Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Eric Brunner (
13 Aug 1996 17:24:18 GMT

Angeline Kantola ( wrote:
: Heavens help me for jumping into this fray, but I have to comment...

: In article <>,
: Joel and Lynn Gazis-Sax <> wrote:

: >Many scientists are questioning the ability to measure things in any
: universally
: >predictable manner. Physics and chemistry are currently undergoing a
: revolution
: >thanks to the insights of chaos theory. The gist of this is that there
: are many
: >factors which can affect a phenomenon.

: Aaargh! Chaos theory! OK, show of hands here: who in the audience has had
: graduate-level math and science? Good, good. Alright, now who's read an
: article or a pop-science metaphysics book about chaos theory? Uh huh,
: kinda what I thought.

Guilty. ABD in math, Berkeley, area of specialization: ergodic theory
(aka "Chaos Theory").

: Do not be misled. Chaos theory is not some sort of scientifically valid
: fudge factor that means ***anything*** can happen.


: Chaos theory goes a lot farther than "there are many factors which can
: affect a phenomenon". Multivariate analysis, anyone? There are almost
: infinitely many factors which affect, say, the development of a person
: from birth to adulthood. However, the human organism is anything *but* a
: chaotic system, scientifically speaking.

: Apologies for the rant (what the heck is this doing under a header about
: matriarchies, anyway?), but the idea that "Chaos theory means you never
: have to say you're sorry" is really a bad one.

Agreed. I've yet to see a useful post by an uncritical, mathematically
non-literate advocate of "Chaos Theory", other than the cute ones about
the pseudo-maths character in the Jurassic Park serials. Those are just

: Cheers,
: Angie
: Doctoral Candidate in Biochemistry, at UW
: BS Chem, Stanford, '91

Eric Brunner