In 1963, Edward Lorenz presented a hypothesis to the New York Academy of Science. His theory, stated simply, was:
A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air–eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.
Lorenz and his ideas were literally laughed out of the conference. What he had proposed was ridiculous. It was preposterous. But it was fascinating!
Therefore, because of the idea’s charm and intrigue, the so-called “butterfly effect” became a staple of science fiction, remaining for decades a combination of myth and legend spread only by comic books and bad movies.
So imagine the scientific community’s shock and surprise when, more than thirty years after the possibility was introduced, physics professors working from colleges and universities worldwide came to the conclusion that the butterfly effect was authentic, accurate, and viable.
Soon after, it was accorded the status of a “law.” Now known as The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions, this principle has proven to be a force encompassing more than mere butterfly wings.It basically means that everything you do—and don’t do—matters. It has a bigger impact on the world than you can possibly imagine.