Determinism vs chance

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Quantum Quack, May 13, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,536
    Often science will use the words random and chance to describe evolution of mankind yet not once have they ever proved that these two words have any reality to them at all. Not once have they proved mathematcially that chance and random-ness are real and not merely imaginary mathematical conveniences. [That ironically enough have to be determined using mathematics any way!]

    So I ask, if evolution is not subject to chance and random-ness then what has it been subject to and is subject to?

    If not chance then only one ultimate conclusion can be made.IMO....about how such a complex organism such as the humanoid form can evolve when chance and randomness are no longer relevant.
    By logical extension this implies that a deterministic universal paradigm can be the only conclusion regarding the determinism debate.


    what say you?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,899
    Nothing.
    It's all randomness and chance.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,536
    uhm...any evidence to support your position ~ per Chance..?.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,899
    No. No evidence, just confidence that nothing else can provide justifiable evidence of anything but. (correct English BTW).
     
  8. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,502
    Where did you get the idea that evolution is not subject to randomness??

    Randomness plays a significant role in evolution.


    Ernst Mayr: What Evolution Is
     
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,536
    The point of the thread is to highlight the fact that Randomness is a non-existant abstraction created by humans purely from human convenience.
    That randomness has not been proven to be real or ever seen in nature.
    That science will use the notion of randomness to explain reallity when in fact there is no reality to the term or notion randomness and can not be proven as per the rules of science.
    The isue is part of the Universe by design debate and how randomness is constantly used as part of the arguement to the contra when in fact randomness and chance have no proven premise in reality what so ever.

    It is up to science to prove it's position and as yet it has failed to do so...

    The ultimate conclusion one can draw is that by deductive reasoning.
    If randomness and chance are illusions of convenience then what is involved in evolution? other than determinism.

    If found that determinism prevails then what is the mechanism for that determinism and how did evolution accidently, or by chance design itself? When in fact chance is a non-existant abstraction.

    So a "Universe by Design" arguement can be supported by default merely by discrediting the notions of randomness and chance.
    Please note: I am not suggesting the "devinity of the designer" but merely that design generated by some form of intelligence is self evident. especially given that randomness and chance are non-existant factors.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  10. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,502
    Aaah.
    OK.

    Yes, the disparity between the thread title, and the invocation of evolution did have me wondering what the topic really was.


    I don't think that anyone would argue with you on the point that randomness, as a concept, is a human abstraction. Isn't that obvious?
    I mean, when you get down to it... what isn't??

    However, if randomness is such, then how could it be that determinism isn't??

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,536
    see the edited version of the post above please...sorry

    Line of logic:
    If chance and randomness are found to be non-existant then determinism must be absolute. That the universe is absolutely deterministic.

    Now if one thinks on it for a while to consider the universe in such absolute terms with a clear ration-al for doing so, poses some interesting insights if allowing the ration-al to flow to it's ultimate conclusions.
     
  12. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    Pre-quantum physics, I think the ideas of chance and randomness were not seen as something that went against determinism. Determinist scientists would have seen events and factors as 'not serving some special purpose' for this or that organism. So 'for the organism in question' these factors are chance or random. That it was very cold one winter was not part of some narrative designed for a change in the migratory patterns of mammoths. IOW they were not viewing chance and random in the same kind of way there were viewing determinism. They would have considered these events utterly determined, however, 'for the organism' it is chance. Especially in relation to that organisms (or its species) struggle to survive or spread or whatever.

    Once QM came in, it was considered true that events are probabilitic, rather than utterly determined. This has a great deal of evidence to back this up.

    Even in Darwinism or Neo-darwinism it is not merely subject to chance. It is a combination of structured processes with 'outside influences'. Given that they do not view these influences as coming from God or some other source of a planned narrative, they call them random. But if you asked them if the events and factors were random, they would either answer that they are probablistic or determined.
    It has always struck me as a false dilemma: chance vs. determinism. If either is the overriding principle, then discussions like this one are fairly pointless. Though you can claim that you 'could not help posting the way you did' since it was utterly determined.
     
  13. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    I think we need a definition of Determinism

    and from there I think a need for a definition of 'cause'

    is in the offing.
     
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,536
    But of course this touches upon the question of "free-will in an absolutely determined environment" and I could argue that free will can exist in such an environment. That self determination is available in a fully deterministic universe. In fact I have argued this case in the past but failed to garner understanding
     
  15. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,644
    Randomness is a legitimate scientific concept. For instance, this study: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627604.100-pyramids-are-the-best-shape-for-packing.html was designed to reveal which shapes pack best into a container randomly, as opposed to placing the shapes carefully. It doesn't matter if there is no "perfect" randomness, the concept is still useful.

    Randomness in evolution doesn't depend on perfect non-order or the essential truth of the concept of randomness. What it means is that unpredictable processes control the outcome and direction of evolution to a great degree.
     
  16. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,502

    Not necessarily.

    For this very reason:

    The two concepts are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


    ...especially considering how poorly each is defined(sic).
     
  17. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    When we use the term in the former way, we are not making a metaphysical assumption - iow we are not saying that 'stuff just flops around for no reason at all'.

    And 'unpredictable' - because it implies a subject who might predict - shifts the 'randomness' from a quality of the universe to an inability of observers.
     
  18. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    I have seen arguments like this. Unfortunately, from my persepective, whatever this free will is, it means very little to me if all my actions and experiences for the rest of my life were inevitable outcomes of events/states from the past - whether some of these are 'mine' or not. But that's all another thread.
     
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,536
    oh I agree with you. Not a problem, however this does not deal with the issue at hand as far as I can tell.
    All you have said is that "due to our limitations of information used when predicting we must subscribe to the notion of chance and randomness. In a way validating the threads contention that these two notions are mere conveniences.

    The challenge as I see it is:
    Science has postulated the existance of Randomness and Chance. It is there for necessary if scientific processes are adhered to to prove such concepts are real and valid.
    If they cannot be evidenced or proved in a scientific manner then these two notions are more appropriate else where but certainly not science.

    Contention:
    As with morality and ethics, randomness and chance are merely human values. Randomness and Chance are values placed upon events that can not be explained adeqauately, therefore highlighting our limitations of information resource.
     
  20. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    Strange, but I see science as tending not to view events as caused by chance. Most scientists strike me as determinists with a proviso for the probablistic nature of quantum events, which they generally consider irrelevent at human event levels.

    I mean, much of what they, scientists, do is try to find out causes.
     
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,536
    exactly!...
    What seems to be happening is that science inadvertently enters in to a self contradiction every time it uses the words random or chance as the very nature of science is to explain what is deemed to be of random or chance causation.

    Extended:
    The "science of probability" is merely speculative "fantasy" and most often is premised on hindsight data extrapolated to aid predictions of unknowable futures. So one wonders whether "probability" is actually a science or the pseudo science of a gambler.
     
  22. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    I'm not sure where you've gotten the impression scientists think things happen by chance or randomly. This isn't my impression at all. IOW I can see what you are saying is a contradiction, however I just don't experience scientists using these terms as objective descriptions of states or events.

    Not in QM.
     
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,536
    Wont go into detail here but the yet to be sustained, key I found to this issue was:
    Contention : "if all your choices are goverened by an infinite number of causes then absolute free will is infinitely available"
    and yes perhaps another thread one day...eh
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page