Oceans of Opportunity

random chance vs determinism | Knowing, Part 1

'A New Life in the Sea' by Michael LombardiThis post is a continuation of the analysis of my marathon movie weekend. As I escaped the creepiness, yet remained perplexed by The Fourth Kind, I found myself more deeply enveloped by ‘Knowing‘. The film followed my alien themed movie marathon, but more subtly, and emphasized a focus on our perceptions of reality.

In the early part of the film, we meet Nicholas Cage’s character, a professor from MIT, who poses a challenge to his students to consider whether life is the product of random chance, or determinism. The ‘random chance’ perspective is a simple one to conceptualize, where as Cage stated, “shit happens”.  The alternate perspective, of ‘determinism’, is incredibly complex, though fundamentally treads on a cause and effect pattern throughout all existence and events. In ‘The Knowing’, the very roots of determinism are challenged, where the characters stumble upon (not by random chance) a body of knowledge which includes a peak into the future, and a scary one at that – the end of the world, with the saving graces of humanity in the hands of an extra-terrestrial race.

‘Knowing’, factually, what lies ahead as the result of deterministic fate is a hard thing to consider, as surely it would influence our immediate actions in the attempt to change the fateful events that lie ahead – much like in ‘Back to the Future‘. However in doing so, we are effectuating that which has been determined – leading to the confusion of who actually holds the cards in the grand game of life. Are we part of a cycle, where a highly evolved human race in the future is ensuring their future sustainability by steering the ins and outs here on Earth (today)? Or, were we simply set into motion, where cause and effects cascade pertually, putting on a  show for all of those who have the means to spearate from the material world? But, we must consider, when does this show end, nad what purpose did it them serve? If it makes your head spin, then you are thinking along the correct train of thought.

For all of recorded history, we have written records of prophecy. The question is of what deterministic predictions lead to the derivation of these prophecies. Were they just dreams of the mind who conveyed the prophecy, an analysis of historical or other events by the prophet, or a guided message sent from an intellectual state we can’t comprehend today to cast into motion a predetermined series of causes and effects with some anticipated outcome?

Now, the messages themselves – throughout written history – have manifested themselves in various forms for our modern analysis. And that takes us to the second part of our discussion about ‘Knowing’ – interpreting a the codex of all codices.

Stay tuned!


Determinism Defined Nature (1932), 129 (3250), 228-228 DOI: 10.1038/129228d0

Colwell, G. (1994). Freedom, determinism and circular reasoning Argumentation, 8 (3), 251-263 DOI: 10.1007/BF00711192

Kampen, N. (1991). Determinism and predictability Synthese, 89 (2), 273-281 DOI: 10.1007/BF00413908

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Reply

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *