>>205937> I don't think you understand what a random process is. Just because evolution converges to an optimal solution does not mean that it is not random
Evolution isn’t a random process, just because something isn’t consciously chosen does not mean it is “random”. Stars don’t plan out their life cycles, but stellar evolution is not remotely random and is in fact highly determined by the starting mass of the new star.
The part of evolution that is random are genetic mutations and freak events that cause extinction and aren’t directly related to interspecific competition (i.e. the difference between placentals outcompeting marsupials and non-mammal predators on most continents vs an asteroid from the Kuiper Belt ending the Mesozoic).
If you actually were to study Earth’s life history you would see, no, evolution is not a random process. When a niche exists organisms will evolve to occupy that niche, for instance, plants moving towards land alongside fungi due to the lack of predation on land, likely higher rates of CO2 on land compared to the waters, higher available sunlight and of course less competition from other photosynthetic organisms in the oceans. With food on land, eventually animals adapted that could exploit the resource. Another example, the reason vertebrates got to be big while arthropods have to be small are a combination of our rigid parts being internal and thus not needing to undergo the immense mass and volume conversion fully body armor needs (huge insects would become too heavy to move or gain enough food) and the fact that we have a more efficient respiratory system that pulls air directly into the body compared to arthropods that effectively just absorb oxygen from their surroundings. None of these things are actually random. Maybe you could say who got what starting adaptations was random, what genetic mutations happened where was random, but what organisms actually evolved, thrived, and continued to adapt was not. It was not “random chance” that mammals became the dominant large animals after dinosaurs despite birds and reptiles presenting significant competition for those niches, it was similarly not random that placental mammals became the dominant mammal form on Earth nor random that carnivorans managed to outcompete other mammalian predators to become the dominant mammalian predators.Post too long. Click here to view the full text.