Turtles all the way down

The Secret Life of Chaos

Posted by doctore0 on January 16, 2010

Chaos theory has a bad name, conjuring up images of unpredictable weather, economic crashes and science gone wrong. But there is a fascinating and hidden side to Chaos, one that scientists are only now beginning to understand.

It turns out that chaos theory answers a question that mankind has asked for millennia – how did we get here?

In this documentary, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science – how does a universe that starts off as dust end up with intelligent life? How does order emerge from disorder?

It’s a mindbending, counterintuitive and for many people a deeply troubling idea. But Professor Al-Khalili reveals the science behind much of beauty and structure in the natural world and discovers that far from it being magic or an act of God, it is in fact an intrinsic part of the laws of physics. Amazingly, it turns out that the mathematics of chaos can explain how and why the universe creates exquisite order and pattern.

And the best thing is that one doesn’t need to be a scientist to understand it. The natural world is full of awe-inspiring examples of the way nature transforms simplicity into complexity. From trees to clouds to humans – after watching this film you’ll never be able to look at the world in the same way again.

One Response to “The Secret Life of Chaos”

  1. Jon Steinar said

    Given existing circumstances at any moment, nothing is random. Nothing can be different from what it is in retrospect. It could not have been otherwise. Everything is an endless string of cause and effect caused by previous causes and effects. A splash of paint on canvas could not have ended up otherwise than it does, given the forces at work. The laws of physics. There is order. The idea of free will is a myth for example in light of this. The order though is such that it is impossible to predict precisely. That is due to our limitations but not to the limitations of the laws of nature. Everything is a factor in the equation of reality, the sum can always only be one.


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