First off, I assume that you have watched the short clip from the epic movie known as Jurassic Park. I plan on taking the wisdom of Dr. Ian Malcom and situating the significance of his interpretation of chaos theory in a much more detailed way. All additional examples will have been drawn exclusively from this 90's classic. Now that we are clear on that, lets begin!
What is Chaos?
Imagine you have a park. Inside, lies a gaggle of prehistoric animals. In this park is a framework designed to maintain order for both is assets(animals), and for the customers(sightseers). Additionally, imagine that risk has been assessed using measures beyond human comprehension—computers—giving enough confidence that the safety of the park will be sustained. Well...if you know, you know. The park failed as a result of a tiny variation in the process, as foreshadowed by Ian Malcom's water experiment. Well, I am not mathematician yet, but I can say that through my armature understanding of this rich subject that this is in fact, NOT chaos.
Chaos—in mathematic terms—is any complex system comprised of several minute components interacting with each other resulting in greatly varying outcomes. As Malcom states in the video, the system may calculate a series of outcomes based on previously recorded information. The water experiment being a mere microcosm of the complexities involving chaos theory. Additional examples include ecosystems and infrastructure.
What is often overlooked when discussing chaos theory at a surface level is the properties which define a chaotic system:
The most popular layman's example used to illuminate this is the "Butterfly Effect". A seemingly insignificant variation in a localized system can cause a whole manner of outcomes beyond human comprehension. Ever wonder why we still measure the weather in seven day periods? Chaos.
What Isn't Chaos?
Well, I am happy that you asked. As I mentioned in the second paragraph, the inevitable failure of Dr. John Hammond's Jurassic Park is not a product of chaos. For there to be an act of chaos, the system must have a starting position with a set of rules—Jurassic Park and its infrastructure—that has a completely unpredictable outcome via natural progression. Under no circumstances, can there be an intervening force disassembling these rules. Dennis Nedry, the pot belly antagonist of the film was a no simple variation in the park system, no, Dennis Nedry was a saboteur of epic proportions. Just like at this guy, he clearly cheats billionaires as a pastime.
Life Uhhhh Finds a Way
The greatest example of chaos theory in the movie is the revelation that the dinosaurs—modified to be female—had begun to change their genders naturally in order to reproduce. Dr. Wu, stated early on that this decision to make all the reptiles female was so that they could effectively control the population of their assets, however, this proved to be quite a flawed system due to both an unaccounted for example of sensitivity, and mixing. You see, the only reason these prehistoric creatures roam the Earth once more is a result of gene editing. Dr. Wu details some of the many animal DNA utilized in the creation of say, a Velociraptor; well, unfortunately for Dr. Wu, within the Velociraptors genetic code was the DNA of frogs, a species who has demonstrated in ability to change its gender given that it is needed to procreate. This is an example of both mixing, and sensitivity: A much more thematically pleasing plot device vs. the incompetent walking balloon man hoarding reptile eggs in a can of shaving cream.