Tag: butterfly effect
Stephen Colbert defined a new word: Truthiness, The belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.
A number of popular commentators write that we should trust our intuition (without explaining what that may be) rather than relying on what we read. Most of these commentators have written many, many books to tell us that we do not need these books.
Edward Lorenz was a mathematician and meteorologist. Whilst his name may not be familiar, you would have heard about the results of his work. Whilst he is best known for his work on Chaos Theory, he made very valuable contributions to other areas of mathematics including climate theory. Lorenz presented a paper at a meeting in December, 1972 in Washington, DC, the title of the talk being, Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? The title was a question. The answer is - of course it does not. If it did we would be creating tornadoes every time we clapped our hands. Lorenz conclusion was that long-term weather forecasting was doomed. The problem of accurate, long-term weather forecasting has been recognised for some time - and seagulls, grasshoppers or butterflies are not part of the problem or solution.