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Abraham's DiceChance and Providence in the Monotheistic Traditions$
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Karl W. Giberson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190277154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190277154.001.0001

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Random Numbers and God’s Nature

Random Numbers and God’s Nature

Chapter:
(p.59) 4 Random Numbers and God’s Nature
Source:
Abraham's Dice
Author(s):

James Bradley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190277154.003.0004

“Randomness,” despite being a common term, does not unfortunately have a common definition. Disciplines have strongly varying intuitions about its meaning. Researchers in a branch of theoretical computer science known as “algorithmic information theory” have recently formalized what it means for a single number (not a process or event) to be random; they have also proven that in a certain technical sense almost all numbers are random. Mathematical classical realism, embraced by Augustine and many others, asserts that numbers are uncreated ideas in the mind of God, used in creating the world. It follows then that randomness, far from posing a challenge to divine providence, is an aspect of God’s nature. This remarkable idea has implications for how we understand randomness in the physical world.

Keywords:   Augustine, Christian Platonism, random numbers, mathematical realism, randomness, irreducibility, martingales

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