what is the difference between chance and randomness and non randomness?

by Ruby456 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Ruby456

    a recent thread made me think about this. here is a link and a quote from a thread that ran 2 years ago and was started by cantleave. Also please don't tell me or insinuate that I am stoopid


    Misconception : “Evolution means that life changed ‘by chance.’”

    Chance is certainly a factor in evolution, but there are also non-random evolutionary mechanisms. Random mutation is the ultimate source of genetic variation, however natural selection, the process by which some variants survive and others do not, is not random.

    For example, some aquatic animals are more likely to survive and reproduce if they can move quickly through water. Speed helps them to capture prey and escape danger. Animals such as sharks, tuna, dolphins and ichthyosaurs have evolved streamlined body shapes that allow them to swim fast. As they evolved, individuals with more streamlined bodies were more likely to survive and reproduce. Individuals that survive and reproduce better in their environment will have more offspring (displaying the same traits) in the next generation. That’s non-random selection. To say that evolution happens “by chance” ignores half of the picture.

  • cofty

    In danger of over-simplifying it - the mutations are random, the selection of mutations that are beneficial are non-random.

    Natural selection is a chance accumulator.

  • jgnat
  • Focus

    "The generation of randomness is something far, far too important to be left to mere chance." (The collected Wisdum of Fookus, Vol. 3)

    Without randomness, from the quantum level upwards, not just does evolution but also biology and indeed the whole universe kinda fall apart.

    Thank heavens there's a gOD up there pressing the RND button on his calculator, eh?

    True randomness is found only at the quantum physics level and in abstract mathematics.

    There are definitional issues, note. In one sense, the nth digit onwards of many irrational, and especially transcendental numbers, yields a "random-looking" string of digits.


    0.12345678910111213...... while transcendental (not the root of any finite algebraic equation) hardly fits most people's concepts of random.

    And the decimal digits of, say, pi, starting arbitrarily far down, "look" random but are obviously wholly predetermined.

    However, a far-more-than-merely-sufficient degree of pseudo-randomness is obtained by non-stochastic, highly complex biological and chemical processes. Helped along by radiation, quite often.

    Given a great deal of time for natural selection to have an appreciable effect, voila - we have "evolution".

    But you summarised it better, IMO:

    In danger of over-simplifying it - the mutations are random, the selection of mutations that are beneficial are is non-random. Natural selection is a chance accumulator.

    An excellent overview, cofty; I've corrected the sole error.



    ("Evolution" Class)

  • John_Mann

    random = possibility in a small or known number of elements. like skipping musis tracks in a CD.

    chance = possibility in a huge or unknown amount of elements. like the number of grains of sand in a beach.

    evolutionary mutations happens by chance. like a radiation beam coming from the Pleiades in a crazy angle through our atmosphere hits a "letter" of the DNA of the left testicle of a drone bee while flying causing a mutation in his DNA. see? so crazy we assume is a chance but some assume is Jehovah.

  • Ruby456

    thanks all - very helpful.

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