When Butterfly Flaps It’s Wings

What happens when butterfly flaps it’s wings? Looks an odd question? May be nobody has asked this question before? But everybody, depending on his mindset and field of expertise, will answer it differently. Let’s begin an interesting expedition in the search of answers

As such, there is no unique answer to this question. If you are a plutonic lover and taking a morning stroll in a garden, butterflies hovering from one flower to other would attract your immediate attention. If you are Emily Dickinson, you would write a poem on it. If an inquisitive child, you would try to grab them softly not from any ill intention… but to watch the beautiful designs on wings from close quarters. “Stay near me— do not take thy flight!… ” would say William Wordsworth.

It’s amazing that a small butterfly has a widespread coverage all around… ranging from culture… literature… science… and weather forecasting.

Monarch Butterfly

In many cultures and religions the metamorphosis is a symbol of immortality, resurrection and reincarnation. The butterfly as a symbol for the immortal soul is often represented in Greek and Roman mythology and has also been immortalised in ancient Egyptian grave murals.

Butterfly as a motif is present in almost all aspects of Hindu Bengali weddings, because they symbolize marriage. The reason is traced back to Brahma, who is also known as the avatar of Prajapati, the Lord of Progeny. Incidentally, in Bengali language, the butterfly is called “Prajapati.” That’s why, Hindu Bengali wedding cards start with “Sri Sri Prajapataya Namah” (a call given to invoke Lord Prajapati) and is symbolized through the Butterfly motif being present in the Bengali wedding invitation card.

Apart from all these, the butterfly effect is an intriguing idea in science that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. The concept is imagined with a butterfly flapping its wings and causing a typhoon. Though the special shape of the wings and scales gives butterflies their characteristic lofty flight patterns and surprising aerial maneuverability, can a single act like the butterfly flapping its wings also cause a typhoon? Yes, it may.

In classical chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.

Genomic Butterfly Effect Starts in Telomeres, Spreads to Influence Cell Fate

The things are getting more and more complicated now. The idea that small change causes large effects in weather was earlier recognized by French mathematician and engineer Henri Poincaré. American mathematician and philosopher Norbert Wiener also contributed to this theory. Edward Lorenz’s work placed the concept of instability of the Earth’s atmosphere onto a quantitative base and linked the concept of instability to the properties of large classes of dynamic systems which are undergoing nonlinear dynamics and deterministic chaos.

The butterfly effect concept has since been used outside the context of weather science as a broad term for any situation where a small change is supposed to be the cause of larger consequences.

“Butterflies… flowers that fly, and all but sing.”… said Robert Frost ones. All seems to be true about the beautiful & omnipresent butterflies.

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