I heard this morning an interview in which author and Harvard Professor of literature Stephen Greenblatt talked about Lucretius. I couldn't help but go online, listen to the interview again, and copy down Lucretius' words...
''The universe is made of an infinite number of atoms... moving randomly through space, like dust motes in a sunbeam, colliding, hooking together, forming complex structures, breaking apart again, in a ceaseless process of creation and destruction. There is no escape from this process...There is no master plan, no divine architect, no intelligent design.
All things, including the species to which you belong, have evolved over vast stretches of time. The evolution is random, though in the case of living organisms, it involves a principle of natural selection. That is, species that are suited to survive and to reproduce successfully, endure, at least for a time; those that are not so well suited, die off quickly. But nothing — from our own species, to the planet on which we live, to the sun that lights our day — lasts forever. Only the atoms are immortal...''
Lucretius, ca 99B.C.- 55 B.C. ''On the Nature of Things.''
... as well as Glenblatt's words... 
... Lucretius ''describes a universe with no author, and no purpose... but of such exquisite complexity... that even if there is no heaven, and no loving god, no design, no reason for us to be here... as painful as that may seem... look around, what is here... it's more than good, it's amazing, and it's beautiful... take this news not as pain, but as pleasure... not as disillusionment, but as wonder...''
Stephen Greenblatt's new book is The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (W.W. Norton, 2011).

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