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butterfly effect




One of the more sensational and loudly-touted claims of chaos theory: a butterfly beating its wings could, by a intricate chain of causes and effects, give rise to a hurricane. The gist of the argument is that minuscule disturbances can be amplified unpredictably into major phenomena. However, the overwhelming likelihood is that any effect as small as the beating of a butterfly's wing would be quickly dampened out and play no significant part in future events.


Related entry

   • causality


Related categories

   • CHAOS, COMPLEXITY, AND DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS
   • SYSTEMS THEORY