It is one of the most famous quotes in all of science.

They are the words Einstein said in horror at the randomness of quantum mechanics, “Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the “old one.” I, at any rate, am convinced that (God) does not throw dice.”

Einstein didn’t believe in God in the traditional sense. He used the symbol more as shorthand framework from which to speak of the universe in terms that are meaningful in our ordinary human experience. His point seemed to be that he couldn’t imagine randomness in a universe he wanted to see as a mathematical matrix. But Einstein lost that debate. Now every honest thinker must adjust to the fact of randomness in our universe.

Perhaps it is helpful to look at dice themselves. Nothing controls the roll of the dice, but the opposite sides of the dice always add up to seven. In dice, as in cards, there are patterns that a gambler learns and over time knowing the patterns make all the difference. Perhaps the universe has such constants built into what appears as random. Perhaps wisdom consists less in holding onto the belief that every event in life is predetermined, and more in learning the patterns. Perhaps the universe is like a casino where each roll of the dice is random but, over time, the house always wins.

It is understandable that Einstein would have an initial difficulty in accepting randomness, but the discovery that we are not cosmic puppets can actually be quite thrilling. No one complains of randomness on their way to Las Vegas.