Is Evolution about chance? (Part 2)

It was a chance meeting.  I just happened to be walking back up Rochester High Street and Crow Lane when our eyes met. By chance, she happened to be trying to visit our church’s bookshop and had just missed closing time. By chance, the lady cashing up saw us talking on the street outside and by chance she just happened to know Sarah’s friend.  They got talking and decided to match make. The rest is history.Now, leaving aside my belief in divine providence, if you were to ask how Sarah and I ended up together, you could argue that it was by chance. To be sure, once we met, there may have been a strong possibility, probability even that we would be attracted to each other and you may be able to identify genetic characteristics that made that more likely. You may even note the very normal things that happened once we met.  How we got together is not just a story about random chance (again note I’m currently running without the assumption of divine providence).

I was thinking about this as I wrote about evolution and chance.  Remember how in the last article we saw that evolutionary theorists want to say that evolution doesn’t just happen by random chance.

Dawkins says:

“Darwinism is not a theory of random chance. It is a theory of random mutation plus non-random cumulative natural selection. . . . Natural selection . . . is a non-random force, pushing towards improvement. . . . Every generation has its Darwinian failures but every individual is descended only from previous generations’ successful minorities. . . . [T]here can be no going downhill – species can’t get worse as a prelude to getting better. . . . There may be more than one peak.”[1]

Whilst this is Le Page in the New Scientist:

“Evolution by natural selection is a two-step process, and only the first step is random: mutations are chance events, but their survival is often anything but. Natural selection favours mutations that provide some advantage (see Evolution promotes the survival of species), and the physical world imposes very strict limits on what works and what doesn’t. The result is that organisms evolve in particular directions.”[2]

The problem is that whether or not they see non-random and indeed necessary activity in terms of how survival of the fittest determines the survival rate and development of specific genetic mutations, they have already affirmed that the starting point of those genetic mutations is a chance or accidental event(s).

In other words, it doesn’t matter how the process develops, it is founded upon chance. Therefore, Evolutionists may not like to put it in those terms but within their system, we are here because of random chance. That random chance may have been followed up by non-random processes but without chance, those very processes would not be taking place at all.

[1] The quote is from “Climbing Mount Improbable” I came upon it by random chance at this website