The term unpredictability refers to the failure of predicting future events out of a given state of affairs with the help of scientific laws, which relate effects to causes. By establishing fundamental unpredictability within the basis of scientific description itself, quantum theory and the theory of complex systems have undermined a central conviction of classical physics namely, that precise predictability is in principle achievable. While quantum theory seems to point to a fundamental ontological indeterminism, unpredictability entailed by the theory of complex systems can be reduced to deterministic laws and is routed in the sensitivity of complex systems to minimal deviations of their initial conditions.
See also Chaos, Quantum; Chaos Theory; Physics, Quantum
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