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- Is there anything that is totally random? 15 answers
I tend to think of randomness as a lack of complete information when it comes to knowing something. If we look at the history of probability theory it centers on a lack of knowing the exact outcome of certain games/gambling bets. This I have no problem with, as it centers on epistemological considerations of incomplete information.
However, very often I'll hear someone explain Quantum Mechanics or radioactivity in terms of an inherent indeterminism/randomness in nature. This I cannot understand, and I honestly think the people who nonchalantly say "Well the amazing thing is the Universe is inherently random!" really aren't thinking things through.
Where is this indeterministic/random "event" or "interaction" coming from? Does it come from nowhere, like a space invader in Newtonian dynamics? How is this possible? And why does it seem to follow objective probabilities at the very least? What "fixes" that probabilistic distribution, and why must it be fixed like that instead of being completely random/chaotic (in the sense of completely patternless, not Chaos Theory, which is fully deterministic)?
It seems as if these concerns are never addressed, and in all honesty, true randomness is almost like magic. Someone just has to say "Well something funky happens during the measurement process. Basically a wand is waved and we have a determinate result at the end."
I find that conclusion terribly wanting, and the fact that so many fully deterministic interpretations of QM exist makes it far from something we have to take as settled. If someone can shed some light on these concerns that would be much appreciated. Causal determinism seems like the only way of looking at the world that doesn't suffer from this quasi-mystical "randomness" that no one can seem to adequately explain.