Natural laws appear to produce patterns of randomness. That’s the point I was trying to make.
You didn’t make it very clearly, because the way you worded it, I wouldn’t have got the above statement out of it.
Anyhow, I granted you that the interaction of various natural laws might sometimes produce patterns we could call “random.” But natural laws don’t always produce patterns of randomness. The order of the solar system is not what anyone would call a “random” pattern. The great triumph of early modern physics and astronomy was to show that the solar system was characterized an order, an order produced by the workings of natural laws, not of randomness.
If celestial events occurred “randomly” we would not be able to predict solar and lunar eclipses a century in advance.
The average educated citizen understands things like this, and therefore rightly distinguishes between events that occur by law and events that occur (at least apparently) by chance or accident.
And that conceptual distinction remains useful even when we eventually show that some apparently accidental events are actually law-governed. E.g., a meteoroid’s striking one’s home and destroying it remains “accidental” with respect to both the non-existent “intentions” of the meteoroid and the location of the home – chosen without knowledge of the coming meteoroid – even though it might eventually be shown to result from the same laws of mechanics which keep the planets in regular orbits.
I also don’t see what is “random” about the processes studied in developmental biology. A hen produces chicks, not alligators, and a monkey produces monkeys, not chimpanzees. No one would call such regular results “random.” Biologists don’t say that it’s the result of “randomness” that a hen produces a chick rather than an elephant. Thus, your geneticist’s bias (randomness is a necessary concept in population genetics) causes you to misrepresent other areas even of biology, let alone parts of other natural sciences. It’s no wonder you aren’t interested in reading Denton, who emphasizes the lawlike aspects of nature, as opposed to its “random” side.
I addressed it. There was no need to deal with the particulars of the table, because you were introducing the table to establish a falsehood, i.e., that a probability distribution can be responsible for a particular event. There was no need for me to disprove that for each line of your table. Your whole premise in introducing the table was faulty. You implied that a human mathematical analysis has causal power in nature. But never in the history of the universe has a “probability distribution” (a product of human minds reflecting on events, not an event itself) caused anything. So your table had zero relevance to explaining why Jesse James got a royal flush on a particular night, or why life arose on Earth in exactly the place and time that it did.
By the way, on another closed thread, you asked me how Shapiro’s view differed from that of Weismann. That discussion doesn’t belong here, but from the account of Weismann in Gould, Str. Ev. Th. , pp. 201 ff., it’s pretty clear that Weismann lays down strictures about the isolation of the germ plasm which are rejected by Shapiro. If you want to take this up in detail, you will have to start a new discussion on Weismann and Shapiro. I presume you know how to create a new topic here. If you reply here, instead of by creating a new topic, I won’t respond, because I want to keep this thread on the “big issues” between science and theology that Terrell is interested in, and not wander off into disputes between biologists over evolutionary mechanism.