Weekly Photo Challenge – Chaos

cafepress-logo-17This 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.

cafepress-logo-logo-22This 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.

John Steiner

3 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Chaos

  1. Pingback: Chaos: Dark Skies | What's (in) the picture?

  2. So, that’s why meteorologists are so often incorrect when predicting the weather… “Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow,” is further proof that scientists have yet to understand how to craft a clickable title. LOL 🙂

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