UPDATE: Are we seeing "fractals" here?
In ''The Artful Universe,'' (Oxford, 1995), the astronomer John D. Barrow argues that ''the arts and the sciences flow from a single source; they are informed by the same reality; and their insights are linked in ways that make them look less and less like alternatives.'' The geneticist Enrico Coen, who has just written ''The Art of Genes'' (Oxford University Press, 1999), uses painting as a metaphor to describe how organisms generate themselves. Beautiful natural patterns -- spirals, butterfly wings, rippling waves -- and their mathematical origins are explored in Philip Ball's ''The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature'' (Oxford, 1998). This writer has chimed in with ''Emblems of Mind'' (Avon, 1996), examining how music and mathematics create patterns that develop out of similar styles of metaphorical thinking.
-From the NYTimes article to which I link above.