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If you could stop every atom in its position and direction, and if your mind could comprehend all the actions thus suspended, then if you were really, really good at algebra you could write the formula for all the future; and although nobody can be so cleaver to do it, the formula must exist just as if one could.
Thomasina makes this claim to Septimus in Scene One. In their discussion of free will, Thomasina tells Septimus that God must be a Newtonian. By her theory—that all things in the universe can be put into proper equations—this seems somewhat correct. As Thomasina suggests, if there are formulas for all life, than life is predictable. In this quote, Thomasina is again hinting at chaos theory. In chaos theory, equations and forms of algebra can explain life. Of course, the problem of chaos theory and determinism itself is free will, as Septimus suggests and as Thomasina later figures out. Like Chaos theory, all actions cannot be specifically predicted, but general trends can be pointed out. For instance, Thomasina knows that heat eventually destroys itself and burns out; however the cause or instance of heat or when something may spark or have more friction is unknown. Thus, the mysteries of life can be plotted somehow, as Thomasina suggests, but they cannot be predicted, as she will later conclude.
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