Thanks for your patience as I emerge (hopefully) from post-surgical fog.
I figured I best start my own thread rather than gum up yours.
First. I had always supposed that a stochastic process was one whose value
was determined by two factors, a random factor AND it's last value. So the
next step in a random walk is "random" but the current value (it's present
position on a surface, say) is "the result of a stochastic process." From
your responses, and from a short rummage in Wikipedia, I still can't tell if
I am correct or not.
Now remember, you guys, my standard critique of your discourse is that you
confuse your models with the facts of nature. What is this "evolution" of
which you speak? Unless you tell me otherwise, I will assume you are
speaking of the messy biological process of which we are all a result: --
The alteration of the design of taxa over time. Hard to see any way in
which that actual process is evidently random. We have to dig deep into the
theory that EXPLAINS evolution to find anything that corresponds to the
vernacular notion of randomness. There is constraint and predictability all
over the place in the evolution I know. Even mutations are predictable. In
other words, the randomness of evolution is a creation of your imaginations
concerning the phenomenon, not an essential feature of the phenomenon,
So what kind of "evolution" are you guys talking about?
Yes, and forgive me for trolling, a bit. I am trying to wake myself up,
Nicholas S. Thompson
Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Biology
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