The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Evolution and Chance

Two matters that critics of evolutionary theory can be relied upon to misunderstand are the notions of chance or randomness in evolution. These essays address them.

Evolution and Chance by John Wilkins

Genetic changes do not anticipate a species' needs, and those changes may be unrelated to selection pressures on the species. Nevertheless, evolution is not fundamentally a random process.

Chance from a Theistic Perspective by Loren Haarsma

Many Christians are suspicious of the role played by "chance" in evolution. Their suspicions are exacerbated whenever apologists for evolution treat "chance" like some metaphysical entity antithetical to God. This apparent conflict between Chance and God is illusory and unnecessary. The role played by chance in biological evolution --- microevolution or macroevolution --- is no different than the role played by chance in any other scientific theory. Theism has always maintained that God can and does determine the outcome of "random" events. Therefore, "random" events in nature are in no way an obstacle to God's providential action; quite the opposite, they are one way in which God could exert providential care.

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