A thought occurred to me last night while watching a YouTube video about Thanos’ Snap: were the people who became dust selected at random? At first glance I always assumed so, but maybe not.
I’m not a mathematician, and questions of probability can confound even professors of mathematics.
I’ll lay out my reasoning and you tell me if I missed something in the comments.
We know Dr. Strange observed 14,000,605 outcomes of the conflict with Thanos, and in only one of those outcomes did it end satisfactorily for the Avengers in Endgame.
Dr. Strange voluntarily gives up the Time Stone, and perhaps performs a few other tasks we don’t know about, to set the course for the one favorable outcome.
Spoilers follow for Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Make sure you’ve seen these before reading further!
The question is: how did Dr. Strange know Tony Stark/Iron Man would not be dusted?
The simple answer: Dr. Strange watched the outcome and knew Tony survived after a certain chain of events occurred.
Right? Then the snap itself does not randomly select lifeforms to dust. If an event — Tony surviving The Snap — always follows a chain of previous events, then it is a determined event, and not random.
If the snap itself randomly selects, then each snap will select a different set of lifeforms to dust. Therefore, all Dr. Strange could know is there’s one chain of events that ends well for the Avengers, as long as Tony doesn’t get dusted.
Remember, based on the outcome of Avengers: Endgame, the only solution Dr. Strange saw was for Tony to be the one, and the ONLY one, to reverse The Snap.
What do you think?
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Aspiring author. Would like to finish his “Zombie Revelations” trilogy if he could break away for working on RunPee and the cottage he’s building for RunPee Mom.