It has sometimes been said that distance lends enchantment and light dispels charm, so that a state of ignorance is conducive to bliss. Whether this be true in any field of human thought is open to question, but in the wonders opened up by the scientific study of the universe it is not. Because Newton discovered the physical laws of nature that account for the movements of heavenly bodies and the fall of earthly things, the revolutions of the planets round the sun have lost none of their marvel; nor have plants and animals since Darwin showed that they have become what they arc by evolution, in accordance with the laws of variation and natural selection. The more the secrets of nature arc probed, the greater the wonder that they instil. They have yielded enough to enable science to make an intelligible picture of many natural events, and as the pieces of the giant jig-saw puzzle are slowly found and fitted into place, they are seen to conform to order. It is a matter of faith with scientists to believe in such order.
The picture that science constructs is intelligible at a particular level. It can explain how evolution has taken place but has no more pretension to answer the question why than to explain why there is a law of gravitation, a speed of light, or chemical elements with constant properties from end to end of the universe. Science is a system of knowledge based on observation and experiment, verifiable and repeatable, and not on the preferences or opinions of any man. It is not because Darwin concluded that evolution has occurred that scientists believe it, but because he discovered the evidence from which they can see for themselves that it has. Since evolution concerns the history of living beings of which man is one, it is not surprising that the evidence bearing on it based on scientific methods of study may conflict with views held on other grounds; It is instructive to recall the words of Sir John Pringle in answer to George III when the monarch remonstrated with him at the recommendation made by the Royal Society in favour of a type of lightning conductor devised by Benjamin Franklin, then a mutinous subject in open rebellion against his sovereign. 'Sire', said Sir John, 'I cannot reverse the laws and operations of nature', thereby establishing the superiority of scientific truth above any other consideration of reason.
The laws of nature have been found to be of universal application and arc held to represent fundamental truths. They are inscrutable and cannot be evaded, suspended, or ignored by a scientist without sacrifice of intellectual integrity, and they inspire wonder. It was neither a philosopher nor a theologian but a scientist, Albert Michelson, who wrote 'what can surpass in beauty the wonderful adaptations of nature's means to her ends and the never-failing rule of law and order which governs even the most apparently irregular and complicated of her manifestations'.
The paths of the heavenly bodies do not excite compassion in the hearts of men, but the manifestations of life do. As a result of his work, Darwin showed that in the evolution of animals nature has been amoral, fiendishly cruel, and opportunistic.  "What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel works of nature', he wrote; but this very fact enabled him to claim that there was some human comfort in the conclusion that these frightful events formed no part of the fulfillment of a detailed design. In the light of evolution by natural selection, 'we cease being astonished, however much we may deplore, that a group of animals should have been directly created to lay their eggs in the bowels or flesh of others - that some organisms should delight in cruelty - that animals should be led away by false instincts - that annually there should be an incalculable waste of eggs and pollen. From death, famine, rapine, and the concealed war of nature we can see that the highest good, which we can conceive, the creation of the higher animals has directly come.'
The problem of design never ceased to occupy Darwin's attention. The study of evolution has shown that on the level of plants and animals there has been no design. If there had, it must have been directed to the doom and extinction of the vast majority of species of living things that ever lived, in addition to the suffering that the laws of nature entail. In the state of perplexity induced by these inescapable facts, Darwin wrote, 'My theology is a simple muddle. I cannot look at the universe as the result of blind chance, yet I can see no evidence of beneficent design, or indeed of design of any kind, in the details'. If he is confronted with Darwin's dilemma, the scientist, with the humility always befitting a searcher after truth, can only say that he acknowledges the laws of nature and is not competent to express any opinion on why they are as they are.  The aim of science is that it does not claim to 'explain* evolution but shows how it works.