The innovative breakthrough of Complexity and Chaos theory has illuminated a new way of thinking – complexity thinking, with much greater capacity for understanding complex phenomena and processes than systems thinking.
With complexity thinking, seemingly chaotic unfolding of life in nature and society is seen as a manifestation of creativity inherent in the all-embracing wholeness of existence. The way creativity ‘speaks’ is through the spontaneity of emergence, through the power of self-organization and evolution. Every single embryo, nay, every single germ emerges out of complex dynamic interaction of substances, forces and energies of different nature and with different degrees of interwovenness and intensity. Once emerged, the germ evolves in a unique rhythm that reflects the rhythm of the whole universe.
Mathematical discoveries of Complexity and Chaos relate to the field of nonlinear dynamics where the study and computer modeling of emergent dynamic patterns, of self-organizing and co-evolving coherent structures play a central role. The same phenomena are of vital significance when trying to grasp the ups and downs of human life and the rhythm of changes in nature and society.
The key mathematical concepts of Complexity and Chaos, such as strange attractors, fractals, fitness landscapes, bifurcation diagram, self-organizing criticality, simulated annealing and edge of chaos, are holistic; they are used to describe and understand nonlinear behaviour, i.e. a behavior that makes sense only when studied as a whole. Such is the behavior of nature and humans. That is why, the mathematics of Complexity and Chaos evokes powerful insights for holistic understanding of the intricate interplay of factors, almost infinite in number, that permanently influence people’s co-existence with nature and with one another.