writes Edward O. Wilson. Religion is not the only subject for which evolution provides a discordant view of the world. Geneticists are likely to provide ever greater detail about how individuals vary, how men and women have different interests and abilities, and how races differ. Scientists studying the genome may in time establish that many human motives, from mating behavior to traits of personality, are shaped by genetically based neural circuits, thus casting some doubt on the autonomy of human actions. But however discomforting such findings may be, to falter in scientific inquiry would be a retreat into darkness.

One of the most perplexing implications of Darwin's theory is that humans are the unplanned product of a blind and random process. Looking at our cousins, the chimpanzees, we seem so much more advanced than they, as if shaped for a higher purpose. This is in part an illusion our ancestors helped to create by eliminating all competing human species. The more deeply we understand chimpanzees, the more evident their similarities to people become. They are shaped from the identical clay, the gene pool of our common ancestor. Some 99% of their DNA

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