I just watched The Secret Life of Chaos on SBS.
This was an awesome documentary which developed a series of fascinating discussion points bridging the mathematics of chaos and fractal geometry with life.
In one way we see new forms of maths – chaos and fractal geometry smash the linear Newtonian paradigm destroying the chronographic Universe forever. Where fractal geometry and evolution overlay to explain the unfolding of life on Earth.
There are so many exciting areas that can be discussed further that build into this documentary.
1) Life – The Super Fractal
Evolution is described in Dawin’s theory of natural selection which could be broken up into the following components:
a) Diversity within a species
b) Selective pressure upon a species
The creation of a new individual is a serious random event which leads to a wide diversity between individuals of a species. What draws two members of a species together in the first place is an unpredicitable, especially when we look over a broad spectrum of a population. Therefore, the merging of millions of sperm with one ovum in the act of sex is a chaotic and random event. The recombination at the level of the chromosomes when forming each ovum and each sperm is also a chaotic event.
The Selective Pressure on a species includes a series of chaotic factors: weather patterns (e.g. ice age/global warming), natural disaster, famine, new predators etc. Each of these independently could be considered a chaotic event.
The combination of diversity within a species and the selective pressure on the species clearly reveals that evolution itself is a fractal process.
How is Why
The tissue structures in the body, like the blood vessels and the neurons, are understood to be in a fractal-like arrangement, and now we understand that the evolution which governed the formation of the body is also a fractal. This means that the force of evolution which created this tissue is indivisibly linked with form and arrangement of the tissue; making the whole process of life, in both its creation and present time function, one big super fractal.
2) The Golden Mean Ratio:
Throughout the body and nature, the golden mean ratio is present. It can be seen in the relationship of bone length in the human body, in the spiral pattern of sea shells, in the shape of leaves, etc. It can be also seen in the behaviour of moving water. This ratio, occurring in nature, is a clue into the mathematical symmetry woven in to all living systems. This is sometimes referred to as Sacred Geometry, implying that there is an underlying organising symmetry behind all living things. There is a simplicity which is underlying the formation of complexity within all biological systems.
3) Orders of Creation
Physicists David Bohm and William Tiller developed the idea that there are two orders of existence. One that we are in (explicate order/ postive space time) and the subtle one that we don’t see as such (implicate order /negative space time). These two orders actually stabilise each other and need each other to exist. However the laws that govern the two orders are opposite and that the organising principle that prevents living systems from going into decay and randomising actually comes from the opposite order to the one which we are in, but the bridging between the orders is required to keep living systems living.
The complexity of biological systems can be traced back to simple principles feeding back into themselves to create unpredictable interactions. Though unpredictable, it leads to the formation of highly ordered and complex patterns.
Bridging the Paradox
The apparent paradox of simplicity and complexity is solved by the Sages of antiquity by viewing the complexity from within the simplicity. From here we able to witness the majestic unfolding patterns of the universe from the stillness of simplicity, so being filled with awe rather than being overwhelmed and consumed by complexity. Here science and spirituality meet as both seek to explain the workings of the universe. When we let go of preconception and witness things as they are, then science and spirituality become indivisible.