My Buddy Chance

Many people call on his name or talk about him like they know him, but I know him and his name is Chance. Long ago his father Zeus sired him and his brother Nothing along with his sister Void. It took them many years to grow up and they all took different career paths. Nothing is very lazy and sits around all day being himself. Patiently, Void waits for others to fulfill her emptiness and when they approach she takes more of them then they intended to give her. It is my buddy Chance who really is the busy one and who really does all the work.

Upon the toil that no man knows, Chance brandished his mighty arm and beat the world into existence. Throughout the universe he rides the wings of the furious storm and makes sure that coin tosses are 50/50 heads and tails. He keeps the chance your airplane will crash at around 0.00001% and makes sure that when you play poker the royal flush you seek is only allowed to you at a 0.000154% probability. Yes, Chance is very busy, but yet he never seems to get tired.

All of us are very lucky that Chance exists and that he does so much work for us. We all can sleep well at night knowing that Chance keeps the universe working just right. Can you imagine if Chance didn’t exist, if he didn’t exercise power and influence over things? Why we all couldn’t trust that a coin toss would come up 50/50! Where would this universe have come from when it was nothing if Chance didn’t cause it to be?

I am glad we are all too ignorant to be able to study the coin toss more closely, to measure the pressure given at its birth, and consider the air density and friction it would cause on the coin, thereby slowing the rotation at a knowable rate, all the while precisely catching the coin at the right spot to have it come up heads. Why if we could do all this then we would prove Chance a liar and could definitely have the coin toss come up heads much more frequently than 50/50.

It is a good thing also that Chance isn’t just a describing term for mathematical considerations, but actually does the hard work of making sure those mathematical predictions come true! Where would our confidence be in taking the newest Cancer drug if Chance didn’t make sure it worked a certain amount of the time? I for one am glad that Chance nudges the coin in the air at just the right time to make sure it comes up 50/50, and that he gives the Cancer drugs the right amount of helpfulness to help the predicted number of patients.

I know some men doubt that Chance exists and would readily deny his obvious talents and dealings in the world and would love to relegate him to just a helpful term that denote mathematical probability, all the while claiming he actually does not work, doesn’t nudge the coin, didn’t create the Universe from nothing, and other such non-sense. To that absurdity I simply state my defense: if Chance doesn’t exist, then why do we call on his name and attribute so much work to his credit? Why not just blaspheme more and tell me Zeus is a myth, Nothing is really no thing, and that their sister Void really attracts no other things to her self? You sir are a heathen and a Samaritan! Without my buddy Chance watching my back I really couldn’t sleep at night and I don’t know how you do to when you are his enemy! Give me Chance or give me death!

Credits: Thanks to R.C. Sproul for helping me think about Chance.

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