Nick’s email continues ….
Please note that my previous text is in italics block quote and his text is in italics.
“Science and mathematics recognize that randomness exists. Please, please, please, get some education.”
Scientists and Mathematicians use the construct of randomness as a practical necessity. You cannot talk about absolutely assured outcomes in scientific pursuits beacuse, among other things, no one knows where the hell electrons are going to be. Its Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. For what its worth, I think that the concept of randomness is an absolutely necessary and thus perfectly valid concept in certain arguments but not this one. Its still just a human construct. Its like the idea that people are absolutely equal. Well no, they definitely aren’t. You are not the same as me. But equality before the law is absolutely necessary for just government and equality itself is in many contexts a perfectly justified and indeed moral concept to proclaim.
That said, as a matter of logic, there is no such thing as “randomness.” in the material universe. Scientists and mathematicians don’t bring this up beacuse A) It would generate confusion about their use of the concept and B) Its not their job; their not logicians or philosophers. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are many scientists and mathematicians who do not really think about the true nature of “randomness” in their entire careers, they simply use it and move on.
It is logically impossible for something to be in two places at once. This applies to electrons as well as it applies to me and you. Therefore, if a rock moves down a hill, and we were somehow able to conceive the true position and direction of every single particle present and every single force operating we would know exactly where that rock would go. But we don’t. So we call the outcome “Random”.
To say that there really exists randomness in nature would be to say that the laws of physics are not consistent. They obviously are. When they seem to be bent or warped that is simply beacuse an as of yet unexplained OTHER law of the physical universe is acting upon them and our own perceptions are limited.
If quantum mechanics says that in some cases this subatomic particle is going to do this, and in other cases its going to do this, and when we look at it does this but when we don’t do this the particle does this I say, fine. You still can’t break the laws of logic. At best, you can posit alternate universes, but then your really just positing two or more electrons after the point at which the two possibilities become actualized. Your only showing that we obviously don’t know the whole story. We don’t know where every atom is and we don’t know what every physical force is. You can call that Bullshit all you want, but the simple truth is if you have had the education you say you have you already know this is perfectly true.
Randomness does exist, but only as a construct. So we must treat it accordingly.
All this said, this argument simply does not have too much bearing on what we are talking about. So consider it an FYI. Feel free to post your response to that, but I’m not going to respond beacuse this debate is already expansive.