This week, Ben Huberman asks us to “embrace disorder and its creative power.” You can read the entire challenge post here. OK, so why does this photo of a butterfly meet the challenge? Fans of the 1960s Secret Agent spoof, Get Smart will remember Maxwell Smart’s “Would you believe…” So, would you believe that a butterfly could cause a tornado?
If a single butterfly could cause a tornado, could the three butterflies in the image above cause a hurricane? In the 1960s, the Butterfly Effect became the founding principle of chaos theory. Edward Lorenz, in doing research on weather patterns and their predictability, suggested that the single flap of a butterfly’s wings might ultimately cause a tornado. Lorenz’s ground-breaking research on predictability threw the scientific community into a sort of chaos in and of itself.
This week’s challenge led me to reading about chaos theory on a chance Google Search where I saw a reference to the “butterfly effect”. I enjoy taking these challenges to a different place, somehow related… yet not. If you want to read more about Lorenz and chaos theory, you will find it here.