Fractals permeate nature, both the living and the dead.

What are fractals? They are repetitive patterns. For example, the small branches of a tree branch according to the same rules according to which main branches branch off from the trunk. The rules explaining the appearance of mountains and coastline are the same everywhere you go. See examples at this link.

You can blame fractals in life forms on DNA, but what about the fractals appearing in inanimate nature?

Without asserting that "God did it," what other explanations are there?

Tags: fractals

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RE: "I call 'em like I see 'em." - hope you never apply to umpire school.

You proved who you are with Steven Dimattel. As far as I can tell, you're the only flop on this board. I thought you had slunk away with your tail between your legs, after realizing how wrong you'd been, yet here you are.

I'm sorry Arch but you continue to demonstrate the limitations of 'how far you can tell' where this matter is concerned.

Ever since my attempted conversation with Steven Dimattei-- during which he insisted he was too superior to answer simple questions but was not above attacking me personally-- he apparently has deleted his account. Meanwhile, I have used the site daily: posted new discussions, responded to other discussions, and received responses over 200 times. Yet, according to your reckoning, I was out of line, and I was the one who scuttled away.

Batter up.

Here is what happened, Arch. You sided with Steven early on. Then his true colors came to light and illuminated your (rare) lapse in judgement. This is why, all this time later, you persist and you compensate by reversing my and Steven's respective roles in the outcome.

RE: "Then his true colors came to light" - it's sad you're incapable of seeing in that wave-length - his "true colors" were that he was objectively studying the Bible, to determine who wrote it and why they wrote what they wrote.

Possibly if you had actually read his work, as I do regularly, you'd have come a little closer to genuinely knowing it all, rather than merely thinking you do.

And J. C. says;

Where have I set forth a "position"?

And Gregg R. Thomas says;

In every comment you have posted on this site!

Ok you can live in mystery and wonder at all you see and can't explain. While I may not have an explanation for the process completely, deductive reasoning could be used to see a motive? What point would the supernatural being god have in creating self replicating processes that would supercede it's own control? Or why would god want to create tediously from the small to the large in order to keep control of it's creation, which is still out of it's control? I know you BELIEVE god has a reason that you, and we, don't understand, but posing the question means your trying to convince us there is one.

What point would the supernatural being god have in creating self replicating processes that would supercede it's own control? 

Exactly! So I'm not arguing for God's existence.

Cool we agree:) So fractals can be evidence of the non existance of god. So the explanation I would give to god fearing folk saying it came from god is that its a self governing creative force, if it came from god then god is dead.

WE still don't know much about the 'clock maker'...;p(

Maybe 'God' only invented recursion....

The branches of lightening show us exactly what I explained in my first response here - a response which you have not addressed - and that is an oscillating equilibrium.  Heat energy accumulates along the electrical arc, evaporating all humidity in the air, until the water evaporates so fast that the arc must split avoid hitting a non-conductive pocket.

Mountains fit a very similar model.  You have the standard geological (and in some cases biological) cycles creating the rock, heat transformation that forms internal crystaline structures, then of course the mountains are pushed up by plate tectonics.  Finally, the cycles of weather bring rain and winds which erode the rock, exposing some underlying patterns in the rock and branching off much like lightening but for hydrodynamic rather than electro-conductive reasons.

In both cases, these patterns can be described mathematically and reveal no capriciousness, such as one might expect if a personal-consciousness had been willing them into being.  In point of fact, fractals prove that complexity arises from simplicity (even out of chaos) and are the strongest evidence yet against any invisible sky-daddies.

Molecules are geometric in shape, so it seems reasonable to me to expect to find nature replete with fractal shapes.

I wrote a little monograph on Fractal Geometry about 21 years ago, as a way to seed the field with computer procedures for people interested in them. I was deeply charmed by the geometries, after finding a basic procedure for generating the Mandelbrot and Julian sets. The code can be modified to generate other self similar sets, trig. functions are my favorite.

The 'self-simularity', seems to appear in many forms of 'sacred' art, landscapes, plant forms, geology, etc. If you look closely at some geometries, the self simularity sometimes fails after just a few magnification steps, so I expect that 'mathematical fractals', are not directly equivalent to 'natural fractals'.

Looking for meaning in 'fractals', while tempting, might be a fools arrand. The process of 'recursion', as used to generate the 'mathematical fractals', is a procedure that recycles values of the 'x' (real) and 'y' (imaginary) through a small set of well defined operations, then a test to see if the results for a that next step starts to spin off to infinity or not. The points that show stable orbits under recursion are the mapped to an x by y plot, with the point color directly related to number of recursive steps till spin off. If the color pallet is very large, the resulting picture can be wonderful to behold. With a slow computer, a picture can take hours to days depending upon the numder of recusion tests and color pallet. My machine can generate a full screen picture in about 20 minutes, with 16 colors.

Nature might be doing something 'similar'. 'Natural law', could be the underlying 'set of well defined operations', that restrain the observed universe, depending on starting conditions. From this, under a vast time series/steps, what we observe emerges from these underlying operations or restaints. If 'God' is involved, is 'it' the 'computational universe', out of which everything emerges? 

'Natural Selection', could be considered just one more 'set of well defined operations', that when it begins, generates the biological variety we see. Given some set of initial conditions, life emerges or does not.

Matter crystalizes out of the primordial energy of the big bang, or not.

Biological conscience appears, or not...     

"Why do fractals permeate just about everything in nature?" is really a subset of "Why are there physical laws governing nature?" We don't ask ourselves why there are natural laws. They are what make our world our world. They come along with it and make it what it is. Ditto for fractals.


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