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‘Just Random Chance’

It seems to me that every time I talk to a Creationist or an Evolution Denier, they tell me that Evolution is “just random chance” and that they see so much order and design that there must be a deity behind it. Many of these people claim to have some knowledge of evolution too. For me, as soon as I hear the phrase “just random chance,” I almost automatically discount the person’s claim of knowledge on the subject. Evolution is not about “just random chance” and anyone who claims that it is clearly has little to no knowledge about the topic.

If there seems to be some sort of design in life, that is because there probably is some sort of design in life. But that doesn’t mean that there has to be a designer. The designer in the case of evolution is a natural process called “natural selection.” While there are random chances and mutations within all species, it isn’t random which mutations or traits are passed on and cause the species to evolve. That is determined by natural selection.

Here is an example. Let’s say I hire 20 people randomly to do a job. Over the course of a week, 5 of those people get burnt out and quit. The following week, 6 people are fired because they did a shitty job. After another few weeks, 4 more people are either fired or quit. Eventually, the people who stay with the job will be the people who have learned how to do the job best and who are the most skilled. They will then be the ones who will hire and train that next batch on workers. The skills that of those who survived from the original batch will be passed on to the new batch. The new batch will then learn even better ways to do the job and will pass those skills onto the next batch and so on down the line. That is natural selection.

Now, five years later the company is doing really well and is known to have the most skilled workers in the industry. How do you explain such skilled workers? Someone comes along and says that the head of the company must have designed the perfect workers using genetic cloning because those skilled workers couldn’t have possibly been hired by random chance. Someone else says, “No it wasn’t genetic cloning, but such perfect workers couldn’t be random chance, so it had to be aliens.” Because those workers are so skilled, it leads one to believe that there must have been someone infinitely more skilled than those workers who had taught those workers because you can’t have a less skilled worker teach a worker to have more skill; that goes against the law of master/apprentice. In fact, people will start to make up all kinds of ridiculous stories to explain what Darwin explained with Natural Selection.

Natural Selection is a slow process, but it works. We see it working every day with all kinds of systems, not just biology. We talk about evolution in all kinds of human endeavors. If something doesn’t adapt to change, it dies out. If something continually adapts to change over time, it gets better. That’s evolution and it isn’t “just random chance.”

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