From Chaos to Intimacy, A Primer
The Introduction first reviews basic principles of Chaos Theory and the Science of Complexity that have provided new ways of understanding self-organization and evolutionary change in the universe. Some of the terms and concepts, such as the butterfly effect, are popular metaphors; others—edge-of-chaos, sensitive-dependence, emergence—may be more obscure to general readers. All of those concepts are described in language accessible to high school students with inquiring minds. Thus the introduction begins as a primer to provide a working familiarity with ideas that are critical to our later narrative and arguments. Here we also begin to discern similarities in prevailing patterns of cosmic-to-microcosmic change in the universe that science has progressively resolved. Out of contemporary science and surprisingly congruent conjectures of ancient wisdom, particularly in the Daoist and Buddhist traditions, comes an understanding of why we observe structure and order in the universe and why there has arisen a long-term trend toward intricate pattern instead of universal randomness. And we find the most progressive patterns and processes address emergent roles of life and human nature as they continue to evolve in interdependence within nature at large.
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