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Morning coffee!! Goose survives with arrow stuck in back

Yes, chance is real. Odd things do happen.

Apparently, the arrow didn’t end up bugging the goose much. It refused all well-meant efforts at help.

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4 Responses to Morning coffee!! Goose survives with arrow stuck in back

  1. Bravo!

  2. Not to be too picky News, but if

    Yes, chance is real,,

    Chance is really real, as you hold, can you please define what it means exactly? I’ve recently kind of fiddled around with the whole notion of ‘random chance’ trying to see what it entails and find the word ‘chance’ to be, in many instances, merely a place holder for ‘not defined yet’, i.e. for our ignorance.

    Randomness – Entropic and Quantum
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1St4Rl5__iKFraUBfSZCeRV6sNcW5xy6lgcqqKifO9c8/edit

  3. kairosfocus: Canada geese are practically immortal. Okay, maybe not. But there is a whole lore about how they came to dominate the low airways (and gobble lawns in public places).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcMMAWpnTtM

  4. ba77 @2:

    Chance is an interesting topic and there have been many angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussions about whether such a thing as chance exists.

    There are those, to be sure, who argue that everything is absolutely deterministic, from the first microseconds of the Big Bang to today: every particle collision, every energy wave cascading through space and time, ultimately caused — in a purely deterministic sense — everything we see and will continue to cause everything into the future. Such people could argue that “chance” does not really exist, but is just a surrogate term used for those deterministic forces we haven’t identified yet.

    I don’t think, however, that many people really hold to such a view, even if they like to argue it in public.

    For one thing, there is the possibility of free will, choice, non-deterministic action by beings. Even those who claim there is no free will never act like they mean it. And if we admit some kind of choice or free will that is not a result of pure determinism, then we admit to a universe in which unexpected things can happen — the butterfly flapping its wings and causing a storm on the other side of the world, or the midwest soccer mom driving an SUV and causing a tornado a century later. These are of course silly examples to underscore the extreme, but the point being that if there is anything like free will, then determinism is not absolute and unexpected events can occur in the real world. In that sense, “chance” is quite real.

    Then there is the question of whether it is possible, in any practical sense, to know all the factors that go into a complex event like, say, a tornado in Iowa. In a purely deterministic frame we would have to understand the interaction of innumerable particles and how they came together over long periods of time, likely taking into account the influence of the very cosmos themselves. If we start making even a brief list of the factors involved and the number of particles involved we quickly conclude that truly understanding what happened and why would effectively require omniscience. So even if there is a deterministic universe, as a purely practical matter there are many things that lie, not just barely out of reach and knowable with a bit more effort or a few more years of study, but vastly beyond our ability to ever know. For all practical purposes, there are many such things that we simply cannot know, and “chance” may be an appropriate label for many such cases.

    Finally, it is possible that there are things that simply cannot be known, as a matter of first principle. For example, when we consider that we cannot know with exactness both where an object is and what its vector is, we realize that we have no way of knowing how all the particles in, say, a column of air will behave over the next several hours, how they will in turn affect the surrounding parcels of air, and how all of this in turn will affect the weather next month or the climate in 100 years. And it is not just a question of studying harder or inventing more accurate instruments. We cannot know with precision — as a matter of principle — both the location and vector of the particles in question. The same kind of uncertainty holds true for liquid dynamics, individual particles in a wavefront interaction, the brownian motion in a cell that, on that fateful day, causes a minor hiccup in a chemical reaction, ultimately leading to a copying error in DNA and causing a particular mutation to arise that affects the destiny of an entire species . . .

    Even in those cases in which we can identify a stochastic result or a distribution curve for the outcome, we cannot say with any precision whether a particular particle or molecule will end up in state x or state y. The upshot of all of this is that there are likely many things in the universe that, from a science and technology and research standpoint, are simply unknowable. And using “chance” to describe a particular outcome or an unexpected outcome seems appropriate.

    So at the end of the day, despite the importance of physical laws and the interesting discussions about whether determinism is all there is, I think we have to rationally acknowledge that chance does exist — probably as a matter of principle; certainly as a matter of practical application.

    —–

    Now, having said all that, I agree with you that there is a tendency to invoke chance when it is just a surrogate for ignorance. And it is made worse when the speaker thinks that by invoking chance he has somehow provided a keen insight or a useful explanation, when in fact more study and effort is warranted to really ascertain what is going on.

    Evolutionists are notorious at this. As I have noted many times on this blog, when we strip away the fancy rhetoric and the scientific-sounding words, in so very many cases the “explanation” offered by the evolutionary apologists for a particular event or a particular outcome amounts to nothing more than a restatement of the Great Evolutionary Explanation:

    Stuff Happens.

    And when those kinds of prayers to the idol of chance are offered, we should be quick to call them on the carpet and show how the invocation of chance is nothing more than a manifestation of ignorance.

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