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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index B > Category: Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect Quotes (6 quotes)

Big whorls have little whorls
Which feed on their velocity
And little whorls have lesser whorls,
And so on to viscosity.
[Concerning atmospheric turbulence.]
Summary of paper, 'The Supply of Energy From and to Atmospheric Eddies' (1920). Quote reprinted in Weather Prediction by Numerical Process (1922), 66. Also quoted in Benoit Mandelbrot, The Fractal Geometry of Nature (1977, 1983), 402.
Science quotes on:  |  Atmosphere (117)  |  Little (717)  |  Turbulence (4)  |  Velocity (51)  |  Viscosity (3)

Confucius once said that a bear could not fart at the North Pole without causing a big wind in Chicago.
By this he meant that all events, therefore, all men, are interconnected in an unbreakable web. What man does, no matter how seemingly insignificant, vibrates through the strands and affects every man.
Riders of the Purple Wage (1967). In Gary Westfahl, Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits (2006), 1.
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For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse, the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for the want of a horse-shoe nail.
Anonymous
As given in Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth; As Clearly Shewn in the Preface of an Old Pennsylvania Almanack, Intitled, Poor Richard Improved (1774), 8. There are various other wordings of this proverb, including loss of the knight or message, the battle, the kingdom: “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; For want of a shoe, the horse was lost; For want of a horse, the rider was lost; For want of a rider, the battle was lost; For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.”
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If the flap of a butterfly’s wings can be instrumental in generating a tornado, it can equally well be instrumental in preventing a tornado.
In talk presented at the 139th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (29 Dec 1972). The text of the talk, in its original form, as then prepared for press release but unpublished, is in Edward Lorenz, Essence of Chaos (1995), Appendix 1, 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Butterfly (26)  |  Chaos (99)  |  Equally (129)  |  Flap (2)  |  Instrumental (5)  |  Prevent (98)  |  Tornado (4)  |  Wing (79)

Edward Lorenz quote: Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?
Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?
Title of paper presented at the 139th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (29 Dec 1972). The text of the talk, in its original form, as then prepared for press release but unpublished, is in Edward Lorenz, Essence of Chaos (1995), Appendix 1, 181. Note: Webmaster has been unable to find a verbatim source for a widely circulated variant, namely: The fluttering of a butterfly’s wing in Rio de Janeiro, amplified by atmospheric currents, could cause a tornado in Texas two weeks later. That form is given in Laura Nader, Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiry Into Boundaries (1996), 209. However, it appears in a sentence as narrative, without quotation marks, and has no citation. Webmaster believes it may be the concept restated by Nader in her own words. Webmaster has not yet found any earlier printed, cited or verbatim example in the wording of the variant. If you know a primary source for this variant, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Butterfly (26)  |  Chaos (99)  |  Chaos Theory (4)  |  Meteorology (36)  |  Predictability (7)  |  Set (400)  |  Tornado (4)  |  Wing (79)

Who then can calculate the path of the molecule? how do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by the fall of grains of sand?
Victor Hugo and Charles E. Wilbour (trans.), Les Misérables (1862), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculate (58)  |  Calculation (134)  |  Chance (244)  |  Chaos (99)  |  Creation (350)  |  Determination (80)  |  Fall (243)  |  Grain (50)  |  Know (1538)  |  Molecule (185)  |  Path (159)  |  Sand (63)  |  World (1850)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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