March 14th was national Pi day (3/14 – duh), and I’m more of a science-fiction/science-fact nerd than I tend to let on. One of my favorite books is Carl Sagan’s Contact, and I’m pretty darned fond of the movie, too. But it was the end of the book that really blew my mind.
SPOILER ALERT: Although the movie omits this little coda, the book ends with Dr. Ellie Arroway getting back to the work of science after her struggles with faith and space-travel have resulted in an otherworldy adventure that nobody believes. As she questions her own beliefs, she ponders if there could ever be a “proof” that a devine creator existed. Then, while plotting out a square graph of the enigmatic digits of Pi using a base 11 structure, a perfect circle (traced out by a specific number) reveals itself in the grid, a hidden message proving a divine purpose to creation itself. I’ll try to illustrate this concept in the typically-rudimentary planetdan style below, using all the wrong numbers of course, but hopefully you’ll still get the drift:
The possibility of this blew my mind at the time. Of course, nobody has made such a discovery yet, but the other day I came across something that is almost as mindblowing and life-affirming:
That’s right. The mirror image of the first three digits of Pi (3.14) spells PIE. Does it prove a divine influence? I leave that up to you to decide. But I probably won’t be running off to church anytime soon.
I can’t decide what I like better. Pi or Pie. Now there’s the eternal debate.