On Desire: Why we want what we want P 144
…desire was a relative latecomer to our universe. Indeed, it was the last of the three great ‘miracles’ in cosmic history. The first miracle was the creation of the universe itself: that there should be something rather than nothing is miraculous. The second miracle was that some of the inanimate matter formed by the first miracle came to life. And the third great miracle was that some of those living things gained the ability to be motivated, to seek, and even to hope.
Before this last miracle, the universe was filled with activity, none of which was purposeful. Atoms spun, and light beams whizzed through space. Flowers opened and closed, single-celled animals replicated, and sponges fed. None of this activity, though, had a point. And yet somehow, in the midst of all this pointless activity, there arose collections of atoms capable of forming goals and striving toward them. At last, there was meaning in the universe — not meaning in the cosmic sense, perhaps, but meaning nonetheless.”