As observers, we assume random events created most of what we see in the universe. The cratering pattern in the Moon’s southern region appears as random as a jackal’s markings. And in the quantum world of the tiny, we only understand things probabilistically. This works splendidly. Yet “chance” is a fascinating process that’s often misunderstood.
A famous illustration of “probability” is the monkeys-and-typewriters thing. We’ve all heard it: Let a million monkeys type randomly on a million keyboards for a million years, and you’d get all the great works of literature. Is this true?Astronomy magazine subscribers can read the full column for free. Just make sure you’re registered with the website.