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Walter Scott

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O! many a shaft at random sent
Finds mark the archer little meant!
And many a word, at random spoken,
May soothe or wound a heart that's broken!
The Lord of the Isles, Canto V, st. 18 (1815).

Walter Scott

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Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin. For, as has been pointed out several times, there is no such thing as a random number there are only methods to produce random numbers, and a strict arithmetic procedure of course is not such a method.

John von Neumann

Mutation is random; natural selection is the very opposite of random.

Richard Dawkins

It was the random element that baffled investigation. Even that was a matter of semantics. For Holloway was convince that it wasn't really random. There just weren't enough known factors. No adult could work the abacus, for example. And Holloway thoughtfully refrained from letting a child play with the thing.
The crystal cube was similarly cryptic. It showed a mad pattern of colors, which sometimes moved. In this it resembled a kaleidoscope. But the shifting of balance and gravity didn't affect it. Again the random factor.
Or, rather, the unknown. The x pattern.

Lewis Padgett

Life cannot have had a random beginning ... The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 1040,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.

Fred Hoyle

There is no effective difference between guessing a variable that is not random, but for which information is partial or deficient (...), and a random one (...). In this sense, guessing (what I don't know, but what someone else may know) and predicting (what has not taken place yet) are the same thing.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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