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Originally posted by monkcaw
Chaos only exists in the minds of men. I say that because I don't see chaos in any place; not in black holes, not in decay, not even in great explosions... if someone knows where chaos resides please tell me.
Chaos seems like something we want to impose on reality but I think nature resists this. It has more to do with the limits of our perception and perspective.
Chaotic behavior has been observed in the laboratory in a variety of systems, including electrical circuits, lasers, oscillating chemical reactions, fluid dynamics, and mechanical and magneto-mechanical devices, as well as computer models of chaotic processes. Observations of chaotic behavior in nature include changes in weather, the dynamics of satellites in the solar system, the time evolution of the magnetic field of celestial bodies, population growth in ecology, the dynamics of the action potentials in neurons, and molecular vibrations. There is some controversy over the existence of chaotic dynamics in plate tectonics and in economics.
Originally posted by Myollinir
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
First off - I would like a definition of chaos.
One could argue the events following the big bang could be labeled as "order" as well. Order enough to create vast amounts of intense matter, such as stars/planets/galaxies/etc... but then I see you balance out the question by saying there is both "chaos" and "order" in the universe. It seems as though this is apparent when we observe our lives. We dive into what is the unknown and also the known each day. So, to answer your question (in my opinion), no I don't think man could not exist without chaos.
It is a HUGE theme from ancient creation ideas that existence came from chaos. I think this form of chaos is what we do not know - and we think of this as something like a black void. This seems pretty chaotic... a vast amount of whatever variable you see fit. And then suddenly we are conscious... This may also be applied to the question, "Where were we before we were born?" I don't seem to remember anything, and I don't remember either happiness nor depression... but in a way I feel comfortable when I think about it. The "chaos" seems normal and hey maybe this may get more towards the answer you're looking for.
Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I think I'm wrong in using the word "order" as an antonym to chaos . As Wang Tang suggested, the opposite of order is disorder. Both order and disorder can be reached through chaos. If I dropped 4 quarters, and all of them landed heads, it appears as if there's order, even if this coincidence was reached through the conditions of chaos.
Originally posted by Wang Tang
Here's my take on the definition of chaos.
What we experience in our life is the tendency towards order and the tendency towards disorder, entropy. Complete order and complete disorder are theoretical concepts that as far as we know don't actually exist.
As for what you mention as chaos here, I have to disagree that if all 4 quarters land on heads it appears there is order. I think this is proof of disorder, if there was order it would follow the most likely probability and land 2 heads 2 tails. What I'm trying to say is I don't think order can be reached through chaos.
Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Let's say they landed in a perfect stack; although not probable at all, the result still has the appearance of order. Could anyone who walked by that stack of quarters say there was no order to it? The very reason we only use probabilities rather than absolutes is because we have to account for chaos and the coincidences it distributes randomly. What I was getting at with my stupid quarter metaphor was that life itself, a completely systematic and ordered entity, is the result of a seemingly infinite series of random events. Thus order out of chaos.