hmmm, maybe you're right. i looked rather foolish the other day when i missed your point. so i'll google "natural selection chance".
first link is to actionbioscience.org. It's an interview with Douglas Futuyma, a biologist. (wiki: click here for link
Here's one of the questions:How do scientists interpret "chance," and does it play a role in natural selection?Futuyma
: Philosophers and scientists use "chance" only in the sense of unpredictability. Chance means essentially that you cannot predict the outcome of a particular event. For example, you cannot predict whether your next child will be a son or a daughter, even though you can specify the probability or likelihood. "Chance" does not mean lack of purpose or goal in science. If it did, we could say that absolutely everything in the natural world is by chance because we don't see any purpose or goal in storms, in ocean currents, or anything else. Evolution certainly does involve randomness; it does involve unpredictable chance. For example, the origin of new genetic variation by mutation is a process that involves a great deal of chance. Genetic drift, the process I referred to earlier, is a matter of chance.However, natural selection itself is the single process in evolution that is the antithesis of chance
. It is predictable. It says that, within a specific environmental context, one genotype will be better than another genotype in survival or reproduction for certain reasons having to do with the way its particular features relate to the environment or relate to other organisms within the population. That provides predictability and consistency. So, if you have different populations with the same opportunity for evolution, you would get the same outcome.
Do all palaeontologists really disagree on that? Ross on friends didn't seem to.