The story continues but doesn’t quite conclude. The contingencies and accidents continue to pile up. I never meant to go to Tory Island or to get mixed up in neonate cognition any more than I meant to write a book on kinship or meet a man called Tiger at the London Zoo or run a research foundation. We really do bob like Schopenhauer’s corks on an ocean of improbabilities. On the other hand, once launched, the fragile bark does develop, almost organically, a rudder and a direction. At least by this point in the interview I have found a steering oar, and by great good luck again, it turns out to be not only my personal rudder but the great director of life itself: natural selection. While it has no intrinsic goals—it is, like Hardy’s “Immanent Will,” essentially without purpose—it can, paradoxically, provide a firm telos for the individual searching for clues to the pattern of existence. For even if Life, like a life, is really a series of accidents, the accidents have causes and results, and these results are what we call organisms and species, and we can understand their causes and consequences without ever having to invoke purpose at all. This view was alarming to the Victorians, and provoked Tennyson and Arnold to their poetical philosophizing. Even Huxley, Darwin’s “bulldog,” could not face the awful consequences of a universe without purpose. Hardy and Nietzsche faced it, and we must face it. Bertrand Russell taught me to face it in “A Free Man’s Religion. “ But we can face it with the weapon of understanding: we may not know why we are here, but we can know how we are here, and why we are how we are. It is this mixture of accident and understanding that caused Darwin’s uncharacteristic outburst at the end of the Origin “There is a grandeur in this view of life…” For look at the wonders, including 188one’s own odd episode on earth, that accident provokes when married to the struggle to survive.