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Richard Dawkins on Pitiless Indifference

River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (Basic Books: 1995), p. 133.

The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousand of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so… In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.

One thought on “Richard Dawkins on Pitiless Indifference

  1. David Seedhouse says:

    Can someone explain how there can be ‘selfish genes’ in a totally indifferent universe? I’m sure there are explanations but I am not so sure they are easy.

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