High Anxieties – The Mathematics of Chaos

I recently posted “An Answer Lies In Crisis – What Covid-19 Pandemic Is Telling Us”, and then sensed the Maslowian Self-Actualization Need to continue my anxiety attacks by re-watching the BBC documentary High Anxieties – The Mathematics of Chaos, presented by David Malone. If Colin Wilson’s idea that ‘peak experiences’ are under the control of the person, can I test this by attempting to generate a peak experience by re-watching the mathematics of chaos. So, I re-watched it yet again and what I realized is this is a peak statement: “The problem with the mathematics of chaos is that it does not offer us a new plan to achieve what we want – prediction and control. It takes away what we want to believe, denies us the old icons of salvation and freedom through growth and gives us nothing comforting in return”. I then listened to Trump promise Americans the 4th Quarter will return to high growth and that 2021 will be a fantastic growth year. I then realized Trump is killing us, our families, and the World. Can we expect Trump will have a peak experience about this pandemic recovery, understanding what the mathematics of chaos is warning about? I am pessimistic.

This BBC Documentary “looks at how developments in mathematics over the past 40 years have completely changed our understanding of the fundamental nature of the world we live in. As we approach tipping points in both the economy and the climate, the film examines the mathematics we have been reluctant to face up to and asks if, even now, we would rather bury our heads in the sand rather than face harsh truths.”

Leading up to re-watching this documentary has been the synchronistic event of thinking about the classical economist Thomas Malthus’ 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population where he observedthat an increase in a nation’s food production improved the well-being of the populace, but the improvement was temporary because it led to population growth, which in turn restored the original per capita production level. In other words, humans had a propensity to utilize abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high standard of living, a view that has become known as the “Malthusian trap” or the “Malthusian spectre”.

Thomas Malthus and population growth Cosmology & Astronomy is an active animation explaining Malthus’s theory.

The ‘Malthusian catastrophe’ had been in part averted by the ‘agricultural green revolution’ setting aside some of the high anxieties in the mathematics of chaos that Malone addresses. However, wars, famine, and pandemics have been needed to check population growth and when our man-made ‘killing fields’ have not been sufficient to ‘balance’ the Malthusian equations, nature enters tipping the balance point. Malone states that economists still insist on ‘pushing through’ with economic developments, while environmentalists hold that “unwieldy economic growth will push the World’s natural systems (emphasis added) to their own chaos and collapse, from which there will be no coming back.”

I suggest that Corvid-19 is an aspect of the natural system now pushing back. The drop in World fertility rates and wars have not been killing enough humans to keep the World in balance and so, Covid-19 is taking-up the task of balancing the mathematical equations underpinning existence. However, as Dr. Meyers suggests in Does Science Point To God?, we are just now beginning to explore the idea of intelligent design”; and might we now have scientific support for an ‘intelligence‘ behind Covid-19 that we do not yet understand. If Man continues fouling his nest, nature will act, and here is Covid-19 knocking on our door, no IT is in our homes killing. How did this happen? Who is pushing for an economic response? No other than Trump, the most inept President the U.S. has ever had.

Stephen Meyer philosopher of science and intelligent design authored Darwin’s Doubt, which presents scientific evidence of the existence of God, based on his studies in physics, cosmology, and biology.

An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus 1798



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