Random indicates an outcome that is uncertain. In many cases, processes are partially random meaning that possible outcomes have known probabilities. Nevertheless, the term random implies that a process is uncontrolled, chaotic and unstructured. While random processes may exist, this word tends to be overused to describe things that are in fact directed, controlled, structured or predictable. The following vocabulary can be used in place of random to accurately or creatively indicate the nature of processes and outcomes.
NotesHistorically, 19th century science portrayed the world as a clockwork of matter and energy that could be fully predicted with enough information. Modern science, particularly quantum mechanics, reveals a universe that at is inherently spontaneous and chaotic such that it can't be predicted with certainty. As such, seemingly spontaneous processes are commonly described as random by modern science. This can be modeled with probability theory, systems theory and chaos theory but can't be fully predicted.
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