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By D. J. Bartholomew

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The chapter begins with an account of information theory (of the Shannon variety) written with the help of a colleague. The relevance of this is not entirely clear as information and probability are intimately linked. The work of Prigogine and Eigen,20 which treats evolutionary processes as random, is described with apparent approval yet without it being obvious how the accounts of these authors can be freed from the central role which chance plays in their work. We seem to be thrown back on the fundamental postulate of the author that there is no such thing as chance and, therefore, that there must be some other explanation for the fluctuations which determine the path of the system.

Since it is in this direction that I believe progress lies it will be necessary to anticipate several themes which will be developed more fully later. Hesse begins by making the point that Monod’s argument concerns the development of nature and not its origin. How was it that matter came into being in the first place with just the right properties to allow the possibility of life? As Paul Davies has more recently pointed out in The Accidental Universe,28 quite minor variations in the initial conditions of the universe would have been fatal to any prospect of life.

There was a time, presumably, before the emergence of life when these higher levels did not exist, when evolution was an undirected and haphazard business. ) deliberately plan a universe with life in it but that when, by chance, it happened to occur he capitalized on the fact by becoming involved in the direction of affairs from then on. Liberal Christian views We use this description for the views of those who accept the essentials of Monod’s scientific case but who attempt to reconcile it with Christian belief.

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