I’ve spent the weekend (between FB posts) on advanced statistics and have arrived, once again, at the mathematic elegance of the Gaussian Curve (or Normal curve or Bell curve) and, although it is quite a fundamental mathematical concept, it reinforced a premise that I’d never thought of before.
Anyone who has spent any time with math (I engage in it reluctantly, but cross paths with it quite often) knows the music of it, knows how, when understood in depth, it defines the natural world. Atoms, molecules, cells, chemistry, biology, the Earth, the solar system and the entire universe can be explained, to a high degree of accuracy, with math. Most thinking people will agree with that fundamental tenet.
When one looks at a Bell curve, one can’t help but understand that central tendency cannot be explained other than by random selection. If it was designed by someone or something, there would be no need for the big hump in the middle. We would all be outliers, created by some omniscient spirit, one by one, in his “image”.
The efficiencies of evolution and random selection make perfect sense if one simply looks at the central tendency of Intelligence, which is normally distributed. So is achievement. So is height. Then again, so are shots at a target, time to a correct answer in a memory task, the diameter of giant redwood trees, life span of the one-celled protist Euglena gracilis, and innumerable other natural and derived phenomena. This is because deviations from the mean for any continuously scaled variable whose occurrence is independent of other events distribute themselves normally.
This is the essence of randomness and the antithesis of theism.