Sorry for the lack of blogging. It is final exams week around here, which means busy, busy, busy. It certainly has not been for lack of blog fodder. For example, have a look at this post from P.Z. Myers. Essential reading.
So how about another Bertrand Russell quote? Like the last one, this is from his book Religion and Science It is the most perfect statement I know of a view I have expressed imperfectly here on many occasions:
I come now to the last question in our discussion of Cosmic Purpose, namely is what has happened hitherto evidence of the good intentions of the universe? The alleged ground for believing this, as we have seen, is that the universe has produced US. I cannot deny it. But are we really so splendid as to justify such a long prologue? The philosophers lay stress on values: they say we think certain things good, and that since these things are good, we must be very good to think them so. But this is a circular argument. A being with other values might think ours so atrocious as to be proof that we are inspired by Satan. Is there not something a trifle absurd in the spectacle of human beings holding a mirror before themselves, and thinking what they behold so excellent as to prove that a Cosmic Purpose must have been aiming at it all along? Why, in any case, this glorification of Man? How about lions and tigers? They destroy fewer animal or human lives than we do and they are much more beautiful than we are. How about ants? They manage the Corporate State much better than an y Fascist. Would not a world of nightingales and larks and deer be better than our human world of cruelty and injustice and war? The believers in Cosmic Purpose make much of our supposed intelligence, but their writings make one doubt it. If I were granted omnipotence, and millions of years to experiment in, I should not think Man much to boast of as the final result of all my efforts.
Man, as a curious accident in a backwater, is intelligible: his mixtures of virtues and vices is such as might be expected to result from fortuitous origin. But only abysmal self-complacency can see in Man a reason which Omniscience could consider adequate as a motive for the Creator. The Copernican revolution will not have done its work until it has taught men more modesty than is to be found among those who think Man sufficient evidence of Cosmic Purpose.
All praise is superfluous.