Chapter 2: The Crucial Experiment

Section 2: The Need for a New Intuition

Reactions of scientists

Many scientists find the complexity of the pictures in this chapter so surprising that at first they assume it cannot be real. Typically they imagine that while the pictures may look complicated, they would actually seem simple if only they were subjected to the appropriate kind of analysis. In Chapter 10 I will give extensive evidence that this is not the case. But suffice it to say here that when it comes to finding regularities even the most advanced methods from mathematics and statistics tend to be no more powerful than our eyes. And whatever formal definition one may use for complexity (see page 557), the fact that our eyes perceive it in the systems discussed in this chapter is already very significant.

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]