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By D. J. Bartholomew

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It also supposes that we can satisfactorily resolve the question as to what chance really is. For example, whether it is possible to talk of purely random events for whose occurrence not even God is directly responsible. If God were directly, responsible, then we should be back to MacKay’s position in which every event is determined by him. Probabilities then only enter our equations because of our partial ignorance of the true causes. All of this deals with Monod on his own terms. His science is accepted but, it is claimed, it will not bear the full weight of his philosophical conclusions.

R. 12 It is convenient to deal with these and other responses according to the viewpoint which they adopt. These are summarized, somewhat inadequately, by the following section headings. A conservative Christian view We begin with a view which stands close to the first of the two extremes which we mentioned at the outset. 13 In the former he has a chapter called ‘The mythology of chance’ in which he addresses himself to Monod’s claims. According to MacKay, Monod has made a simple error. He has confused the scientific and mythological uses of the word chance.

Consciousness, for example, is a property of the highly structured brain and nervous system of animals and man which cannot be wholly explained by looking at what preceded it. Since man is now able to influence the direction of evolution, the present and future development of the world is not entirely at the mercy of the purposelessness evident at the lower levels of creation. Room is thus created for the involvement of a purposeful God operating in those higher reaches of the biosphere which have their own autonomy.

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