On the Meaning of Chance in Biology

@article{Coffman2014OnTM,
  title={On the Meaning of Chance in Biology},
  author={James A. Coffman},
  journal={Biosemiotics},
  year={2014},
  volume={7},
  pages={377-388}
}
  • J. Coffman
  • Published 30 July 2014
  • Philosophy
  • Biosemiotics
Chance has somewhat different meanings in different contexts, and can be taken to be either ontological (as in quantum indeterminacy) or epistemological (as in stochastic uncertainty). Here I argue that, whether or not it stems from physical indeterminacy, chance is a fundamental biological reality that is meaningless outside the context of knowledge. To say that something happened by chance means that it did not happen by design. This of course is a cornerstone of Darwin’s theory of evolution… 

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