Poincaré on chance

“A very small cause which escapes her notice determines a considerable effect that we cannot fail to see, and then we say the effect is due to chance.” — Henri Poincaré, Science and Method

This is something I have pointed out here repeatedly. When someone says that the cause or explanation for some event is “chance,” they have turned a word which, when properly used, should be understood to mean “we don’t know what caused that event,” into the name of a cause itself.  It is as though our ignorance of the true cause of some event is causing the event!

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