Jacques monod and chance and necessity

Domenico Ribatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Charles Darwin proposed the theory that evolution of live organisms is based on random variation and natural selection. Jacques Monod, in his classic book Chance and Necessity, published 45 years ago, presented his thesis that the biosphere does not contain a predictable class of objects or events, but constitutes a particular occurrence, compatible indeed with the first principles but not deducible from those principles. The biosphere is therefore essentially unpredictable. In his book, Monod expounded at length on the conflict between science and religion. He saw religion as a collection of primitive myths that had been blown to shreds by science. At every turn, Monod emphasized the role of chance in human existence, an idea that is antithetical to essentially every religious doctrine that places humans as some inevitable intention of a Creator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Evolution
  • History of science
  • Molecular biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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