But there’s one problem with our imaginary scenario: the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Basically what it says is that whenever we interact with something, we change its behaviour. We cannot measure an electron’s position without affecting it’s velocity, for example. This means we can’t know an electron’s position and velocity at the same time. So even if all the smart people on Earth take on the endeavour to measure all and everything that affects the toss of a coin, they will never succeed. They can never, ever, measure everything.

So the human race is doomed.

(Unless of course if one day the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is proven to be wrong, then we might actually have a chance.)

But still that doesn’t mean that there is such thing as randomness. Even though we may not be able to measure everything and say with absolute certainty which side of the coin we’ll get on our next toss, the outcome still depends on all the conditions affecting the trajectory of the coin. So there’s really no such thing as randomness. It’s just the universe obeying the physical laws of nature.

Random number generator at work

Truth is, we have been trying very hard to produce random behaviour, and we are still trying. Computers can’t really produce random numbers. Computer scientists use certain mathematical formulae to produce what appears to be random, but it’s not random at all. Anyone taking introductory programming course will know that using the random number function will generate exactly the same sequence of number every time. Yes, every time. Hardly random at all.

I don’t know, this is one of my ponderings in the shower, and I’m just spitting it out here. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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