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EmergenceContemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science$
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Mark A. Bedau and Paul Humphreys

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026215

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.001.0001

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(p.375) 20 Chaos

James P. Crutchfield

J. Doyne Farmer

Norman H. Packard

Robert S. Shaw

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the discovery of chaos and how it has created a new paradigm in scientific modeling. On one hand, it implies new fundamental limits on the ability to make predictions; on the other, the determinism inherent in chaos implies that many random phenomena are more predictable than had originally been thought. Information found and shelved in the past because it was deemed unexplainable and too complicated can now be explained in terms of simple laws. Surprisingly, chaos allows order to be found in diverse systems. This facet of chaos has led to a revolution affecting many different branches of science. The chaos discussed in this chapter starts with the notion that existence of random behavior in very simple systems motivates a reexamination of the sources of randomness even in large systems.

Keywords:   chaos, order, scientific modeling, determinism, random phenomena, random behavior, randomness

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