Saturday, October 15, 2005

Still flapping

As an update to my previous post, Prof Eykholt has emailed to say that I have misrepresented him. However, although of course I apologise for any embarassment caused, it is not actually clear to me how I actually misinterpreted his email to me. Some of his original comments seemed a bit unclear to me, but I thought I had managed to interpret them in a way which was consistent with what I understood of chaos theory (I did email him back to check, but he didn't reply to that). I find it hard to believe that he really means to support Roger Pielke's position that small pertubations will vanish completely in a chaotic system. After all, Prof Eykholt is also quoted as saying (on Roger's blog):
The butterfly effect refers to the exponential growth of any small perturbation.
So I am now more puzzled than ever as to what he really means. I've asked him and Roger if they can supply any theoretical or practical support for Roger's claim that below a certain size, small pertubations fail to affect chaotic systems (at least, the atmosphere in particular)...


Ok, on re-reading Prof Eykholt's emails, I can now see how I misinterpreted them, and I'm sorry for any confusion I have caused. In my defence, I did email him back to check that I had understood his point correctly (he explicitly invited me to do so) last Thursday, and never received a reply. I still think that my comments on chaos are entirely uncontroversial and in line with the overwhelming maority of the field. Prof Eykholt's emails to me lean heavily on the Shadowing Lemma, so I'll probably do a post about this shortly, explaining its relevance (or otherwise) to the debate.

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