Butterflies can change the world
Science suggests that uncertainty and chaos need not leave us hopeless
In the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, we may see a way out of the world’s chaos. (Photo by Vincent M.A. Janssen from Pexels)
My dog and I were out for a walk a few weeks ago when our neighbor through the woods stopped us to chat about a column I had written on coping with these uncertain times. He’s a retired university professor, a revered scientist now nearly 90 years old, whose clever lectures had made him a student favorite.
“Uncertainty,” he said quietly, nodding as he turned to go. Then, with a twinkle, he added, “Next, you must write about chaos.”
Ah, those science jokes. To a physicist, you know, the concepts of uncertainty and chaos mean something rather different than they mean to a guy whose great skill is, well, punctuation. (Also, I can play the ukulele.)
“I’ll give that some thought,” I said, not figuring to actually do any such thing, since I cannot really explain either uncertainty or chaos to the satisfaction of a scientist.
But I can’t get my neighbor’s offhand comment …