CAN ABSOLUTE RANDOMNESS REALLY EXIST?
First we must be clear about what is to be considered, here, to be taken as the meaning of the word 'random' or 'randomness'. There are various meanings given to this word, which are such as to give it the effect of several different words with the same name.
The concept of 'random', to be considered here, is a concept of an absolute kind, that describes something happening in a particular way, or having a particular form, without there being any predetermining cause of any kind whatsoever. Anything that can be seen or supposed to have a cause of any kind, known or unknown, is therefore excluded from this definition and the following discussion.
Firstly, let us ask, why do we assume that a cause is to be assigned to a reality, even if we are not able to identify what the cause actually is? Clearly this comes from the fact that any form is something that could have been other than it actually is. A house, for example, can have countless forms and designs, and still be and function as a house. Therefore we say that a predetermining choice or cause must have selected the particular form a particular house will have in preference to any of the other forms it could have had. We are inclined to say this of any reality that could have been made to be other than it actually is.
Let us therefore ask: is this supposition inevitable? Could a particular form appear on a completely
random basis, or is this impossible? In fact it must be impossible. If a particular form was not chosen, or caused, or predetermined in any way whatsoever, then it could not have occurred at all. That is, to say that a form was not chosen, caused, or predetermined in any way, is the equivalent of saying that it never happened, or never existed.
When the concept of randomness is used to explain realities such as the random forms that appear in clouds in the sky, or the random selection of numbers in a lottery, and so on, we are really using this word to indicate that we do not know the complex interworking of perhaps countless causal influences, rather than indicating that such forms have absolutely no cause at all.
It is worth remarking here that the concept of a random, or completely undetermined, basis of evolution, in an absolute sense, must therefore also be considered to be impossible. Natural selection therefore operates in the context of predetermined forms, which it does not originally select, and not on random forms, which it originally selects.
This short argument is sufficient to conclude that that concept of a random occurrence, as here considered, is merely an invalid use of language, and not really a concept at all. Any argument of any kind, therefore, that is based on the concept of the existence of absolute randomness must inevitably be a false argument.
© Alen, October 2015
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