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In terms, random (LH:2), aka “randomness”, as compared to non-random (or anti-chance), from the Old High German rinnan "to run", refers to a perceived haphazard or chance-based course, typically running fast, without perceivable definite aim, direction, rule, or method.[1]


In 1925, Roy Sellars, in his Evolutionary Naturalism, outlined his evolution objections, one of which was an objection to the supposition that evolution is random.[2]


In 1976 to 2006, Richard Dawkins, has worked to sell the wildly-popular idea, to many, that humans are "blind random chance lucky accidental mutations", such as evidenced by Beg analysis of the key terms of his five main publications:

Publication Random Chance Blind Luck Accidental Mutation Non-random Accident
1976 The Selfish Gene (544-pgs) 21 65 20 10 3 26 3 10
1986 The Blind Watchmaker (345-pgs)[3] 64 51 33 20 2 63 10 6
1996 Climbing Mount Improbable (352-pgs)[4] 38 32 28 9 16 64 15 9
1995 A River Out of Eden (192-pgs) 10 16 9 6 7 15 0 1
2006 The God Delusions (406-pgs) 10 26 24 10 3 9 3 6

Dawkins attempts to explain his model of random and non-random as follows:

Natural selection, the second stage in the Darwinian process, is a non-random force, pushing towards improvement. Mutation, the first stage in the process, is random in the sense of not pushing towards improvement.”
— Richard Dawkins (1996), Climbing Mount Improbable (pg. #) [4]

Here, we see Dawkins attempting to argue for a blurring randomness + dualism, which argues for a universe wherein species made or synthesized via "random mutations" are selected for via "non-random forces", whatever these are?

Later, in his The Blind Watchmaker (pg. 435), he attempts to digress on the meaning of the term “random”, with reference to the views of anti-Darwinists Peter Saunders and Mae-Wan Ho, who hold that randomness, in respect to variation (i.e. random variation) and mutation (i.e. random mutation), to mean that “all change is equally likely” or that “everything conceivable is possible”, views which Dawkins classifies as bizarre. Yet, Dawkins, in his own mind, holds that all is random, except forces, which are non-random.


In 1976, Melvin Klegerman and Huge McDonald, in their “Thermodynamics of War” article, defined Gibbs energy G, enthalpy H, and entropy S as follows:

  • G is the capacity of a system to do useful work
  • H is the resources available to a system
  • S represents the entropy, disorder, freedom, or randomness

In 1995, Jay Labinger, in commentary on Joseph Klein's 1910 assertion that the second law applies to humans, stated the following:

“Klein’s (1910) suggests that a minimum requirement for applicability of the second law is a sufficiently large number of elements — an Avogadro's number of people, perhaps? — as well as hinting at issues such as free will versus random actions.”
— Jay Labinger (1995), “Metaphoric Usage of the Second Law” [5]


The following are quotes:

“Natural things are exactly those things which do move continuously, in virtue of the principle inherent in themselves, towards a determined goal; and the final development which results from any one such principle is not identical for any two species, nor yet is it any random result, but in each there is always a tendency towards an identical result if nothing interferes.”
Aristotle (322BC), Physics (2:8) [6]
“We may thus say that the conditions for sustaining an analogy between the fundamental processes of history and those of physico-chemical systems may be entertained at least on the broad basis of the second law of thermodynamics. Hence, we may provisionally equate, for the purposes of our analogy, the individual with the random molecule; the machine with the crystal; society as an organized entity with a physico-chemical system having a crystal structure; and, finally, a basic change of historic direction with a thermodynamic change of phase.”
Roderick Seidenberg (1950), Post-Historic Man (pg. 144) [7]
“It is not reasonable, of course, to assume that only one type of autocatalytic droplet developed and prospered. Various self-aggrandizing chemical cycles were physically possible, and were doubtless discovered by nature's random processes.”
Dean Wooldridge (1968), Mechanical Man: the Physical Basis of Intelligent Life (§:Evolution, pgs. 24-25) [8]
“The idea of life forming by random chance is out of vogue right now among scientists.”
— Lee Strobel (2003), “Interview of Stephen Meyer” [9]
Entropy can be defined as a measure of disorder in a system. Thus, a system that has reached maximum entropy is in a state of complete disor­der. Maximum entropy can be compared to system death [see: heat death]. A system in a state of maximum entropy is completely lack­ing in structure or organization, and is basically in a random state of disarray, or maximum decay. A concrete physical system in maximum entropy has in effect expended all of its energy resources. Since it is closed, there is little hope of reversal, and it will essentially remain in a state of maxi­mum entropy, unless its boundaries are somehow opened so that new energy (and information) can be used to renew the system (assuming that it is not beyond repair by this time).”
— George Ritzer (2004), Encyclopedia of Social Theory (§:General Systems Theory, §:Entropy, pg. 310) [10]
“Thermodynamics of human relation systems is the study of the macroscopic consequences of myriads of individual actions on the interdependence coordinates within human relation systems, which, by virtue of statistical averaging, do not appear explicitly in the macroscopic description of a system. Although much of the "microscopic" actions of individuals may be hidden from the direct observations of a macroscopic viewer, they can affect macroscopic observables. One such clear example deals with the concept of relation energy. The internal relation kinetic energy of a human system is determined by the rate of change of relationships between entities. Clearly a given human system can transfer some of its internal relation energy to another human system, i.e. it can do relation work on another human system. It is equally possible for this internal relation kinetic energy to be individual random motion that at the macroscopic level is observable as relation heat. Much of organization thermodynamics is concerned with relation heat transfer.”
— Wayne Angel (2005), The Theory of Society: Relation Thermodynamics [11]
“People do not all behave alike. Some players prefer to cooperate while others choose to defect, and some show a stronger desire than others to inflict punishment. A [theory] of nature must accommodate a mixture of individually different behavioral tendencies. The human race plays a mixed strategy in the game of life. People are not molecules, all alike and behaving differently only because of random interactions.”
— Tom Siegfried (2006), A Beautiful Math (pgs. 107-108) [12]
“The science-religion controversy is rooted in talk of afterlife, soul, higher powers, muses, purpose, reason, objectivity, pointlessness, and randomness.”
— Robert Burton (2008), On Being Certain: Believing You are Right Even When You are Wrong (pgs. 188-95) [13]
“Think about atheism for a second. As an atheist, you must believe that you are the result of the purely mindless, random chance interaction of particles over an immensely long period of time—the classic monkey typing Shakespeare scenario. I know that the origin of species involves natural selection—however what created our universe with natural laws, which make life possible? Blind chance. Being a soulless bag of chemicals created by unguided, meaningless random chance you of course have no free will. You are merely a zombie acting automatically according to the chemicals swishing around in your brain. I don't find this too plausible for many reasons.”
— Jacob Stein (2012), “Does Egyptian History Contradict the Torah”, Jan 10 [14]
Atheism is the idea that we are the randomproduct’ of time plus matter plus chance.”
— Ravi Zacharias (2013), “The Incoherence of Atheism” [15]
“Ah, the question of the ages, which I hope you and I will answer one day. All these wonders of art, design, human ingenuity, etc., all utterly meaningless in the face of the only question that matters. Where do we come from? I refuse to believe that mankind is a random by-product of molecular circumstance. No more than the result of mere biological chance. No. There must be more! And, you and I, son, we will find it.”
— Michael Green (2017), Alien: Covenant (character: Peter Weyland; reply to question: if you created me, who created you? [David]) [16]

End matter

See also


  1. (a) Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (2000).
    (b) Random – EtymOnline.com.
  2. Sellars, Roy W. (1922). Evolutionary Naturalism (§15: Mechanism, Teleology, and Purpose, pgs. 320-; random, pg. 338). Open Court Publishing.
  3. Dawkins, Richard. (1986). The Blind Watchmaker (Amz). Publisher.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dawkins, Richard. (1996). Climbing Mount Improbable (Amz) (non-random force, pg. #). Publisher.
  5. (a) Klein, Joseph F. (1910). Physical Significance of Entropy: or of the Second Law (humans, pg. 89-90). D. van Nostrand.
    (b) Labinger, Jay A. (1995). “Metaphoric Usage of the Second Law: Entropy as Time's (double-headed) Arrow in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia” (pdf), Presented at Nov meeting of the Society for Literature and Science, Los Angeles; in: The Chemical Intelligencer (pg. 32), Oct. 31-36, 1996.
  6. Brown, Richard H. (1977). A Poetic for Sociology: Toward a Logic of Discovery for the Human Sciences (pg. 131). University of Chicago Press, 1989.
  7. Seidenberg, Roderick. (1950). Posthistoric Man: an Inquiry (thermodynamics, 41+ pgs). University of North Carolina Press.
  8. Wooldridge, Dean. (1968). Mechanical Man: the Physical Basis of Intelligent Life (indeterminancy, pgs. 2-3; autocatalysis, pg. 23) . McGraw-Hill
  9. Strobel, Lee. (2004). The Case for a Creator: a Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Toward God (pgs. 283-84). Zondervan, 2009.
  10. Ritzer, George. (2004). Encyclopedia of Social Theory (§:General Systems Theory, §:Entropy, pg. 310). Sage.
  11. Angel, Wayne M. (2005). The Theory of Society (§4: Relation Thermodynamics). ComplexS.com.
  12. Siegfried, Tom. (2006). A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature (pgs. 107-108). National Academies Press.
  13. (a) Burton, Robert. (2008). On Being Certain: Believing Your are Right Even When You are Wrong (pgs. 188-95). St. Martin’s Press.
    (b) Harris, Sam. (2010). The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Moral Values (pg. 129). Free Press.
  14. Stein, Jacob. (2012). “Does Egyptian History Contradict the Torah” (comment) (WB) (Ѻ), TorahPhilosophy.com, Jan 10.
  15. Zacharias, Ravi. (2013). “The Incoherence of Atheism” (YT), City Life Church.
  16. Alien: Covenant (2017) – IMDB.com.
  17. Rennie creationism fiasco – Hmolpedia 2020.

External links

  • Random (redirect) – Wikipedia.
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