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It is mark of rationality, of human intelligence, to notice patterns in things that happen. Indeed, Steve Sailer says quite rightly that his forte is in Noticing patterns that smart liberals prefer to keep themselves from noticing.

But another mark of rationality is knowing when to ignore patterns and when to accept that things happen randomly. A lot of people have trouble with this, because it is the wisdom of humility, of recognizing that there are things you can't know, and most everyone is proud.

I'll talk about three levels of humility.

The first level is the Particular, in your daily life. I started thinking about this because I have 30 small bug bites on my ankle. What kind of bug caused them? Was it walking in Karst Farm Park? Was it mushroom hunting at Yellowood State Forest? Was it walking in my own backyard? Ticks? Chiggers? Mosquitoes? I don't know, and I don't think I could pin it down completely by research and thought, though I might be able to make some slight headway. But I don't feel like I have to.

Similarly, if I have a stomach ache, I think of that as part of life. It doesn't have to be something I ate. I'm told my grandmother always attributed it to something she ate, so by her 90's there weren't many foods left that she was willing to eat.

On a more serious level, if someone who never smoked gets lung cancer, I wouldn't inquire about what they ate, or who lived next door, or what additives were in their water. Some people just get lung cancer randomly.

The second level is the General, by looking at data. Engineers and physicists look at the stock market and try to figure out what equation is driving the pattern of prices. This is called "technical analysis". Efficient market theory says convincingly that they will fail: stock prices follow a random walk.

Economists used to try find equations to predict the business cycle, back in the 1930's. They don't anymore. It's hopeless. A lot of stuff is random.

Physicists have quantum theory, which says you can't pin down the position and speed of very small objects. Einstein famously said, "God does not play with dice," meaning that God would not have created a world that did not follow some nonstochastic equation. But in fact God might well have created a world that follows a nonstochastic equation, but one that we will never be able to find. People less intelligent but wiser than Einstein accept that.

The third level extends this to the Nonstochastic. Some things we can never know. A big part of the scholar's task is to figure out what those things are and to give up work on them. How to square the circle is one example. Eventually someone proved that that is impossible in Euclidean geometry. Finding the biggest prime number is another one. Euclid himself proved that was hopeless. Figuring out why God allows Evil is another one. That question is simply above our pay grade. Thomas Aquinas recognized the importance of figuring out what we can know, and how. He argued that it is impossible to deduce the Trinity using natural law, and only possible using Revelation--- that is, looking at what the Bible says. On the other hand, he argued that you can deduce the Existence of God using natural law, and he gave several proofs of it. There, he was wrong. I argue [ https://bit.ly/3vsAwhS in one of my papers] (unpublished as yet) that we can prove any proof you have of God's existence will fail, because either He does not exist, or he does exist but he doesn't want you to be able to prove it.

So, "a man's gotta know his limitations", as Dirty Harry said. Some stuff is just random.