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Not a very satisfactory definition, as it misses out the all-important term "self-similar" From: <quote> A fractal is an object or quantity that displays self-similarity, in a somewhat technical sense, on all scales. The object need not exhibit exactly the same structure at all scales, but the same "type" of structures must appear on all scales. A plot of the quantity on a log-log graph versus scale then gives a straight line, whose slope is said to be the fractal dimension. </quote>

The bit about fractional dimensions needs to be added, because this extends the idea of dimensions quite considerably. --Felix 06:43, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

"The fractal nature of some plants has convinced many people that God must have designed the natural world" makes no sense whatsoever as an argument. If anything, I would have thought that it would have substantiated the case for the universe NOT being designed, since what occcurs in one place is simply replicated in another - this time on different scales. In any case, plants do NOT have a fractal structure. Some (not all) are self-similar on two (or possibly three) scales. Fractals are infinitely self-similar. At best this statement is an irrelevance, at worst it completely discredits the article . It should be removed.--Felix 09:15, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Fractals and Intelligent Design

Since this is meant to be an encyclopedia article, I agree that the statement "The fractal nature of some plants has convinced many people that God must have designed the natural world" should be backed up with a source, or removed because it's just an opinion. As for the statement "Evolutionary biologists have yet to propose a satisfactory explanation for the spontaneous appearance of complex patterns in living organisms. They cannot adequately explain the evolutionary advantage of an endlessly repeating pattern and how it comes about from elementary biological or chemical processes.", the reference to the fern is a not-so-elusive answer. Fractals are expressions of simple rules that can result in complex-looking patterns when carried out, but are still based on simple rules being repeated iteratively. In the case of the fern, this particular pattern of fractal branching, repeated over and over, results in an efficient spread of foliage that balances the capture of light and air in shady settings like forests where ferns have thrived. --DinsdaleP 10:55, 2 March 2009 (EST)