When a butterfly flutters its wings a hurricane – or some other catastrophe - will occur months later somewhere in the world. That is a simplistic and oft-repeated illustration of the complex and fascinating concept of Chaos.
Last night we were watching a television documentary about Chaos Theory ('The Secret Life of Chaos', broadcast on BBC4 in January 2010) in which Professor Jim Al-Khalili explained how chaos theory is intrinsic to the laws of physics.
Being, like A A Milne's 'Winnie the Pooh', a Bear of Very Little (Mathematical) Brain I shall need to watch this documentary many times. There were some beautiful images and I tended to get swept up in them and miss the salient points! I understand though that mathematics can begin to explain how life evolved.