Is True Randomness Just an Illusion?

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In summary,randomness does not exist in the real world because mathematicians have defined it as something that does not exist.
  • #1
uperkurk
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I've been thinking about what random actually is and let me give you an example. If you made a machine that flips a penny, put the machine and and penny in a small room, place the penny upon the flipper and let it flip, now so long as the penny was placed in the exact same position every single time and there were no other variables, the penny would land on the same side every single time?

Another slightly more complex test is with a die, if you made a machine to spit out a die into the air onto a table, as long as no variables were changed the die would land on the same side everytime, not only that, but slow the die down and you'd see it take the exact same flight path, it would rotate the same, bounce in the exact same spot and on the exact same angle(s)?

Ok now for the ultimate test, the lottery, the lottery balls are always numbered 1(...)49. If the machine starts spinning the exact same speed and the balls are released at the same pace ect every single time, ok the balls would be bouncing around like mad and appear to be mixing up, but if the little sucker thing always took the first ball at say 10 seconds EXACTLY into the draw, it should always draw out the same ball if you ran the exact same test over and over again, without changing any variables... no matter for how long those balls bounced around the order they get mixed up in should never ever change.

I know the lottery isn't run like this and the times are alternated but true random doesn't exist... if a human could master the art of flipping a coin at the exact same speed, angle, height etc it would no longer be random.
 
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  • #2
Mathematicians couldn't care less if "true randomness" does not exist in the "real" world.
Mathematicians DEFINE the worlds they are working with, and there, true randomness can well exist.
 
  • #3
But when we say flipping a coin is random, it isn't random at all, it seems random because humans are not precise machines but it certainy isn't random, neither is rolling a die. Or throwing a 52 deck of cards into the air and having them fall in the exact same place in the exact same order every single time...
 
  • #4
Random posts need to go in your journal.
 
  • #5


I can understand your reasoning and examples for why true randomness may be perceived as an illusion. However, I must point out that your examples are limited to controlled experiments with machines and objects. In reality, true randomness is much more complex and cannot be replicated in a controlled environment.

In the case of flipping a coin or rolling a die, there are countless variables at play that can affect the outcome. Factors such as air resistance, surface texture, and force of the flip or roll can all impact the result. Additionally, our perception of randomness is often influenced by our own biases and patterns that we perceive. This is why random events, such as lottery draws, are often monitored by third-party organizations to ensure fairness.

Furthermore, true randomness is a fundamental principle in many fields of science, including quantum mechanics and genetics. In these cases, randomness is a natural occurrence and not something that can be controlled or manipulated.

In conclusion, while the concept of true randomness may be difficult to grasp, it is an essential aspect of our world and cannot be reduced to a simple experiment with a coin or die. As scientists, we must continue to study and understand the complexities of randomness in order to make accurate predictions and advancements in our fields.
 

Related to Is True Randomness Just an Illusion?

1. What is randomness?

Randomness refers to the concept of unpredictability and lack of pattern or order. It is often associated with probability and chance.

2. Can anything truly be random?

This is a philosophical question that has been debated by scientists and philosophers for centuries. Some argue that true randomness does not exist and that everything is predetermined, while others argue that there are truly random events in the universe.

3. How do we determine if something is truly random?

There are various statistical tests and measures that can be used to determine if something is truly random. These tests look at the distribution and patterns of data to determine if they are the result of a random process or not.

4. Is randomness important in science?

Yes, randomness plays a significant role in many scientific disciplines, such as physics, biology, and computer science. It allows for the study and understanding of complex systems and phenomena.

5. Can randomness be controlled or manipulated?

While true randomness may be difficult to control or manipulate, pseudo-randomness can be generated using algorithms and random number generators. However, these are not truly random and can be predicted or influenced to some extent.

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