100 thoughts on “Steven Strogatz: How things in nature tend to sync up

  1. Jmdd93, Atheists reject faith in god(s), not "the logic of faith". Faith cannot inherently equal true or false. Faith is simply believing something without supportive tangible, quantifiable, non-personal, and empirical evidence. If there were supporting evidence for an idea then you wouldn't need faith. Again, Atheism is the rejection of faith in god(s)

  2. Good, I'm glad we agree. I probably should have just said that atheism rejects "theism and all that it implies" in order to blanket the thought more completely.

    Circular logic is fun. "Did you know that the water that I drink keeps elephants away? Do you see any elephants around? No, then it must be true."

  3. So religion doesn't get questioned at all by its followers? Have you read any serious theology? Have you consulted any serious journal of religion? Some of the sharpest critics of religion I know are religious people.

  4. The books that were not included in the Bible because some of them are apocrypha, some are Gnostic writings, and some (such as 3 Maccabees) are accepted by the Orthodox Church. These books are useful for historic purposes, to see how people lived and taught during the time period they cover. They tell a lot about the people that wrote them, either orthodox Christians and Jews, or heretical groups.

  5. Why are we discussing this?
    If atheism is not a religion, then why did this court in America rule it to be a religion?

    archives . neuralgourmet . com/2005/08/19/court_rules_atheism_a_religion


  6. Sometimes these books corroborate the Scriptures, sometimes -if they are heretical- they will contradict the Scriptures, sometimes the content is neutral. None of them (unless, in a few cases, you are Eastern Orthodox) are inspired Scripture and to be considered, in themselves, a reliable norm for truth. They are mostly useful for scholars or other people that have a special interest in studying them. For the rest of us, they are merely interesting.

  7. People who really start to question their faith eventually become atheists or at least agnostic. The other people only half question their faith because they can't ignore evidence but they still want the warm and fuzzy feeling of being loved by something intangible. God is just one of those things that the more that science explains the unknown, the further god gets pushed back into further unknowns.

  8. Atheism is only a religion to the courts, just as jmdd93 put it, because it's about the rights of people.

    Atheism is just as much of a religion as mathematics is.

  9. dictionary . com's definitions for a religion is "4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion."

    What is the definition of an atheist? Someone who does not belive in a Supernatural deity. But if their really was no Deity then how could you call yourself A-Theist, that is to say, anti-God or anti the things of God

    There is a God. There is no God.
    Both require faith to say in earnest and integrity. God cannot be proven therefore He cannot be disproved.

  10. Atheism worships Nogod, whose existence it can never prove, and so must be taken on faith alone. It has its own missionaries and its own "saints", Nietzsche, Mencken, etc. To the extent that it is hard atheism, it even has its own principle of infallibility as to the existence of Nogod, though ironically, with respect to morals, it preaches all kinds of relativism.

  11. It also has its councils, or synods, the American Atheist Society, the ACLU, part of the scientific community, much of the liberal media and academia, the share of the entertainment industry which routinely mocks and cusses religion.

  12. Many atheists say that there is a lack of empirical evidence of the existence of God. There is much room for doubt here. The Bible says the universe was created. So does modern science (-the Big Bang-). The Bible says the universe fulfills God's design. Science today is very much unsettled about the possibility of Intelligent Design. Even some atheists are getting won over.

  13. The idea that you're missing xtrashed is that when you state an argument as true, you have to provide evidence for it's validity. Theism states that there is a god and fervently stands behind that idea. Atheism rejects theism because it cannot provide substantial hard evidence for it's case.

    It's like this mathematically. Theism says that there is 1 while Atheism says, how do you know there is 1? An Atheist will not become a Theist until the Theist can prove 1 as true.

    Simple right?

  14. To continue my last comment…

    Between Theism and Atheism; Theist are saying that God exists and Atheists are saying, how do you know?

    Sure, anyone can say that god made the big bang and god is the source of all life. That sounds really nice and all but for god to have created literally everything, there must have been a system before creation as we know it, and before that, and before that. Nothing comes from Anarchy.

    Better doubt than believe until there is hard, quantifiable evidence.

  15. Continuing (Part 2)

    The problem with a theory like "God exists and made everything", there needs to be a lot of other supporting ideas behind it. Such as how god and his/her/it's environment functions. In order to justify something like that, you have to continue to add new theories on top of it when the logic of the argument breaks down.

    And thus, it's better to doubt and believe nothing than to believe something that cannot be proven.

  16. Continuing (Part 3)

    Conversely, I don't disbelieve in the idea of god, I just doubt it.

    Theism makes a LOT of claims for God and have for the last few millennia. The more claims that are made, the more evidence there needs to be.

    So when you say things like "the universe fulfills god's design". I have to ask the question, what design, and who defines what this design is exactly?

    The last time that I checked, nothing has ever been written directly by a supernatural force; it's always man.

  17. Continuing (Part 4: Final)

    So I ask you this xtrashed.

    Beyond any personal experiences that you've had regarding god or anything supernatural, what direct evidence makes you believe that there is a god or anything supernatural.

    Keep in mind that I sort of like the idea of some sort of uber 1337 programmer god that made everything awesome, but I doubt it, and I'm not going to let a question of "how did all of this get here?" lead me to an answer that has no basis in tangibility.

  18. To see religion as the unique cause of violence is naive in the extreme. And secularism doesn't make people do crazy things? As I said to before, I have absolutely no quarrel with a self-critical attitude on the part of religious people. But I would like secularists and atheists to demonstrate at least as much scepticism about themselves. Atheistic regimes killed over 150 million people during the 20th century alone. They demanded atheism of their members, religious people were killed!

  19. Please consult the similar prophecies of the imminent demise of religion penned by Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Auguste Comte, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Jean-Paul Sartre, Mao Tse-Tung, and Sigmund Freud. They're all gone; religion is still here!

  20. Physics has actually confirmed a lot of the Bible. Especially in the book of Daniel and Revelations. String theory physics accepts that there are many extra dimensions, and the math is being worked out to determine exactly how many extra-dimensions there are, though 16 is a popular estimate. In Daniel 5:5, a hand from another dimension writes a riddle on the wall of a king. A "third heaven" is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12:2.

  21. One of those extra dimensions is what's called "monopoly field" in physics, also known as the Bermuda trangle effect; whereas things and people can vanish. In Rev 9 and 20, Angels come and go from an extra-dimensional "bottomless pit", which perfectly describes monopoly field effects; but without the crushing melting "singularity" at the bottom of black holes.

  22. Isaiah 34:4 describes what can only be black hole type objects in the sky, via gravity pulling in all the host of the heavens, vanishing away. "And the heavens DEPARTED as a scroll when it is rolled together"-Rev 6:14.

  23. Revelations is scientifically accurate in describing the effects of a major meteoric hail and impact event, such as in Rev 8 & 18:21; a global quake that collapses all the cities of the world at once (Rev 16:18 & Isaiah 14:16-17), and part of earth scorched (Rev 8), and waves roaring. (Luke 21:25 & Daniel 9:25 and Isaiah 14:23), and skies darkened (Rev 8:12 and Acts 2:20). That alone is reason to believe in Revelations & Daniel.

  24. Job 38:13 and Isaiah 24:1/20 seems to describe a reversal of polarity with an axis shift, as science confirms has happened in the far past repeatedly. Reversals occur when the EM field strength weakens to critical level. The EM field can be weakened by solar flares, gamma ray bursts, or impact. When a magnet is struck, it briefly loses its'
    field strength; so with a planet EM field.

  25. So, the predicted impact event can indeed cause a reversal with axis shift (Isaiah 2:18-21) and fulfil this Revelations predictionthat "every mountain and island were moved
    from their places"-Rev 6:14. There are many longer Bible references to openings in the sky, and blinding flashes, etc.

  26. What Darwin didn't realize (and what we know now) is just how machine-like even a single cell is, how delicately and intricately interdependent its elements are. That this construction was not, in some sense, designed or directed by a higher intelligence seems counter-indicated.

  27. Islam, Christianity and Judaism. That is for a reason-there is only one truth that hasn't changed; it's men who has. Religion is simply acknowledging the truth, truth that is eternal and sometimes even beyond our own understanding. God wants us to find Him for ourselves and learn of his true teachings, not just to follow any claims of higher power because they're "there", or "all the same".

  28. And let me get this straight: you dismiss the beliefs of billions of religious people as "funny" and I'm the one who's arrogant. Perhaps you could read a little more philosophy, theology, and sophisticated biblical criticism before pronouncing all of religion as "funny."
    My suspicion is that, like most contemporary atheists, you have no idea what you're criticizing. You have a caricature of religion in your mind, and you delight in taking it apart. Try the real stuff.

  29. ake a look at the recent work of Antony Flew and the texts of John Polkinghorne, both of whom argue from the complex intelligibility of the world to a creative intelligence. All of science rests upon the assumption that finite being is intelligible. Some creative intelligence must ground that intelligibility.

  30. Take a stroll to the library and look at the texts of Augustine, Aquinas, Bonaventure, Duns Scotus, Anselm, John Henry Newman, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Joseph Ratzinger, to name just a handful. Now you might not agree with these books, but I would defy you to call them unsophisticated. Until you have considered these, you don't have a right to bloviate about religion. It's been very interesting discussing this with all of you! I hope I've called you to ask some more questions….GOD BLESS!!

  31. String Theory is just that, a theory. You can't use a theory to prove another theory. You're just using carefully selected snippets of biblical text and relating them to things that we only know a tiny bit about. Just because The words "You" and "Idiot" both have the letter "o" in them doesn't mean that they're the same word.

  32. I love it, you're just picking the parts of Revelations out that seem like they relate to something else that we do know something about but then completely omitting all of the text that talks about dragons having seven heads and other mythical creatures.

    You're argument for the existence of god or the legitimacy of the bible is so unbelievably flawed. You can't just pick the parts that you like and not critique the rest of it that doesn't have any physical links.

  33. Just because you cant see the answer behind the mystery doesn't mean the answer automatically points to an intelligent source.

    We used to think that there was an intelligent source behind lighting but it turns out that wasn't true either.

  34. See, you can't say that you know for sure that "god wants us to find him for ourselves…" You're basing that statement of written word that doesn't have any tangible evidence so how can you possibly say that it's true? You're just guessing and wishful thinking.

    You can't even prove god so how are you going to be the one to know exactly what god is thinking without consulting text written by man or other men who are equally unable to provide proof or at the very least, evidence.

  35. You're not arrogant xtrashed, you're one of the billions of silly people who still believe things that there parents told them without actually questioning why they believe it in the first place. One of the billions of silly people who still live in the dark ages of logic and reason.

    There sure where a whole lot of people, namely everyone, who believed that the world was flat and at the center of the universe. What does it take to make you understand that you should doubt what you believe.

  36. I think the only question that you've called anyone to ask is "How on earth can these people still exist?" and "I wonder how long it will take until we live in a more logical, reasoning, and intelligent society; one that encourages questioning ideas rather than blindly following them just because someone else says that they're true?"

    It's better to have doubt to the extraordinary in the presence of what we do not understand than to believe in something where there is most likely nothing.

  37. This is really quite interesting because it sums up to the notion that the universe has a way of working things out. There is a relationship between everything; an interconnectingness. It is also exciting that mathematics and science are discovering such patterns and will enable our civilization to be more harmonious through technology and understanding. One day we will reap the full benefits of what the universe has to offer.

  38. What does that have to do with this video? Why do I always have to see scientific ideas spammed with conversations about religion?

    If you don't believe in religion, don't antagonize those that do.

  39. That's because people like that are everywhere and clearly don't care to see things in any other way and feel compelled to spread like the cancer they think they're curing the world of.

    However I think they keep going because smarter people like yourself think they actually can change their minds by something we say.

    I apologize for putting you on the spotlight, I just keep seeing religious conversations on any scientific video.

    Sorry, I'm just irritated today.

  40. I think he showed THAT things in nature tend to sync up, but he didn't go into how too much (with the exception of the bridge, but that isn't really related too much to groups of birds).

  41. women synchronize their menstrual cycles when in groups also.. but i donno if it has any connection to this, heh 😛

  42. Synchronicity occurs in all wakes of life. People follow others around them, and in a collective manner move as one order. We can infer that atoms and electrons work in the same way. So is the electron orbit random? If on a grand scale order is reached by a collective of conscious individuals? OMG! I am losing my MIND!

  43. You right, it is the false pretense that we are all individuals. (Selfishness in a way) If we look on a grand scale we are all but one organism under one heaven. And one heaven under one universe.

  44. I've noticed especially after being one of 100s walking down 7th Avenue near Times Square today on a sunny very pleasant day and then one of thousands at rock concert, that individuals tend to enjoy being in masses as long as the collective energy is unified and free of visible predators.

  45. are you joking? what's the purpose of that metronome experiment? it was a metaphorical distraction if anything! entirely driven by crowd expectation, just because the phases crossed doesn't mean it went in sync!
    I understand it's a visualization tool, but he should have set it up in the beginning, with 4 metronomes, 1 connected and the other not, and in various times during the presentation check back on them and see if they are in sync or not. And even that is lacking

  46. @oathme420
    no energy can't be created or destroyed, but matter can be made from energy and when destroyed it gives off energy, none is lost in the creation or destruction hence energy can't be created or destroyed

  47. @oathme420 I'm guessing by 4 states of matter you mean gas, liquid, solid and plasma, all 4 of which are do exist on earth not 3, and have you studied science? time and time again the idea of something controlling say matter, creation and everything has been proved false, so you can't say "for us to think that there is NOT something else at force here is ludicrius" and then believe yourself a man of science as well.

  48. So that you understand what he's talking about, check out the book "Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos" by Steven Strogatz. It has become the standard introductory text on nonlinear dynamics. All you need to work through it is introductory linear algebra and basic ordinary differential equations.

  49. This is so fucking cool. My family catches bait fish, which hang out in large swarms. My dad was always sure that there must be some kind of hierarchy, with senior bait fish coordinating smaller bait fish. We would argue about this once a week or so and I never thought it had to be so complicated.
    Those three rules don't sound too hard to implement in a program. Find your nearest neighbors with a Voronoi diagram, and model distances and orientation as springs. Then it's just finding constants.

  50. I wonder how the phenomenon of spontaneous synchronization applies to a DJ rocking the crowd on a dance floor? Are there similar positive feedback loops to what happened when people started walking funny on the Millennium Bridge?

  51. that metronome argument was very week. they did not sync up they simply fell in an out of phase as their similar frequencies oscillated. they are in an endless cycle of being in phase and then out of phase in a periodically repeating pattern

  52. the body is a mere vehicle we all have to own in order to experience this reality. once the concept is settle trough out the world, there will be no more sadness.
    i own a ferrari, you a lamborguini? your lamborguini color sucks! (this makes me a racist?) think about it, think about all the stuff you are missing by THINKING WHAT YOU SEE TROUGH THE WINDSHIELD IS ALL THERE IS! i love you all.

  53. FYI Steven, There are Synchronous Fireflies in North America.  We have them here in my backyard in the Allegheny National Forest of NW Pennsylvania.  They are also known to exist in the Great Smoky Mountains.  You should come to our PA Firefly Festival on June 28 and see the for yourself.

  54. so what happened with the bridge? was it something that needed structural fixing? or has it just become a case of 'don't let too many people on the bridge at once' ?

  55. I recall, reading or hearing somewhere, that Soldiers of the British Empire had to break step when marching over a suspended bridge! – In order to stop the bridge from swaying. For the very reason, illustrated to us by the eloquent Professor!. 🙂

  56. That clapping experiment right at the beginning. Steven said he was expecting it to synchronise but not to speed up. But in my admittedly limited experience of synchronised clapping it usually does speed up involuntarily (unless it's the slow handclap, a deliberate  expression of collective displeasure). Why? Why doesn't it slow down? My opinion: one by one people fall out of phase as the tempo becomes more demanding, disorder supervenes, at which point it's OK to stop. Slowing down wouldn't provide this excuse, so clapping would be excruciatingly prolonged. Maybe that's why clapping is usually unsynchronised in the first place. I wonder if this difference in synchrony between gradually stepped up and stepped down tempo would also occur if incorporated into those famous spontaneously synchronised metronome experiments.

  57. how can he say "There seems to be nothing mystical about this process?" then goes on to state three simple rules plus the one about the predator… this is the kind of left-brained intellect that can not feel the truth of consciousness – pure consciousness is a sacred UNION of ENERGY. (he's arrogant to think he knows these things with his little mask-u-line physical brain)

  58. I have studied starling murmurations (synchronized swarming) and a flaw I see alot is that they have been witnessed to murmurate when flocking, landing, as well as roosting. so, if they sync swarm also outside of predators, does't that flaw their model immensely? what's the evolutionary benefit to perform such incredible task if predation avoidance is only a partial reason for their actions?

  59. i wish he had thought of swarms in relation to their geodesic structures.. if the motion trajectory of each bird/fish can be quantified based on its initial point and direction-speed.. one can form a differential equation that averages the flow..
    .what makes it effective to think in this way is that when we factor in the "points" where predators strike the swarm, we can predict the trajectory and shape of the swarm based on its impact.

  60. это не синхронность !!!! а мгновенная последовательность !!!!! ОНИ ДВИЖУТСЯ ВОЛНОЙ, ЭТО НЕ СИНХРОННОСТЬ!!!! НЕ ДУРИТЕ ЛЮДЕЙ!!!!!

  61. I can not help but notice that when you burn some wood and small pieces of red burning 'coal like' wood remains, they sort of blink around in a symphony that you could probably play a good music to and would look amazing. The light from these pieces seems to move around, slowing down over time but if you blow some air (oxygen) it goes up again. What does the mathematical description of this phenomenon look like? The energy is being swirled around in the system of woods, and the light emitted makes some pattern. The mathematical model of the system probably has some connection to ocean-atmosphere dynamics.

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