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View Poll Results: Is nature (universe) orderly or chaotic ?

Voters
13. You may not vote on this poll
  • Orderly

    6 46.15%
  • Mostly orderly with some chaos

    2 15.38%
  • 50/50

    0 0%
  • Mostly chaotic with some order

    1 7.69%
  • Totally Chaotic

    0 0%
  • It changes with time from order to chaos

    3 23.08%
  • It changes with time from chaos to order

    2 15.38%
  • Science in principle explains everything, and nature is orderly.

    1 7.69%
  • Science only explains orderly things; true chaos is unexplainable.

    1 7.69%
  • Science only gives the illusion of order, but nature isn't orderly.

    2 15.38%
  • Totally upto how one looks at it

    2 15.38%
  • We will never know.

    0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Nature: Organized or Disorderly ?

  1. #1
    Chukchi Salmon
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    Question Nature: Organized or Disorderly ?

    3-Part Multiple Choice Poll on Order & Chaos

    1. Is nature orderly or disorderly, organized or chaotic? (1-5)
    2. Which way is the universe flowing in terms of order and chaos ? (6-7)
    3. Do you think science can (will) explian all orderly or disorderly phenomena ?
    Or does order and chaos depend on our way of looking at things ?
    Or are they perfectly objective properties of physical bodies, nature, and universe ? (8-12)

    Below are excerpts from "Universe How Big?" thread that are realted to order and chaos. Please cast your votes (at least 3 per person please) in the poll, and also contribute your opinions !
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Given half a chance, order emerges from chaos, and given optimum conditions, matter keeps on self-organizing until it can get up, crawl around, and write poetry." -David Grinspoon

    "The 'mind' of the universe is the order that allows things to come together to form more complex things, like atoms, planets, people, stars, hamsters, etc." -Brooker

    "This is probably true regardless of the magnitude of the universe or the existence of a divine being." -Lexico

    "I believe that such an order could not exist without a designer. As I see it, the 'designer' IS the order." -Brooker

    "No plan or design was necessary for all this to happen, but only simple, common elements in nature with enough time to permute them through the possible combinations was enough." -Lexico

    "Without that order (without "the force") I don't believe anything could ever form, just random stuff floating around, bouncing off each other, never forming into anything...it takes a much bigger leap of faith to think that all of that would just happen on it's own. Without order and the universe's WILL (which I also attribute to "the force") to form into something more complex, that would never have happened." -Brooker

    "So why are things in the universe organised ? Who said they were ? We humans find it organised because it fits our perception of organisation, something that matches our own structure." -Maciamo

    "There is obviously order to the universe. Is there any such thing as true chaos? If we think something is chaotic, it probably just follows a pattern we have yet to understand. There's order in atoms, the Earth's revolutions around the sun, matter...I don't think anything could exist without some kind of order. There's a pattern to everything around us. I challenge anyone to find something that has no form of organization." -Brooker

    "The very idea or 'chaos' vs 'organisation' depend on our own perception as humans. It could be that other intelligent being in the universe have a different perception of what is 'organised'. And yet, that would still be from a life being point of view. For instance, it is logical to think that between 2 'intelligent' living creatures, the most sophisticated might have a stricter definition of organisation." -Maciamo

    "EVERYTHING has some kind of organization to varying degrees of complexity. And to make the tree falling in the woods argument ... the organization would exist even if no one was around to perceive it. So the opinions of the '2 intelligent living creatures' is of little significance and has no effect of the nature of 'the organization'." -Brooker
    Last edited by lexico; 07-03-05 at 22:38.
    Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

    --Zhuangzi

  2. #2
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    What appears a first to be chaotic is, when you observe more closely, ordered. You might even have to go go to he microscopic or even further to see this, but ultimately nature has order. A swarm of insect at first appears to be chaotic in what it does, but studies have shown there is order at a lower level. If swarm dynamics were chaotic it should be impossible to predict or even get a computer to simulate swarm dynamics. When they first tried to program swarm dynamics into computer they assumed that there was a leader in the swarm. Later studies have shown that this is not so. By using this knowledge a computer can simulate swarms. The program is mathematical in its origins and is based on order. From this order you get what appears to be chaos, but on the smaller scale it isn't. You could say that the prime mover in nature and the universe is mathematics.

  3. #3
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    I can't imagine how something of such unimaginable wonder could just chaotically come into being. Therefore, I buy into Intelligent Design, and a Creator.

  4. #4
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    What appears a first to be chaotic is, when you observe more closely, ordered.
    I would propose the contrary: the closer you look the closer you get to ultimate chaos. On quantum level & below it may get quite tricky to find some order (although, I admit, I'm far from an expert here).
    Or maybe the bigger & the smaller the structure, the more chaotic. In between there is a lot of relative order. But, well, relative order.

  5. #5
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    As you get closer to the quantum level you find that atoms are a fairly regular design. You might find electrons spinning around Protons and Nuetrons in an ordered pattern. Below this you find Gluons, bosons and quarks. Each have there own rules and are expressed by mathematics. In this way you are able to tell what charge or what they are doing. Never the two due to Heisenberg. But the fact is they can be predictable. In a chaotic universe you shouldn't be able to do this, but we can. They have been able to transport a proton. To do this you must be able to predict what it was doing. A chaotic universe would not allow this. Mathematics is the order of the universe.

  6. #6
    Chukchi Salmon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    If swarm dynamics were chaotic it should be impossible to predict or even get a computer to simulate swarm dynamics.
    Simulations are of two sorts.
    1) Both the physical principle expressed in exact mathematical formula and the observed phenomena are in exact parallel within a given margin of error/ accuracy/ precision (whichever may be the technically correct term).
    2) The principle is not clearly understood, but a rough & approximate model is presented and fine tuning (actually rough tuning, because without a true model, fine tuning is meaningless, but only to achieve the desired effect) is applied by adjusting several independent (or dependent) parameters to "fake" the desired effect.

    In most cases, simulation refers to the second because, when a phenomenon is clearly understood, we don't simulate. We just calculate. Furthermore The branch of applied mathematics called numerical analsysis offers numerous ways of approximating a natural x-y relationship by cutting off the Taylor series at a certain term to fit the approximating function into the desired x-y graph give or take margin of error.

    In engineering, and even classical mechanics, these methods are often employed. Very messy if you look at pure science. Mathematics breaks down in partial differential equations because general solutions do not exist. One reason I have little faith or regard for higher mathematics or physics as a serious science, i.e. the study of physical truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    By using this knowledge a computer can simulate swarms. The program is mathematical in its origins and is based on order. From this order you get what appears to be chaos, but on the smaller scale it isn't. You could say that the prime mover in nature and the universe is mathematics.
    The only thing that we can be sure of is that "a" mathematical model proposed by the scientist was able to get relatively close to the observed phenomena in the swarm of bees. There can be literally dozens of equivalent "other" mathematical models, and the current one may turn out to be totally off. I am not exaggerating. Few people outside the science community hear about these things. It's actually really messy what goes behind the laboratory security guards. It's not just the "frauds" that are doing this. It's standard procedure, so there it is.

    Mathematics is disorderly judged as a whole. So are the phycial sciences. I think there is widespread misconception about science; the orderly image we have of nature is largely an abstraction at best, and an illusion at worst. Of course, what nature is is a totally distinct subject, but that's up to you to decide.
    Last edited by lexico; 08-03-05 at 00:16.

  7. #7
    Anjin
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    It's completely orderly, there's just a lot we don't understand about it.
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  8. #8
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    You might find electrons spinning around Protons and Nuetrons in an ordered pattern.
    Hmm, if I remember my biology advanced course correctly, there is not much of a pattern (depending on the applied model, though), but there is a certain probability that the electron may be in a certain area of what in German is called Elektronenwolke (?atom cloud?).

    A chaotic universe would not allow this. Mathematics is the order of the universe.
    That depends how you define a "chaotic universe."

    As I said, my knowledge in this area is rather limited, but that there is some chaos on quantum level is supported by this (the only source I found which is at least somewhat commonly intelligible):

    "Quantum chaos is the study of the quantum dynamics of systems that are classically chaotic. Contrary to the impression left by most textbooks, almost all conservative dynamical systems are at least partly chaotic in the range of their behavior. This applies to molecules, nuclei, quantum dots, acoustical systems, and dozens of other systems."

  9. #9
    Southern Sun Duo's Avatar
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    Well I would say that Nature in our world is very orderly, species, how we function, mating and everything, almost everything has a purpose, however you can't have 100% order, so you need a bit of chaos, and that's why sometimes we have things that don't make sense. And I think that we as humans add to this chaos, we are changing the rules of nature, we are trying to fight over it, we are trying to create over it, so I guess we add to the chaos. In terms of the universe, I remember that I was taught that the Universe is constantly moving towrds entropy, disorder and chaos. Do we have any physycists or chemist or biologists in here that could help us out a bit ?

  10. #10
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    Once you have full entropy nothing would happen. That is about as orderly as you can get.

  11. #11
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    It seems to me that the gravity has a lot to do with keeping nature in order on the earth, and any natural phenomenal weather events can be explained scientifically. I think how nature works makes sense in any level.

    Human nature is the one that is more chaotic.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    It seems to me that the gravity has a lot to do with keeping nature in order on the earth,
    I sometimes wonder about things like gravity that most people just accept as being the way they are and that's it. We don't really "understand" gravity. We know that large bodies attract each other, but why? Would it make any less sense if large bodies repelled each other? We know so little.

  13. #13
    I jump to conclusions mad pierrot's Avatar
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    Why order? Why chaos? Why anything?

    You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't, take your pick.
    It doesn't stop nachos and cheese from tasting good.
    Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.

  14. #14
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    We know so little.
    I don't know anything.
    Yeah, really though, what is gravity?

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    probably the fractal theory can answer your question.
    it is about n-dimenional areas, where n is a floatpoint number.

    a sheet is x/z -> 2 dimensions.
    a cube is x/y/z -> 3 dimensions.

    a fern in example is, let us say 2.31 dimensional.

    another model to understand these things is the length of the coast of england. it is not infinite, but if one goes into smaller scope (larger magnification), the number increases.

    remarkable for fractals is, that the structures are similar to each other.

    now i remember to have read about fractals as "ordered chaos"

    the theory is of great interest for computer science.

  16. #16
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    I sometimes wonder about things like gravity that most people just accept as being the way they are and that's it. We don't really "understand" gravity. We know that large bodies attract each other, but why? Would it make any less sense if large bodies repelled each other? We know so little.
    No, in some way we understand it. One of the basic principle of every known substance of the universe is that large bodies form themselves thank to the force of cohesion (negative energy), while the more matter/energy is excited (eg. heat, movement... i.e. positive energy) the more dispersed and elated it becomes. It also works at an atomic level. Protons are filled with negative energy (although confusingly labeled as +) and electrons are filled with positive energy. That's just an overview; it gets more complex at a subatomic level.
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  17. #17
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    Talking well...

    "Deep in a human unconcious is a persuasive need for a logical Universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond the logic" (F.Herbert "Dune")

    * clears the throat, flicks away invisible dust and leans on a pulpit *

    My beloved children! I`ve come to misgui... (obeisant whispers from behind "to enlight, your Reverence")
    Ah? whatever!
    Let me take your hands and plunge you into the maddness of a big city at rush-hour, and keep there for a while at some crossroad. Let you to watch people and all the means of transportation rush aside, listen to the all sorts of daily noises, bear all the pushes ... and when you`ll get enougth of this Brownian agitation, just let me know...

    does look very orderly?

    now, let me challenge your fantasy and ask to imagine such hour in between of night and the mornig, those twilight moments when the city dozes and the sun is just climbing far from behind the horizon (there are such moments in small towns, but why not to make a model of a large one, throwing away attributes and functions which we just don`t need now?)
    We are not going to return to that place, we shall get into the helicopter and take a look from above. Let`s watch how the sun slowly, softly touches the sky and the city wakes up. Follow up the lines of first cars and people, notice how they speed up and grow more intensive, where they up to...

    does it make more sense now? i`ll be damned if it doesn`t

    What was there about the swarm? :) Think about ants in a forest, which taken separatedly from their ant-hill, don`t look too well organized. Sometimes to see a pattern you must take a look from a distance (this can be spatial distance, time inteval or both).

    Joel de Rosnay in his wonderful book "The Macroscope" said that microscope helps to enlarge tiny objects, telescope, makes distant giants to come to a close look, but to understand the complexity of a nature, society and a human being we need another tool, which would allow us to concieve any system as a Whole

    Even fractals seem to have their twisted order (but after certain point, starting after some iterations)

    Yet, there is a place for fluctuations which can destroy everything or bring it to another level of complexity.

    I`ll advise you to look for a books by Prigogine with colleages, they wrote some popular ones (the one i remember "New dialog of a mankind with nature" I.Prigogine, Stengers) They`ve done a lot of researching on
    self-organized systems, negentropy, chaos and order. F.Kapra writes brilliant popular books: "Dao physics" (for those who want to get basics of that particle`s world) "The web of life" (or something close to it) is some thing to learn about order or chaos of a world

    Order for many resembles something strict and unchangeble (like a molecular structure of a crystall), but it is not. Form needs something persistent, constant and solid, but to evolve it needs something flexible, versatile and moving... To call it chaos, disorder, dynamic balance or whatever else you choose it for yourself

    Last edited by Void; 06-04-05 at 19:25.

  18. #18
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    Perfectly in order. sometimes it's us humans who keep on altering it.

  19. #19
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    I agree with Bossel - Nature is chaotic. There is order within the chaos, but overall things are chaotic - second law of thermodynamics and quantum theory.

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