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Randomness: Just A Myth?

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Posted by Aurino Souza on August 15, 2001 13:51:26 UTC

At first this may not sound like a God and science topic, but I believe the issue of randomness is at the essence of many philosophical discussions. My question is, does randomness truly exist?

As far as my knowledge goes, the idea of randomness is not based on reason. I don't know what everyone's definition of randomness is, mine goes something along these lines: if we define randomness as a simple mathematical function r = f(x0, x1, x2, ..., xn), for f to be a truly random function it must be able to produce any value for r out of the same values for x0 ... xn. But this is a paradox! You would have a situation where, say, f(a,b,c) is different from f(a,b,c), which goes against the very definition of what a mathematical function is!

It appears to me that the idea of randomness is a fallacy which stems from our ignorance of all variables involved in specific natural processes. Since randomness cannot be expressed mathematically, either it doesn't exist or the universe is illogical. Make your pick.

Now when people say, for instance, that biological evolution is a completely random process, what are they truly saying? That they are not able to measure all the variables involved, or that evolution is an illogical process?

What about freewill? Doesn't the idea of freewill imply a paradox?

What about quantum mechanics? Is particle behaviour truly random or is it simply the case that we can't have information about an event before it happens? That would make quantum mechanics a lot less interesting for those neo-mystics out there.

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