Re: MD On Faith - Improbability ?

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sat Oct 16 2004 - 14:10:18 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD A bit of reasoning"

    Hi msh, Scott, All:

    > msh:
    > If an event isn't random then it must be planned, implying a planner, no?
    > What other "other way" is there? I mention this only to address your last
    > question about scientific "dogma."

    Agree. "Random" means unplanned. That's why the word appeals so much to
    acolytes of science who become apoplectic at any hint of the supernatural.

    > [Scott:] So why
    > call evolution "solely by chance and natural selection" scientific?
    > Why isn't it called dogma?
    > msh says:
    > Because the concept of randomness is mathematically and
    > scientifically sound, and nature is chock full of observable random
    > events, from galactic collisions to comet and lightning strikes to
    > the toss of dice to the dance of quarks. So, unless we're shackled
    > with a strict determinism (in which case any study of scientific
    > cause and effect becomes meaningless), randomness is scientifically
    > viable, and the idea of a non-human planner is not. I think.

    The only thing "scientifically sound" about randomness is its open
    admission of ignorance. Randomness means, "We have no idea why
    this event occurred."

    Further, randomness is replete with paradoxes. Pirsig puts his finger on
    one when he wrote, "It would be almost like a mathematical definition of
    randomness. The more you try to say what randomness is the less random it
    becomes." (Lila, 5)

    Another conundrum: a random number generator is a deterministic system.

    And another: the science of chaos has shown an underlying order to seeming
    random events.

    And another: science is yet to explain how life arranges randomness into
    useful order.

    Finally, just because we don't see an order to seemingly random events
    doesn't mean there isn't one. As our intellect evolves, we may well
    discover such order. For example, chaos theory was only recently
    conceived of.


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