Life at the Edge of Chaos (C/N)

A speech given by Dr. Ian Malcolm at the Santa Fe Institute in August of 1993. According to Ian Malcolm, complex systems located themselves at a point designated ‘Life at the Edge of Chaos’. The Edge of Chaos as conceptualized by Chaos Theorists is a point where there is enough innovation to keep a given system vibrant, and stability to keep it from anarchy. It is a zone of conflict where old and new concepts are constantly in a state of volatility. There must be a balance, with both extremes of the spectrum for the living organism leading to either incoherence and dissolution, or rigidity and stalled development, both extremes leading to extinction. Since too much change is as destructive as too little, species flourish only at the point of ‘Life at the Edge of Chaos’.

The Lost World  by Michael Crichton page 3  (First Edition, Thirty Fourth printing)