Random chance

American physicist Richard Feynman on existence and purpose in the context of the structure and dynamics of the universe.
In science, random chance, oft-seen as "blind random chance" or "accidental blind random chance", is a colloquial deemed-to-exist scientific principle said to underlying mechanism of morphological change and evolution, according to which all is the result of a combination of "chance" and "randomness".


The random chance view of mechanism seems to have arisen in Greek atomic theory as an alternative to god theory.

Tthe view that humans are simply an accidental collection of atoms, synthesized or formed through evolution as a result of blind random chance, which leads to the conclusion that the universe is meaningless or without purpose.

In 1923, American mathematician-philosopher Bertrand Russell said the following: [1]

“That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collections of atoms.”

In 2002, American philosopher Christian de Quincey calls Russell's view as “the most terrifying story ever told”, explaining that: [2]

“[Russell's view] expresses the terrible poetry of a meaningless universe, rolling along entropic channels of chance, blind and without purpose, sometime accidentally throwing up the magnificence and beauty of natural and human creations.”

This is compounded by the view that evolution of humans or the synthesis of human molecules is the result of blind chance random mutations in the genome and Darwinian natural selection acting on the results of these mutations.

Advocates of intelligent design, such as William Dembski, tend to cite Pierre Lecomte du Nouy’s 1939 book The Road to Reason, which is packed with discussions on entropy, molecules, Maxwell’s demon, kinetic theory, thermodynamics, Arthur Eddington, etc., as a standard reference for the argument on the improbability of living things to have formed out of the random chance of the material of the universe, from a statistical-mechanical point of view. [3]

A representative modern view that has seemed to work to popularize the random chance view of evolution is Richard Dawkins' 1987 The Blind Watchmaker, which outlines the view that all life-forms are the result of chance mutations and the blind selection of a dumb and blind natural watchmaker. [2]

The standard human thermodynamic view of the origins of humans holds that each reaction step on the continuous mechanism of the synthesis of human molecules operates according to the principle of Gibbs free energy decrease, i.e. that favored reactions are chosen over unfavored reactions according to the spontaneity criterion. Conversely, the laymanized view, e.g. Quincey's comment that humans are atoms "rolling along entropic channels of chance", often depicts people as having been accidental pockets of local entropy decrease structured in a universe of entropy increase. This type of view, however, is what is called thermodynamic folklore. One interesting exception is Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine's view that humans are dissipative structures, formed in far-from-equilibrium conditions of heat flux, that form by passing through "bifurcation points" that lead to two or more possible bifurcating branches, and that this bifurcation action is an unpredictable type of non-deterministic chaotic process.

1. (a) Russell, Bertrand. (1923). “A Free Man’s Worship”, T.B. Mosher.
(b) Russell, Bertrand. (1961). “A Free Man’s Worship”, in: R.E. Egner and L.D. Dennon, eds., The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell 1903-1959. Simon and Schuster.
2. De Quincey, Christian. (2002). Radical Nature: Rediscovering the Soul of Matter (pgs. 13, 23). Invisible Cities Press.
3. (a) Dembski, William A. and Ruse, Michael. (2004). Debating Design (pg. 214). Cambridge University Press.
(b) Lecomte du Nouy, P. (1948). The Road to Reason. New York: Longmans, Green. (Originally published as L’Homme Devant la Science. Paris: Flammarion, 1939).

External links
‚óŹ Random chance – RationalWiki.org.

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