In this article for Philosphy Now, philosophy professor Peter Saltzstein offers to us a discussion on the philosophical implications of the chaos theory to our sciences and the way we view reality.
Saltztein says that chaos theory suggests that complex systems follow deterministic laws, but their future states remain unpredictable. Many scientists think that the initial condition of a system determines how the system unfolds, but various researches have shown already that even the tiniest variation in a starting point can have massive differences in the outcomes. This is most notable, Saltztein says, in our weather system, in the human body, and even in the evolution of the universe.
Implications for AI
The chaos theory shows us that we will never be able to predict what can happen in the future, even when we already know how the minutest detail about elementary particles. It also shows us that the argument for an intelligently designed universe is materialistic in a sense, because it assumes that that universe unfolded in a predictable manner.
Chaos theory also highlights the problem of physics. While all other fields are already dealing with questions of evolution, physics has remained constant – its laws unchanging. And it is this old physics that is determining the world view that is shaping the future of our world.
How then, can we hope to be in control of the world’s evolution, if we still adhere to an old, limited view of the universe?
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