Letter: Butterflies cannot be blamed for causing hurricanes

Click to follow
The Independent Online
I WAS amused by your article 'Rain, rain, rain' (3 October) until I read about chaos theory: 'If you subscribe to chaos theory, the branch of mathematics that attempts to make sense of the unpredictable . . . Chaos theory tells us that a single flap of a butterfly's wing in Australia can cause the necessary air turbulence to trigger a thunderstorm in Teddington.' Rubbish]

The butterfly analogy was used to describe how difficult it is to predict the course of storms. How small variations in conditions (for example, a hummingbird's wing beating) between otherwise identical weather patterns could cause the two weather pattern's tracks to divert by several miles - not that hummingbirds cause hurricanes. If that were the case mothers would have to teach their children not to flap their arms otherwise the planet would be destroyed.

If the Independent on Sunday wishes to retain authority it should reassign the authors of this article to bits of fluff.

Murray Paton

Bristol

Comments