The basic idea goes like this:
i am arguing that life is an open system that is getting energy from the sun.BUT i am also arguing that if you consider life as a WHOLE (without dividing it into species ,organisms, etc) ,you get a sum of just RANDOM chemical reactions.
The natural history of these reactions led to the forms we see today.Through our perspective, while we are studying this history, we see it as evolution. We see everywhere determinism, but its only because we are the results of all these.
I disagree with two of your statements:
"random chemical reactions"-- If I have several hundred alphabet blocks and I dump them on the floor until I get a recognizable word. I then 'dump' the same way to get that same word--it is not random because I am purposely selecting how I dump the blocks so that same word comes up again. Now occasionally I drink and I slightly muff the dumping of the blocks in such a way a new, more complex word, or even a sentence pops up. I say WOW! and I switch to the new method of dumping the blocks so I repeat the result.
This is not 'random' in the traditional sense since I purposely select for the outcome. Outcomes I don't like are not repeated. Same with selection pressures on these various random chemical reactions---selection favors combinations & reactions that can repeat themselves (ie: make sense) and discards what doesn't. Given enough selections over a long enough period of time and you can eventually get enough of the 'spilled block words' to form a coherent novel.
Determinism, by definition, states that given an intial set of circumstances than there is only one possible outcome. I guess this is correct if your outcome is 'life'. But any narrower than that and you off script.
Remember, selection pressures can only work on what spills out of random mistake events.
I would guess that any given mistake potential to be beneficial would be almost vanishingly small yet if you repeat billions of times that is enough to move you forward.
Pesse (Monkeys & typewriters & such) Mist