20 February 2006
We were called to the deathbed of the eminent biologist, to witness her last words. We expected some kind of confession. Instead, she said she learned one lesson during her life: Natural selection favors a belief in creationism. People who buried their dead in prehistoric times probably did so out of a faith in some form of afterlife. Coincidentally, this practice protected them from the harm of living near rotting corpses. They flourished and reproduced, strengthening the presence of religion in the world. The biologist grabbed us, weakly, by the lapels. This knowledge, she said, fills me with unearthly strength.