• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.
  6. We are no longer allowing posts or threads that deny the existence of Covid-19. Members have lost loved ones to this virus and are grieving. As a Christian site, we do not need to add to the pain of the loss by allowing posts that deny the existence of the virus that killed their loved one. Future post denying the Covid-19 existence, calling it a hoax, will be addressed via the warning system.

In The Beginning...

Discussion in 'Creation & Theistic Evolution' started by Ben johnson, May 13, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +384
    Christian
    An "origin theory" must have a beginning. Life must start.

    Science constrains to "observable facts", and each person must evaluate the facts as presented. There is always a certain amount of "faith" in fact-finding; virtually none of us has the ability to engage in archeological digs, and/or travel to distant regions to examine evidence ourselves (nor do we have the equipment or expertise to engage in many laboratorial measurements). Just as many people accepted Charles Dawson's "find", we also must evaluate evidence, and use "logic" where appropriate.

    In any view and/or discussion, Human fallibility will exist; because we ARE fallible. To be truly "objective", is extremely difficult. Do I view evidence a certain way because of what the evidence presents? Or do I see certain things IN the evidence, because of prior presumptions? Any of us could be guilty of the latter. It is with confidence that I both challenge each of you to BE "open minded", and I ACCEPT the challenge to be so, myself.

    There are essentially three beliefs for the origin of mankind on Planet Earth:

    1. Panspermia --- belief that life was "seeded" here by extraterrestrials. Since this exists beyond the scope of observable phenomena, it really also lies outside of "discussible points". We cannot observe life on other planets (assuming there WAS any), so we cannot discuss THEIR origins.

    2. Intelligent Design --- view that intelligent thought caused certain molecular configurations; indeed, the existence of the molecules themselves founds on a series of "cosmic constants" which have the appearance of being "precisely tuned". Any deviation in those constants, or in the complexity of molecular interraction, precludes life as we know it.

    3. Evolution --- view that life "began all by itself", that certain conditions existed in ancient history which allowed chance combination first to BEGIN a living creature, then (continuous chance chemical combinations) to allow that organism to INCREASE complexity and to diversify.


    Some would accuse of an "intellectual shell game" --- that is, if neither Intelligent Design nor Evolution (for instance) can be positively verified, it's asserted to be "intellectual dishonesty" (shell-game) to try to prove one by falsifying the other.

    ...yet in the presence of a finite number of theories, it is sound science to consider the conflicts in one or more paradigms. By such consideration, the theory with the fewest conflicts, gains the most credibility.


    So --- let's discuss the BEGINNING of Evolution.

    Stanley Miller / Harold Urey Biogenesis Experiment

    In 1953 Urey theorized that "pre-historic Earth's atmoshphere may have been composed of gases like ethane, methane, ammonia, nitrogen, hydrogen, water". Therefore he included these gases in a flask. Further theorizing that "lightning was likely", he introduced a high-voltage electric arc. At the end of one week, 10-15% of the carbon had formed organic compounds, of which ~2% were "amino acids".

    The newspapers declared, "LIFE CREATED IN THE LABORATORY!"

    But the experiment had several problems. First, there was a circulatory system (it was not "closed"), non-naturally occurring. In that circulation, was an "amino acid trap" --- to carefully collect and protect any formed. The trap was also non-naturally occurring; without it, the destruct rate would have prevented formation of any amino acids.

    The flask had no free oxygen, for that would "poison the system" and prevent amino acid formation. The geological stack does not exhibit any periods of "zero oxygen".

    Other "problems" existed; for instance, the "lightning" in the experiment far exceeded probable phenomena.

    But, for the sake of argument, let's pretend that the experiment was NOT a "fraud". Let's say that we have a flask of prehistoric organic "soup", from which life evolved.

    Now, the amino acids in this "soup" existed in equal numbers of left-handed, and right-handed isomeric configurations. Please explain to me how only "left-handed" protiens assembled themselves, and gained the ability to replicate. If we propose a simple "virus" of only 10 units, and VERY generously give the probability of simultaneous occurrance of each unit to be 1 chance in a thousand, then (by multiplication) the chance of joint combination is 1 x 10[sup]30[/sup]. Someone said that number would be "about the number of electrons this part of the Universe could contain". Yet the Evolutionist contends it DID happen, perhaps dictated by hereto unknown "attracters" in a not-yet-fully-defined chaotic system.

    But consider that this chance-happening, occurred TWICE (and in the same geological INSTANT!) --- first to create a "living cell", then to create "mitochondrea" (which are thought to have evolved separately, and then by a THIRD stroke of luck [perhaps a rock fell and gashed our struggling cell] mitochondrea became incorporated and thus began a beneficial symbiosis.)

    Immediately we're faced with "irreducible complexity". Protiens assembling themselves into DNA, cannot function as DNA without cellular walls; and cell walls are created by DNA. Which came first?

    It has been proposed that "perhaps life began not in a POOL, but on the ocean floor; around a "black smoker" (mineral-rich volcanic vent "belching" clouds of minerals looking like black smoke). Perhaps the cellular containment happened in volcanic rock VOIDS, so that DNA could form and function before it "learned" how to make cellular walls.

    This all is but conjecture. There is no evidence suggesting a random beginning, and no one knows how all the "irreducible complexities" were overcome.

    Chance and probability is remarkable; if our "test virus" is composed only of 10 units, and has a probability of only 1 x 10[sup]30[/sup], then what is the probability of a Human cell coming into existence, with its 23 chromosone pairs, each of which is composed of sequences of A, C, T, G, sequences that number THREE BILLION?

    Three billion is a large number; one could COUNT to three billion, if he/she never ate nor slept nor took a bathroom break, and counted three-per-second; and was willing to devote THIRTY TWO YEARS.

    So we have this extremely high probability against 10 units, then we consider three BILLION units --- the concept "extremely high", becomes "IDENTICALLY ZERO". It pays not to discuss "probabilities", or perhaps to propose an "undiscovered factor that significantly reduces the odds" (the science of Chaos, for instance).

    All of this discussion serves to show that Evolution, in its beginning, founds not on facts, but on a "faith" that IT DID HAPPEN.

    In the 19th Century was a view known as "Spontaneous Generation" --- they thought that life rose from non-life. Meat left outside, would spontaneously generate flies. The gelatinous interior of cells was thought to be "simple", therefore life could "simply arise".

    ...but we now know internal cellular structure is NOT simple --- vast and terribly sophisticated chemical processes, manufacturing, shipping and receiving (even molecular "transport trucks") exist and operate.

    Our tiny cellular METROPOLIS, even has gates with "locks and keys" (receptor sites).

    Evolution therefore seems to "revive" the view of "spontaneous generation". And it is not honest to call those who reject such a proposed "spontaneous beginning", as "intellectual idiots".

    ...I do not accept Miller's proposal, and I do not think I'm an "idiot"...

    It takes far less faith for me, a degreed-engineer, to observe the incredible sophistication of life on Earth, and to think, "This exhibits intelligent thought in its design"...

    :)
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. crawfish

    crawfish Veteran

    +117
    Christian
    Married
    US-Others
    There are many problems with your post - it seems you do not understand the theory of evolution or the scientific method fully. There are plenty of others here who can answer them better than I, though.

    The only faith that science dictates is the faith that as facts are gathered and discoveries made theories will be honed and changed over time. It's not like the faith of creationism which states you already have the answer and want to prove it to everybody else.
     
  3. random_guy

    random_guy Senior Veteran

    +134
    Christian
    I don't buy your argument. First off, the theory of evolution does not depend on a theory of the origin of life. They are independent theories. Disproving abiogenesis has no effect on evolution. Therefore, your argument isn't against evolution, rather abiogenesis.

    Second, anyone can make up lots of large numbers when dealing with probabilities and an unknown sample space. That's essentially what you did. What you also need to do is look at the probability of similar outcomes, in order to get some relevant numbers. That's why I don't think any argument from probability is a good argument because they don't look at similar outcomes in the sample space. They base the probability off of one event.

    Let's play the probability game. Assume a uniform distribution for the probability of this post occurring within a minute (as it can fall on 1 second, 10 seconds, 3.14145 seconds, etc). After I post this message, what's the probability that that post hit that time? Well, since you're an engineer, you'll know that probability is 0. Did a miracle just occur? How did an event with 0 probability just happen? Or is it because we're looking at 1 event in a large sample space (which is what your argument does). The 0% event occurring shows the logical flaws in your argument.

    EDIT:

    Also, enough with Urey-Miller. It did show (as later revised experiments also showed) that organic molecules can arise from inorganic molecules, the first precursor to the building blocks of life. Why don't you discuss recent science in abiogenesis, or is it because Creationists prefer to only pick on an old experiment 505 years ago, and avoid new research in the area.
     
  4. philadiddle

    philadiddle Drumming circles around you

    +47
    Christian
    Married
    faith in fact finding? Gravity is a fact. What am I having faith in to believe that I am being held to the earth by gravity?

    This is what makes the scientific method so incredible. It takes out assumptions because we can make predictions and test those predictions. Also, many ppl with many different views can perform the tests and come to the same conclusions. Example, Newtons physics dealt with physics on a large scale, but some things didn't work out. Despite that ppl were taught that he was correct, some things didn't work out. Eventually his physics were replaced with quantum physics (Planke, Einstein etc). Notice none of this has anything to do with faith? Notice that human error gets corrected by the scientific method?

    Your forgot to mention that God may have used evolution as His tool for creation. We observe that everything in the world happens according to natural laws in the present, and we still believe God is at work, why would God have needed to do things differently in the past? I believe He has made a self sufficient universe to give us the independence we need to make our own choices and to truly be free.


    then count out creatioinism:p


    Evolution assumes life already began, you are not even attacking evolution.

    You need a better understanding of how probability works. If the chance of winning the lottery is 1 in 60 million, then by your way of reasoning, no one should ever win the lottery. Yet, almost every draw comes up with a winner, despite the fact that that persons chances were so small. There's a probability for each individual, but there's also the probability that one of the many ticket buyers would win. The more tickets that are sold, the closer to 100% the chances that 1 person will win.

    This applies to abiogenesis by taking into account how big the earth is, and how many chemicals that life requires exist on the earth. The chances of a one shot deal are very small, but with so many chemicals over such a large area over such a long period of time, the chances of abiogenesis happening get closer to 100%. This is why God knew that using this method would work, He didn't gamble.

    The experiment you talked about needed it to happen in an observable amount of time with limited chemicals. That is why there was a chamber to separate amino acids and other such bias mechanisms in the experiment, we simply couldn't wait for the right circumstances for the production of amino acids from raw material. What the experiment did was show that it was possible.
     
  5. shernren

    shernren you are not reading this.

    +506
    Protestant
    In Relationship
    But of course the early notions of spontaneous generation are miles away from today's abiogenetic research. Spontaneous generation assumed that organisms which were macroscopic and phylogenetically continuous and contemporary with other organisms arose from essentially non-reactive organic mixtures via an undetectable vital force. Abiogenesis today attempts to investigate how organisms (if you can call them that) which were certainly microscopic, chemically simple, phylogenetically very distinct (although ancestral) to today's creatures, would have emerged from extremely reactive organic mixtures with catalytic presence through essentially repeatable chemical reactions.

    Of course the science of abiogenesis is rather tentative, I will agree with you on that point. But even if I grant complete ignorance of how life originated (which is going too far), the evidence that all life originated evolutionarily from that single life form is quite irrefutable. Evolution as a biological theory does not logically require abiogenesis to be scientifically complete, even though it will contingently depend on abiogenesis to explain some characteristics of today's life.

    And by the by, extensive banded iron formations in Precambrian rocks show that the Earth's oxygen content was indeed much lower much earlier back in its history than today.
     
  6. gluadys

    gluadys Legend

    +634
    Protestant
    CA-NDP
    This is a narrow definition of panspermia. A wider definition simply calls for the existence of organic molecules in space that could have found their way to earth without the assistance of extra-terrestrial beings. e.g. on meteorites or in comets.


    Actually how life began is not part of the theory of evolution. Evolution can be seen as occurring within a context of the special, direct and supernatural creation of the first life form(s). That, in fact, is the context in which Darwin set evolution in Origin of Species.

    Of course, there is no incompatibility between life beginning "all by itself" in a scientific sense, and creation in a theological sense. For "natural" does not mean "without the action of God" unless you subscribe to atheism--a position none of us here take. God can, and often does, operate via natural processes to accomplish his purposes. He could have done so in both the origin of life and the evolution of diverse life forms.


    What really removes a theory from contention is the falsification of its predictions. If a consequence of the theory which must be true if the theory is true, turns out to be false, then the theory is false.


    A good reason not to rely on newspaper headlines for accurate descriptions of scientific experiments. Go to the source, the original paper describing the purpose and methodology and results of the experiment.

    The Urey-Miller experiment did not, of course, create life, nor was it designed to. It did produce amino acids from non-organic material--showing that this was possible and did not require miraculous intervention into nature's processes.

    It does, however, indicate that the atmosphere of the planet in its early years had much less oxygen than at present. And variations on the Urey-Miller experiment have confirmed that the production of amino acids can occur in a variety of proposed early atmospheric conditions, including those with low (though not zero) concentrations of oxygen.

    We don't need to pretend. It was not a fraud.


    Would you like to estimate how long in real time a geological instant is?

    Are you suggesting that a living cell emerged from non-organic matter in a single step?



    Many cells, including some eukaryotic cells, do not have mitochondria. What makes you think the symbiosis of cells and mitochondria had to be initiated at the beginning of life?

    False dichotomy. You are leaving out the possibility of an RNA world. And have you looked at protocells?

    Well unlike the first cell, the human cell does not have to come into existence in a world without precursor cells. It can evolve from its ancestors' cells.

    Since you haven't actually discussed evolution at all, it does no such thing. And since you are apparently unaware of recent research into abiogenesis, you haven't dealt with the origin of life either.

    Maybe that problem could be cured if you acquired a degree in evolutionary biology. At least then, you might display some accurate knowledge of what evolution is.
     
  7. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

    +10,496
    United States
    Protestant
    Single
    US-Others
    While scientists have redefined the theory of evolution most still believe it means that life came from dead matter, and man evolved from monkeys. Because of the importance of the subject science has an obligation to educate the general public about the changes in the theory. Until they do this the world will languish in ignorance.
     
  8. random_guy

    random_guy Senior Veteran

    +134
    Christian
    I really don't think it's science's fault, but more our society and education system's fault. I really thought evolution also meant the origins of life, and this error wasn't corrected until I came to these boards. I also had no idea how science worked, even though I was a 4.0 student, and I took AP Bio and Chem.

    Our society doesn't seem to appreciate how important science and education is, and when students do well in math and science, they're "nerds" upon by the peers. You see this stereotype all the time in the media. Combined with the anti-science movements and our very short attention spans, I don't think the general public's scientific knowledge will change much in our lifetimes.
     
  9. busterdog

    busterdog Senior Veteran

    +177
    Christian
    Married
    I can never quite remember or figure out why your suggestion is a problem for the TE. I don't understand why they argue against it.

    Wouldn't the "T" in "TE" suggest that God is a strange attractor of sorts? I don't see how that would be more than a slight modification of evolutionary theory. Again, ID is indeed compatible with evolution.

    The whole idea of a strange attractor is an interesting logical problem, since it exists in the context of people who laugh at the idea of God and ID. There is Biblical and scientific authority for the idea that there will always be strange attractors. How then do you "do the math," since all bets are now off, and there are good arguments for the idea that everything is indeed possible, including YEC.

    Why is chance a better explanation than Goddidit? I understand why science requires a certain formality, but this is about TE, not pure science.

    Would it not bother a TE to have nothing but observable, explainable phenomena? That is one problem for the creationists: it is inconceivable that there would be a science that does not require a Goddidit frequently.

    The problems of abiogenesis are not fundamentally different from those in evolution. Going from life to nonlife seems like a different order of magnitude. Why must that be so? Evolution also seems to require some pretty big leaps from time to time. The evolutionary leaps are as hidden from view and as impossible to replicate as abiogensis has seemed to be.

    And what about newer and better abiogensis experimentation? Is there such a thing?
     
  10. shernren

    shernren you are not reading this.

    +506
    Protestant
    In Relationship
    Precisely what do you mean by "God is a strange attractor"?? If you're using chaos-theoretic terms, you need to stick to chaos-theoretic concepts, and as it is I have absolutely no idea what you mean by what you just said.

    Again, you really shouldn't use technical terms indiscriminately. Here I go again into another math-geek rant - but this time it's completely justified because you're misusing a mathematical term.

    What is a "strange attractor"? Well, first you have to ask what is an attractor. They arise in the context of dynamical systems, or mathematical structures that describe how a system evolves with time. For example, if I have a realistic pendulum (that undergoes friction), I can look at its position and speed at a given time, write a few differential equations, and say how the position and speed will change with time. I can code any position of the system as (position, speed) e.g. the pendulum is 6 degrees off center with a speed of 2 m/s.

    An attractor is basically a state, or set of states, that "traps" a system. It is the set of all points so that once a system enters a point in the attractor, or near the attractor, the system never leaves. For a realistic pendulum, for example, the attractor is simply the point (0,0) : once the pendulum stops at the center it simply doesn't move any more. For a powered pendulum (e.g. in a pendulum clock, where the energy source keeps the oscillation going) the attractor is an orbit: the pendulum gets into a natural series of positions and velocities which it never leaves, and any small kinks from the attractor are ironed out by the mechanisms of the clock. In more dimensions (where more numbers describe the system) the attractor can also look like a torus (or a donut, to non-math-geeks).

    So what's so strange about a strange attractor? Well, a normal attractor has an integer number of dimensions (e.g. a point has 0 dimensions, a line has 1 dimension, etc.), and a path on a normal attractor is either a fixed point (as with the realistic pendulum) or a periodic orbit. A strange attractor has a non-integer number of dimensions (which I wouldn't want to get into), and the behavior of points around it is chaotic instead of being fixed or periodic. But it is still an attractor, and it is still a point in the phase space of the phenomenon it is describing. More importantly, the equations that govern the behavior of the system as functions of the variables don't change near a strange attractor (in fact, they don't change over the whole system unless you're doing something impossibly complicated). The strange attractor describes normal behavior of a system - it just looks strange compared to other attractors found for other systems which are much more normal.

    So I have no idea what you could possibly mean by "God is a strange attractor", or why strange attractors could pose any problem for any philosophical groups.

    Chance is a different explanation from Goddidit, not a better or worse one. Suppose it's raining outside, and I pray, and the sky clears up. On a "chance" level, this happened because the cloud I was under just happened to run out of water condensate at a crucial time. On a "Goddidit" level, God stopped the cloud from raining. One explanation does not displace another; they complement each other. The scientific explanation has physical predictability and gives rise to technology, but it tells me nothing about the spiritual significance of something; the spiritual explanation gives meaning to a phenomenon, but tells me nothing about how to replicate, control, or avoid it.

    The creationist mistake is not so much to invoke Goddidit, as to invoke it on a level where it is entirely inappropriate (which defeats its credibility even where it is).
     
  11. gluadys

    gluadys Legend

    +634
    Protestant
    CA-NDP
    As shernren said, the ideas are not mutually exclusive. This is where creationism tends to err, by pitting chance and God's providence against each other as if you can have one or the other but not both.

    In fact, "chance" and "providence" may be synonyms, "chance" being a scientific (and agnostic) term for "providence" and "providence" being a theistic term for "chance".

    Don't see why it should. After all, we don't exclude God from observable, explainable phenomena. We make no claim that because we have a scientific explanation of phenomena we have successfully proven God is not active in them.

    This seems to be the attitude of many creationists, and I can understand, given that attitude, why science frightens them so. But the real problem here is incorrect theology--acceptance of the basic premise of atheism. Refuse to accept that premise, and the problem evaporates.
     
  12. busterdog

    busterdog Senior Veteran

    +177
    Christian
    Married
    So we agree then. And when you are not dealing with a simple function, like a pendulum, but multible functions, the interaction of your attractors means the math has gotten completely away from you. You have strangeness to the nth power.

    Any number of evolutionists have suggested an uncanny tendency for leaps forward, apparently beyond pure randomness.

    Here's a recent example:

    http://www.recombinomics.com/News/05090701/H5N1_Evolution_Egypt_Russia_Ghana.html
     
  13. random_guy

    random_guy Senior Veteran

    +134
    Christian
    That's the problem. If we allow Goddidit in science, experiments that do not pan out can be explained as God interferred or didn't intervene in another's experiment. It would be impossible for atheists and Christians to come to the same conclusions. By allowing only natural explanations in science, it allows anyone that follows the method to contribute to science, not just Christians, Muslims, or Jewish people.
    It's difficult, but not impossible. The science of abiogenesis is a very recent field, and so it's expected that we don't have all the answers or ever will. However, this isn't viewed as a show stopping problem, it just means we have so much more to learn. I don't see what's wrong with that position. Creationists see a gap, and say, evolution/abiogenesis is wrong. Scientists see a gap and think about how to solve it.
    If you're willing to learn, there is. Type in abiogenesis in google scholar and sort by date. It's not really hard to do. I've tried to keep up to date, but I'm not a chemist/molecular biologist, which makes it really hard to follow.

    EDIT:

    BTW, at my last research meeting, my professor mentioned at his conference, everyone talked about "The Plausibility of Life". Does anyone have any experience with this book? Amazon seems to give it good reviews.
     
  14. busterdog

    busterdog Senior Veteran

    +177
    Christian
    Married
    I am not quite that ambitious. I have read a few things. I would like to see 50 years of non-ramdom processes produce an actual organisms. One thing that makes this part of the picture unique is that there should be a way to test any hypothesis.
     
  15. shernren

    shernren you are not reading this.

    +506
    Protestant
    In Relationship
    No, we do not. You don't get it. Strange attractors are not beyond the math, they are the math. Strange attractors are not found outside the system, they are part of the system. And strange attractors do not result from the suspension of the normal behavior of the system, they are the normal behavior of the system. If you want to find some way of scientifically legitimizing God and claiming that presupposing the occurrence of miracles is valid science, go find some other term to blatantly misdefine.

    I've already done my utmost best to show you what a strange attractor is. But just to make it graphic to you, this:

    [​IMG]
    is an example of a strange attractor (the Lorenz attractor, best known for graphically suggesting the "butterfly effect"). It is in fact deterministic, not random; it arises from a system of three very simple equations, which arise in lasers, dynamos, and some waterwheels. The Lorenz attractor may be beautiful, but it is not a miracle, it is not alive, and it is most definitely not God.

    My business here is education, but at times I must lapse into public boundary-working of science. I understand entirely if you do not want to learn anything about time-based integration (and how it makes pulsar data falsify cDK) or chaos dynamics or any other mathematical or scientific topic. It is entirely your prerogative to not learn stuff, as it is mine (and for every theory I know there are ten important ones out there that I don't). But if you will not know things, at least stop abusing things you don't know! Chaos theory has already been twisted in the public mind beyond recognition; I am willing to teach it, but I will not have you blatantly misrepresenting what it does in the name of Christ.
     
  16. LoG

    LoG Veteran Supporter

    +105
    Christian
    Single
    Sure it does.


    The TE's mistake is not so much to invoke chance, as to invoke it on a level where it is entirely inappropriate (which defeats its credibility even where it is).:)
     
  17. shernren

    shernren you are not reading this.

    +506
    Protestant
    In Relationship
    Cute. Has it always stopped raining every time you pray?
     
  18. busterdog

    busterdog Senior Veteran

    +177
    Christian
    Married
    All the math does is define a boundary, but not the precise value within it. It is fuzzy and non-linear and beyond precise definition.

    I think that works quite well with my proposition.
     
  19. shernren

    shernren you are not reading this.

    +506
    Protestant
    In Relationship
    Again, no! The math does not just define a boundary. The set of points you see above is not the "boundary" of the strange attractor, within which there is some strangeness - it is the strange attractor (to the limit, of course, that computer pixels can display an image).

    A strange attractor is a well-defined set of points. In fact, as fractal structures they are not just not fuzzy - they are infinitely sharp and defined, so that no matter how far in you zoom, you get further detail. While the behavior of a strange attractor is non-linear, that does not mean that it is unpredictable. The exponential function is non-linear, too, but that doesn't mean e^x does not have a well-defined value everywhere. And strange attractors are not beyond definition. The Lorenz attractor is simply defined by three parameters that give a particular set of points.

    The chaotic behavior of a strange attractor is not "unpredictability" in the sense that you imagine it. It does not mean that when you feed a number in you do not know what results you will get. You do know what results you will get. A strange attractor is often the result of amazingly simple systems, and you just feed a point in and keep iterating the system until you get to an attractor. Knowing the result is just a matter of plugging numbers in and waiting. What unpredictability means in a chaos-theoretic sense is that you cannot predict how a change in initial value will affect the change in final value. A small perturbation may lead to a large offset. You cannot tell what the offset will be by looking at the perturbation alone. You can tell what the offset will be by plugging in the perturbation, crunching the numbers, and seeing just what the final result actually is - indeed, that is how you know that around an attractor the system behaves chaotically: you plug in small changes in initial values, get large changes in final values, and tell that the system is chaotic, not because you don't know the final values, but because you do know the final values!

    Where have you been getting your (mis)information about strange attractors from?
     
  20. random_guy

    random_guy Senior Veteran

    +134
    Christian
    shernren exactly right. I've taken a course on chaos and non-linear dynamics as well as a course on fractals and chaos in engineering systems. shernren explanation above mine is dead on, and uses the correct math terms, so I suggest you pay very close attention to it.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...