

Chaos Theory and patterns
Name: Tom Krieglstein, Josie Villanova, Ryan Sheehan, Jillian Ferris
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A
Question:
In reading books on the Chaos Theory, it is suggested that there is a
constant pattern in nature. Do you think this is true? If so can it be
proven through science or math?
We checked the archives.
Replies:
Observations of nature do seem to indicate some reasonably consistent
patterns. Still, virtually every attempt at modeling these patterns
using mathematics is based on simplifying assumptions. Since there
will always be mathematical statements that cannot be proved within
a given system of rules, it is unlikely that we will ever be able to
"prove" anything about nature or the sciences that describe it, in a
pure sense. A reasonable educational goal for students of science is
that they come to a realization that literally every law or formula
given is subject to some limitations. Indeed, the study of chaotic
behavior in relation to the models of science shows us that these
models are all flawed to some degree, especially if we need data as
inputs to these models to use them in a recursive way.
For an excellent film on observations of consistent patterns in nature
with no mathematical prerequisites, I recommend "The Shape of Things"
in the NOVA series from public television (available in larger libraries?)
tee
I think that your question needs a little more discussion. When
you say, "a constant pattern in nature", what do you have in mind?
What would you look for if you were looking for a constant pattern?
jlu
Chaos theory does not claim that there is a constant pattern
in nature, but rather that systems with elements of randomness
can still organize themselves into structures which have
order.
prof topper
Click here to return to the Mathematics Archives
 
Update: June 2012

