Study of Threes
Introductory page 3a...

~ The Study of Threes ~

Let me state the following meant as a successive and progressive backdrop to set the stage for an upcoming larger threes discussion, one of personal interest is the notion that "we are environmentally influenced to be genetically predisposed to 1) Conceptualize many of our ideas, 2) Perform many of our activities and 3) Grow physiologically along a 1- 2- 3 maturational development sequence.

With respect to threes examples, let me also introduce you to a related concept that is rarely discussed, namely, three-to-one ratios. An excellent example at the onset of this introduction is the triplet codon (coding) configuration found in RNA and DNA, though Protein structures figure into this array as well. While Threes Researchers generally acknowledge the existence of a triplet ordering as a significant tell-tale sign that the "Threes" phenomena has some heretofore unrecognized importance superseding the derisions proffered by "hard science" advocates and enthusiasts who suggest we are dabbling in a type of numerology; it is also recognized that the usage of the phrase "triplet codon system" used the world over by geneticists, biologists and others, predisposes people to become straight-jacketed to a single concept that is but an inkling descriptive, causing most people to overlook the obvious underlying three-to-one configuration:

  1. DNA =Adenosine- Cytosine- Guanine + Thymine

  2. However, the 3 to 1 ratio is difficult to recognize until we include additional information such as that found in RNA in order to make a comparison:

  3. RNA = Adenosine- Cytosine- Guanine + Uracil

Only by placing them together in a context emphasizing a new perspective do we acknowledge that there are three amino acids the same while one is different. (Someone might want to semantically offer the view that there is a six-to-two array, but the point in this instance to be made is the existence of an alternative pattern rarely discussed.)

Hence, there exists a three-to-one ratio setup (or one-to-three ratio if this expression is more in-line with your 1-"2"-3 linguistic preference). Unfortunately, few observers continue with a three-to-one mindset while examining other areas both in and out of genetics and biology.

For example, with respect to Proteins, we find there are Primary- Secondary- and Tertiary structures, with the Quaternary as a composite matrix of the other three. Hence, it too may be viewed as a three-to-one configuration.

The following image places the foregoing mentioned (RNA- DNA- Protein) constituents in the following order:

What came first? (7K)

Along with the preceding image we can also additionally provide information about the three domains of life, though a definitively expressed 1st- 2nd- 3rd historical placement or a 1, 2, 3 maturational development sequence may not be expressed in the particular texts one surveys for information. (If those involved with the initial labeling would have used an A- B- C domain name listing, our job as threesologists would have been much easier. Not to mention assisting the general reading public in their understanding.)

3 domains of life (8K)

Let us now diverge from the field of biology to provide another example of a 1- 2- 3- developmental structure whose presented sequence of organization may appear to be a logical stepwise fashion, but must none-the-less be viewed as a subjective rendering on my part. While many of us have seen the following three wooden wheel designs, the present context of viewing them in an ordered sequence of progressive development may be quite foreign to our usual observational approach.

3 wheels (3K)

Some readers may argue that you can't compare the rigors of an established scientific discipline with some antiquated event in history, no matter how important a role the event(s) may have played, be it the wheel, fire usage or consciousness of self and non-self. They may further argue that there is no commonality between speculation and purported scientific fact. Astonishingly, they fail to see that the commonality is in the functioning of the human brain. For whatever blind sighted reason, they can't see that the human mind recurrently uses a 3-step fashion in its organizational methodology be it in the adoption of (the One- Two- Many) words for quantitative numerical concepts, establishing the three laws of Motion, or developing a government with three (Executive- Legislative- Judicial) branches. The human mind doesn't recurrently use a 50, or a 17, or a 24 pattern. It uses a pattern-of-three, irrespective of the words, letters, numbers, sounds, smells, feelings, emptiness, sensations, hints, "white noise," "black magic," "red blood" or other symbolism that may be used.

In various pursuits the human brain is making use of a three-patterned structure. Georges Dumezil noted this three pattern usage when he formulated his Tripartite Ideology of Indo-Europeans. Simplistically put, he identified and labeled three "functions" characteristic of most Indo-European cultures consisting of a Priestly class- Warrior Class- Worker or Artisan class. Understanding digressions from this theme requires a new approach at appreciating a far larger conceptual model involving a one- two- three maturational development sequence taking place with the human species; which necessarily involves an appreciation of developmental genetics and biology that may not take place in a smooth linear from point A to point C fashion, but may in fact involve intermittent stops and starts with intermediate regressions that may or may not overlap in as yet identifiable successions that we could put a conventional stop watch to.

As Threesologists, we want to know why such things are occurring by asking questions as whether or not our growth on the third planet from a source of solar irradiation has predisposed humanity in this way. Does the triplet coding in DNA cause humans to "think in threes" whether or not they are aware of such? Yet, why does DNA have a triplet codon system and not a syllogistic (or chess, checkers, bi-trigram) "64" configuration? So-called Chinese Trigrams are actually bi-grams [two-line configurations] set in a three-patterned arrangement. The bi-grams are not true 1- 2- 3 line structures.

Are present day computers unable to think for themselves because they operate using and underlying Bi-nomial (on/off switching based on properties of the electron) even though the mind of humans attempts to impose a three-patterned Boolean logic on the functionality? In order for computers to think for themselves (and denote humans as inefficient thinkers), computers may have to use something other than the electron such as a three-part combination easily available but consistently overlooked by so called established natural truths.

While Threes Researchers are not afraid to look for their respective treasures in all subject areas, and even areas not considered as "proper" subjects of worthwhile study, those whose frame of mind focus primarily on a given interest will disregard any and perhaps all other similar numerically labeled examples. (Justification for viewing a given interest as being worthwhile frequently is measured by how much income someone earns or what kind of social prestige is conferred upon them in a particular context.) For many people, if an interest doesn't provide them with a level of monetary income that they think justifies the effort of energy expenditure in the enterprise, it is deemed as having less importance than even the most menial employment. Imagine where science would be in this day and age if those in the past hadn't "dabbled" in various efforts of attempting to transmute one substance into another by methods of inquiry that formed the precursor basics of present scientific pursuit.

Let us look at a simplistic image comparing genetics and music:

music and genetics comparison (7K)

It is not too uncommon to find supremely tunnel-visioned individuals in their field of choice, because to do otherwise is commensurate with sacrilege amongst their peer group. Their imagination is limited by the kaleidoscopic pieces provided by the information exchanged (like sports trading cards or comic books) amongst those of their "professional" ilk. They are permitted to be creative, original and even exhibit a degree of genius, so long as those in their peer group label their efforts as such. Periodic digressions are permitted so long as they are defined as a supposition in an air of conjecture agreeable to those present. Even though the above image is considered simplistic by threesological standards of inquiry, those in the study of music or field of genetics may not necessarily refute the above comparison, but they will nonetheless overlook what is being proposed by amusedly claiming that either there is a naturally ingrained genetic basis to music or genetics is musically inclined with its own beat and rhythm. Sadly, both expressions miss the point being conveyed. The "2" "2" "1" is not a resonating feature or pop music (three-patterned) "hook," but another recurrence of a pattern-of-three. Whereas the additive numerical property reveals a "5" value, which may, coincidentally help to deduce three-patterned structures in other "five" patterns, it is an alternative discussion altogether. There is an ongoing need to develop a sophisticated tool of differentiation so that we as researchers are not ensnared by imposing (or super-imposing) our inclinations (however sincere our intentions), on that being researched.

Another introduction to threes research is the phenomena of a One- Two- Three maturational development sequence. It is necessary for those involved in threesological research (in contrast to the meritable and highly useful activity of merely collecting various three-patterned examples), that some examples of threes will readily exhibit themselves as displaying a definitive sequence of fairly recent (1st, 2nd, 3rd) historical development. For example, in the field of Basketball, it is thought that early contests used a one-point system. In other words, if a person made a basket they would receive one point. As the game progressed, a single basket received two points while a free-throw received one point. Further development in the game produced a three-point shot. Hence, the game's point system has followed a one- two- three sequence.

However, a one-two-three development sequence is not readily accessible to an historical review since developmental events have, are and will take place over long expanses of time and may not express a definitive "one-two-three" form of labeling. Take for example Germ Layer Development. While we biologically complex humans grow from three Germ layers (Endoderm- Mesoderm- Ectoderm), less complex organisms grow from two layers. It can thus be assumed that lesser complex organisms arise due to a single Germ layer, though this process is not frequently discussed in biological texts. Hence, the usage of the word "assumed" in the previous sentence.

Another, more controversial, example is that concerning the basic substrates of Life, namely RNA, DNA and Proteins. Their order of appearance in the historical record of biological development have advocates weighing in based on their interpretations of experimental evidence. By using innumeration as a tool of deciphering what has thus been discovered (in scientific literature anyway), quantization with respect to "strandedness/stringness" (the number of strands/strings denoting complexity), we might want to assume that a double-stranded form of DNA is more biologically advanced in development than a single-stranded form. Hence, the existence of a three-part (primary- secondary- tertiary) structure in proteins is more biologically advanced than a two-stranded (double helix) DNA.

However, We might not want to be so hasty as to describe the numbers 1- 2- 3 as a rule-of-thumb labeling system if we discover a sequentially occurring one- two- three development that is exhibiting a structure exceeding these quantitative values. instead of exhibiting a 1- 2- 3 value in its properties, we should not be led astray by the existence of some other values such as 4- 5- 6, 15- 20- 45, or something that appears at first glance to suggest a freakish randomness. All examples encountered should be organized for review and deductive reasoning for further research. In other words, let's keep an open mind since biology, for one reason or another, may reverse its course or go back and forth depending on circumstances of influence. For example, we may encounter what appears to be a stage "two" developmental sequence one generation only to find a stage "one" sequence the next generation when the historical record (however measured) suggests there should be a "three" sequence.

For those readers who are skeptics about everything or just the threes phenomena research in particular, let me offer them an on-going opportunity to derail any and all train cars being built and connected to the Threes Research Express: If any reader finds the list of a pattern (with or without a number labeling system) they feel is too important to ignore, and should or should not be included in a Threes Research effort, whether or not they think it is another piece to the present puzzle (or if you prefer, let us label it a mystery), please let me know. I will give you full credit for your efforts or provide you with all the anonymity you desire. And if you should ever feel slighted, the over-sight will be corrected with a sincere apology.

Some of us appear to experience and/or display more patterns-of-three than others, although this assumption has not had any rigorous scientific study that I am aware of. And even if a person does exhibit or experience multiple patterns-of-three everyday, some days, or at unrecognized intervals, this does not mean they are aware of such. Most of us seem totally oblivious of the fact that we use multiple patterns- of-three in our mannerisms, how we arrange things, our expressions, and how we respond to circumstances.

Some patterns-of-three appear to play larger roles in some peoples lives than others. For example, one person may change three pairs of shoes on a daily basis. Another person will routinely eat three particular items or will meet with two other friends. And still another will make three calls on a weekly basis that they feel are important.

I have gone into houses where the housekeeper insists on having three sizes of towels (small-medium-large) on towel racks. Another person "must" watch three favorite television programs. While others will eat nothing between the breakfast, lunch and supper meals. There are numerous other examples.

But I must be honest. I have encountered people who routinely perform, or say they prefer things in groups-of-two or some other numerically identifiable pattern even though the actual circumstances may differ considerable from what is said. When I have pointed out the recurrence-of-threes by citing a few examples (typically twelve or more in rapid succession), some do begin to question why they think they prefer twos or what they claim is their favorite number.

The fact is that some people claim to prefer another number pattern over the "three" is a consideration I have thought about from time to time during extended periods of data collecting. Indeed, the question is: "Why aren't there more people advocating the "three" if it is so prevalent as we Threes researchers claim?" Why don't more people openly recognize the recurrence aside from the usual listing of the following "threes" examples?

  • Death occurs in threes. (A consideration focused on by journalists when three celebrities die in close ~time~ proximity to one another.)
  • Third time's the charm. (Another time reference.)
  • Threes a crowd. (This may be viewed by some as yet another time reference about a spatial event.)

While many of us could add a few other examples "off the top of our head," a longer list of threes examples does not typically come to mind. If we are provided a list, our memory could be stirred towards recognizing many, if not all... so long as the list provides the more common knowledge ones.

In searching for various threes examples, it should be noted that present patterns-of-one may one day development into a "three" structure such as the old two-patterned Yin and Yang philosophical concept. It has presently been exhibited as a three-patterned Yin- Unity- Yang. Even though this three-patterned sequence may have been thought of many years ago, that many people had in fact lived their lives in accordance with a three-patterned perspective of the Yin and Yang concept, the articulation of the third addition in the larger public sphere is a new development. Whereas the Yin and Yang concept had long been coherently articulated in the public domain, the third element had not been until more recently. Clearly there may be other instances in which a present day two-patterned structure will develop into a three-patterned one. However, a three-patterned perspective of an old two-patterned formulaic expression may not be used by the same culture which introduced and developed the original two-patterned idea. The original culture may be slow in adopting the usage of a three-patterned structure.

It should also be noted that a "threes" perspective may be imposed upon another culture such as when a country militarily occupies it after a war. Even though a culture may predominantly be focused on a two-patterned perspective, it is forced to accept the orientation of the dominant organizer. Such is the case in Japan, Korea with respect to U.S. military occupations. They have all been forced to adopt a three-patterned perspective that has influenced the organizational methodology used in many areas of social interaction, though most of the people are unaware that such a situation has taken place. With respect to the U.S. military occupation in Germany, the "threes" influence has played less of an influential role because its usage was already manifest.

As an aside note, interestingly, if we look at the quantity of names used by a person in a given culture over long expanses of human history, early cultures adopted the usage of single names for individuals, followed by two names (a first and last name), followed by three names (first, middle, and last). In those situations where one attempted dominance over another as an expression of a greater ego, we can find the usage of multiple names or titles. No doubt it was an instance of the old three-patterned "One- Two- Many" formula found in the historical record of number concept development.

In speaking to my fellow threes researchers, though it is a question many of them may have already ventured into wondering about themselves: "Is the ability to recognize the recurrence of threes an expression of an evolving consciousness?" Humorously considered, perhaps it means we are some type of idiot savant with a penchant for threes instead of music or some other more culturally favored talent described as giftedness or genius. While the percentage of people acknowledging the "threes" appears to be low amongst the general population, does it have any representation for the human species as a whole, or is it much like so many other esoteric interests?

Is the behavior of collecting varied examples of "threes" some mild form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) similar to those who collect music boxes, toys, clocks, hats, canes, glass figurines, autographs, marbles, pictures, paintings, sculptures, "rare" books, matchbook covers, coins, stamps, butterflies, antiques and numerous other "collectibles" sometimes labeled memorabilia, oddities or one-of-a-kind hand-made or production models?

No matter how some readers may want to interpret and define a threesological perspective, we Threesologists strive for an intellectual honesty— that is not without humor or an ability to joke about ourselves... particularly if in moments of heightened seriousness we notice an intellectualization that has painted itself into a corner. Self embraced arrogance has its own brand of laughter upon witnessing its own nonsense that has become a philosophy which may be intellectually satisfying because its truth is based on a type of semantics that give the impression and appearance of being wholly defensible on any occasion— thus suggesting it is a universal truth "discovered" by someone whose ego assumes some level of ego profiting they exuberantly share with other, less truth-fortunate than themselves, as if giving alms to a populace of poor. Whereas we Threesologists may, from time to time permit ourselves to engage in such a self-indulging human practice, it is more preferable to establish a philosophy of conjecture from which a testable hypothesis can verify or refute that which we, in all honesty, merely think is true.

Since the human mind is quite adept at confabulation (designing fables), we must be wary of inclined enthusiasms to emotionalize revelatory Eureka! moments into overvalued sentiments which have no application of practicality for assisting humanity towards a greater "manifest destiny" that is not speciously defined and impulsively directed by the typical survivalist impulses governing the policies of so many current businesses, governments and religions. Notwithstanding an emphasized realization of personal growth as a hierarchical component of self actualization, whether associated with such terminology or not, since we too are part of the human sphere identified within the scope of our altruistically labeled desire to achieve some semblance of selfless magnanimity manifestly described as self sacrifice for the sake of the better whole, a threesological approach does in fact identify the value of the larger ideal as a measurably alternative, testable idea.

Page initially created: Sunday, March 25th, 2012, 11:43 AM
Page re-posted: Sunday, 12th May 2019… 5:17 AM
Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland