I just pulled out my 1972 edition of Jacques Monod’s “classic” work, Chance and Necessity, subtitled A Philosophy for a Universe without Causality.
From the back cover:
The outstanding French biochemist, winner of the Nobel Prize, here explains to the layman his revolutionary approach to genetics and its far-reaching ethical and philosophical implications.
For some time now, the unpleasant idea has been dawning on mankind that it may owe its existence to nothing but a roll of some cosmological set of dice. But until recently hard proof has been missing and the larger philosophical implications have remained obscure. What Jacques Monod is here to say in his difficult but important book is that the proof is now available and the implications may necessitate a revolution in human thought.
Read Monod’s book — a foundational Darwinian text. Nowhere in it does he ever address probabilistic resources; he just assumes on faith that random mutation and natural selection can produce everything. And pay special attention to the final chapter: The Kingdom and the Darkness, in which he philosophizes about the “socialist ideal.”
An opening quote by Albert Camus at the beginning of the book gives away Monod’s agenda. I’ve read Camus (best known for The Stranger) and Camus’ philosophical compatriot, Jean-Paul Sartre (best known for Nausea), the famous French existentialists who were instrumental in promoting 20th century nihilism. I read them in the original French, in pursuit of my Masters degree in French language and literature.