1. Science has the answers

What is the purpose of life? Why am I here? Why are we all here and what is the point of all this?

As a teenager, I often mulled over such questions as I struggled to make sense of the world we live in.

And why is there so much unfairness and inequality in this world? So much pain and suffering?

At the time the only ‘answers’ I could find to such questions came from religion, but digging deeper into such answers always left me dissatisfied. Each religion tells a completely different story and they all seem to require you to believe in things for which there seems to be no proof. Also, these stories are thousands of years old, which always made me wonder — have we not learned anything about these most meaningful questions since then?

I used to worry — “Will these questions ever really get answered? Wouldn’t it be sad if I live my entire life without knowing what its purpose was in the first place?”.

After years of being intellectually frustrated, I stumbled upon the truth about life and its purpose. I had almost given up on there being any answers when I found all the answers I needed and many more. These answers concluded what I thought would be a life-long quest and resolved my prolonged existential crisis. I knew then that at some point I had to share with others what I had learned so here we are.

This essay is for those who have at some point reflected on such questions but haven’t found satisfactory answers. In about an hour you will have the answers to these deep questions about life and its purpose and will come across insights about our existence that is sure to cause a radical paradigm shift in the way you see the world.

These answers have been out there for quite a while now. What kind of ‘answers’ are we talking about here? We are talking about answers that come from science, a discipline that preaches skepticism and demands proof.

Many believe that science doesn’t have answers to such questions about life and purpose. That is simply not true. You will see how the answers that science offers are incredibly powerful and make so much more sense than anything else out there. The problem so far has been that these answers are quite inaccessible to the layman as they are almost always written in overly academic language in books that span hundreds of pages. This is an attempt to solve that problem by writing a piece that is short and simplified.

Some of the biggest answers came in 1859 when Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution. But we only began to realise some much deeper implications of his theory in the 1990s, when a new field called ‘evolutionary psychology’ emerged. Evolutionary psychology is a discipline dedicated to understanding how our minds are shaped by evolution. When we look at our mind and our behaviour as products of evolution, you start seeing things in a whole new light.

But how much light can science really shed when it comes to the purpose of life? I would go so far as to say that science has answered all there is to answer about the purpose of life — we already know all there is to know when it comes to life’s purpose, and there isn’t anything left to know about why we are all here and what the purpose of life is.

To understand the purpose of life, we must begin by understanding the process that gave birth to all of life — evolution.


Perhaps the best way to give you context of where I’m coming from and what motivated this piece of writing would be to share with you an abridged (and slightly edited) version of a blog piece I wrote as a teenager titled ‘A confused 15-year old’:

“Is anyone listening? Does anyone care? Do we even matter? I am fed up of living such an ignorant life — a life I do not even know why I am living…

We are born on this Earth to suffer… If not, then why do we see so much unhappiness, so much sorrow? Can’t there be a world full of happiness? A world that has no sorrow, no tears, no repentance, no suffering.

If there was God, if there was somebody divine and supreme, wouldn’t there have been happiness and joy everywhere? Wouldn’t there be no sorrow, no suffering and no tears? If God was real then wouldn’t he be doing something? If there is someone really supreme and ultimate, isn’t he being the one who is causing all the discrimination. Why then are some talented and some not? Some intelligent and some not? Some lucky and some not? Why then am I born into a well-off family with all the luxuries of life, with so many opportunities around me, with so many options when there are millions born into families that can’t even afford to feed them? Is it their fault that they are born into such a family? What have they done to suffer so much?

Life is nothing but a curse not only to mankind but even to the small insects which get crushed under our shoes every odd second.

Are we supposed to fulfill some kind of destiny on Earth? If yes, then what is it? How are we going to know why we are born and why we have to die one certain day?

What is happiness? How do you feel happy? Am I leading a happy life?

I can go on and on about this but I know I have to give up. I can only hope these questions are answered some day. I can only hope that people start pondering on these questions so that they can realize that they are living life in complete ignorance and then and only then will they go hunting for the answers.

In these 15 years of life I have learnt one thing for sure and that is that life goes on…And that is exactly what is going to happen to me. My life will go on and probably none of these questions will be answered. I will lie on my deathbed in a few decades thinking how wonderfully I have wasted my life and foolishly I have played this confusing, incomprehensible game. But for now I am nothing but a confused fifteen year old.”

When I was 15, I was already too frustrated in my struggle to make sense of the world. There were way too many questions and not a single reasonable answer. Nobody around me seemed to know what was going on… There was little hope of ever finding out and I was already prepared to carry forward this ignorance all the way to my deathbed.

But only 3 years later, the truth about life and its purpose hit me like a brick in my face…