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View Diary: Let's Teach the Controversy of Evolution vs Intelligent Design **Updated with Poll question** (365 comments)

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  •  essentially (2+ / 0-)
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    RickD, Joieau

    Nature is largely deterministic, but I don't understand quantum mechanics well enough to apply that idea there.
    I really can't think of anything truly random. Maybe you could suggest something?

    +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

    by cybersaur on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:23:06 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm... (0+ / 0-)

      the spontaneous decay of atoms? Sure, you can get enough of them in one place to come up with a half-life, and you can know that because there's a half-life the atoms must be fundamentally unstable. But you can never predict when any given atom of any given isotope will spontaneously decay.

      But even there you might suggest that there are internal processes that lead to the spontaneous decay, so our ignorance in being unable to predict precise decay moment is just that - mere ignorance of the process, of something not actually random at all.

      So... okay, how about specific biological damage resulting from, say, an atom of plutonium sitting on the one-cell thick lining of your lung when it decays. We'd have no real way to know exactly what cell/cell group it is sitting on when it decays and blasts the holy hell out of them. Nor would we have any way to know which adjacent cells lived but suffered enough DNA disruption to turn cancerous. But we could know that an atom of plutonium in your lung is entirely likely to decay at some point, and cause one of the cells not utterly destroyed to turn cancerous due to specified genetic damage. Hmmm...

      Perhaps you're right, there is only our ignorance.

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