Linear Versus Nonlinear Relationships

The Sphinx’s Riddle states,

There walks on land a creature of two feet, of four feet, and of three; it has one voice, but sole among animals that grow on land or in the sea, it can change its nature; nay, when it walks propped on most feet, then is the speed of its limbs less than it has ever been before.

When toddlers first learn to walk, changing from 4 feet to 2, they do so slowly and cautiously. As children age, they become faster and faster as they mature into adults. Adults slow down again, walking more slowly, perhaps using a cane. This is an example of a nonlinear relationship. The nature of a nonlinear relationship makes the Sphinx’s ...

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