The basis for Christian living—probabilities or certainty?

Much of human life seems to be predicated upon probabilities. A great deal of the research and conclusions in the physical sciences, medicine, and sociology depends on numbers and percentages. A phenomenon is observed, the probability of its recurrence is determined as statistical evidence is gathered, and a conclusion is reached. If the numbers seem statistically significant, a new theory is announced, a cure is heralded, or a certain pattern of behavior is classified as typical of a group or society. And these conclusions would then virtually mold human experience to fit the percentages.

An obvious difficulty with viewing life based on probabilities is that there are always exceptions to the general pattern. Ultimately there's very little security to an existence that in so many ways would seem to depend on the proverbial "roll of the dice." Many thinkers are looking for something better.

A recent report on investigations in quantum physics, for example, shows that some researchers are seriously questioning the role of probability in their own field of inquiry. Although still probing in the realm of matter, one physicist has asked (as a newspaper account puts it) "whether, on the scale of atoms, the world is controlled only by probabilities. Or ... is there something deterministic 'hidden underneath' the observed phenomena ...?" The New York Times, November 20, 1984 .

BIBLE NOTES Pullout Section
April 29, 1985

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