There’s no such thing as randomness. Random is an abstract concept that we use when the cause of an event is either unknown, or so complex as to be practically unpredictable. So we use the concept of randomness as a placeholder to allow us to work around these uncertainties.

But nothing in the natural universe is truly random, because everything is predetermined by some other thing.

This concept of randomness has made its way into science and politics, and it misleads people to make false assumptions about the world.

Take the fairly common belief that drinking a glass of red wine with dinner a few times per week lowers the risk of heart disease. This sort of claim is made on the basis of correlations showing up in data.  A significant number of people who drink just a small amount of wine also have lower incidence of heart disease. But these correlations are interpreted with the assumption that the traits of the people who have been studied are all otherwise randomly assorted—that the data is comprised of poor and rich people, fat and thin, tall and short, northern and southern, etc. It’s far more likely that the sort of person who only drinks a small amount of wine with meals, is the sort of person with a lifestyle that’s conducive to a moderately healthier heart.

People are not randomly scattered throughout society—we are clustered. We cluster based on social class, on religion, on occupation, on gender, etc., and all of these factors tend to make us more similar to our cohorts than we realise.

A lot more clarity can be brought to scientific and socio-political discussion if we understand that nothing is truly random, especially not people.