Earth is a complex system

Phenomena in complex systems are not deterministic, as in mechanics, but stochastic. This means that cause and effect cannot always be clearly assigned to one another and that one and the same cause can trigger different effects with different probabilities. The example of a butterfly flapping its wings, which can trigger a tornado, is well known. Of course, the flapping of the wings does not trigger the tornado on its own, but without the flapping of the butterfly’s wings, the tornado would not have occurred or would have occurred elsewhere.

In particular, three central ideas from systems research are relevant for complex systems:

1. I am the system.

2. Complex systems cannot be controlled.

3. System dynamics arise from the dominance of certain relationship patterns.