Chaos question from Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Marty G. Price (mprice@Ra.MsState.Edu)
Tue, 13 Aug 1996 09:33:56 -0500

On 13 Aug 1996, Angeline Kantola wrote:

> Heavens help me for jumping into this fray, but I have to comment...

The thread is beyond unknotting --- perhaps we can toss it into a side
drawer and ignore it as our lives go on. :)

> 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.

This is a question from the pop-science end of the stream (you termed it
"metaphysics" --- good, that's honestly what the speculative stuff is & I
like to see that term used for it; I wish more of the theoretical folks
would admit it when they are doing metaphysics).

Simple honest question --- while chaos theory calls into doubts our
scientific ability to make *exact* predictions of certain events, doesn't
it also provide the mechanism for accurate predictions of *patterns* for
those same events? (The simple example: we can't expect an accurate
prediction regarding rain next Tuesday {an exact date a full week in the
future}, but folks like Gray can predict the number of hurricanes in the
coming season with surprising accuracy.)

Blessed Be,