi. Teeth and ears (Fibonacci spiral) are subjects as well.

    Is this far-fetched? Somewhat. Is it fun to think about? Yup.

    But remember - humans have a lot of hardwired templates in our brains, faces being one of them. ...Ever see a face or an animal in a cloud? There are no cloud-sized people up in the sky. So we are prone to make connections and "see" things that may not really be there.

    There is also an evolutionary reason for this "ability" to see things that are not there. It is all about our ancestors, some of whom became tiger chow.

    Type I error is a false positive error, Type II is a false negative. The ancestors who made lots of Type I errors in identifying predators passed on their genes. The ones who made Type II errors were more likely to end up as a meal.

    Why: It's 200000 years ago. You are out looking for food. You think you see a tiger face in the bush up ahead. If you walk a different route(Type I risk), you may have spent a small amount of extra time, if you continue toward the bush(Type II risk) you may get where you are going more quickly. Sooner or later the tiger will be behind the bush. So sooner or later the Type II choice has survival problems. Because the tiger really is there. Being eaten is detrimental to passing on your genes and keeping your family alive. Being five minutes late is orders of magnitude less detrimental.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2013 #2
    Pattern recognition and risk assessment, always two good interesting topics.

    A Type I decision for the immediate short term could increase chance of survival, but the alternative path taken does not guarantee no risk - there could be a pack of hyenas around the corner of the second path. In addition, too much reliance on Type I decision making would lead to an indecisiveness, which also can seriously effect survival.

    Type II decisions can also lead to prosperity. If you overcome the obstacle, the reward can be great, and the benefits may supercede that of Type I decision makers..
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Let's face it - phi is the best
  1. Let's hear your best rap (Replies: 25)

  2. My face (Replies: 51)

  3. Face Analyzer (Replies: 19)

  4. Orbs with faces (Replies: 41)