ABSTRACT

The critical need for criminology, and social science in general, is to achieve a better understanding of the complexity of reality. Recent developments in theoretical physics, particularly chaos theory with its work on highly complex problems, promise some insight into methods of constructing more capable criminological theories. The concepts of chaos theory suggest that understanding of ultra-complex systems may be reduced by dimension of examination and evidence-producing tools. Evidence-producing tools imply similar problems. All evidence is produced by some particular form of observation. A critical point about observation is that when something is observed, assumptions about its nature are made. Chaos theory arrived at a time when physics was reaching a point where normal science had lost the ability to handle new and important phenomena. Systems were not able to be modeled and explanations were lacking.