Networks versus Trees: Ways of Analyzing the World

Posted May 29, 2012

by Lensyl Urbano

Manuel Lima contrasts the traditional, hierarchical, view of the world (evolution’s tree of life for example) to a more network oriented perspective.

One interesting part is the interpretation of the history of science as having three phases, dealing with Problems of:

  • Simplicity: Early scientific efforts (17th-19th centuries) was focused on “simple” models of cause and effect — embodied perhaps in Newton’s Laws, where every force has an equal and opposite force.
  • Disorganized Complexity: Think early 20th century nuclear physics — Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle for example — where the connections between events are complicated and sort of random/probabilistic.
  • Organized Complexity: Systems science sees the interrelatedness of everything: ecologic food webs; the Internet; horizontal gene transfer across the limbs of the tree of life.

RSA Animate The Dish

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Networks versus Trees: Ways of Analyzing the World, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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