01 July 2008

The Edge of Chaos

"There's a very interesting scientific insight which says that regions where real novelty occurs, where really new things happen that you haven't seen before, are always regions which are at the edge of chaos. They are regions where cloudiness and clearness, order and disorder, interlace each other. If you're too much on the orderly side of that borderline, everything is so rigid that nothing really new happens. You just get rearrangements. If you're too far on the haphazard side, nothing persists, everything just falls apart. It's these ambiguous areas, where order and disorder interlace, where really new things happen, where the action is, if you like. And I think that reflects itself both in the development of life and in many, many human decisions." -- Dr. John Polkinghorne* on Speaking of Faith

*Dr.Polkinghorne is an Anglican priest, the President of Queens' College, Cambridge University, and former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge. Polkinghorne resigned his chair in physics to study for the Anglican priesthood. After completing his theological studies and serving at parishes, he returned to Cambridge. During the same time period, he wrote a series of books on the compatibility of religion and science.

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