"In the beginning there were no reasons; there were only causes. Nothing had a purpose, nothing had so much as a function; there was no teleology in the world at all. The explanation for this is simple: there was nothing that had interests. But after millennia there happened to emerge simple _replicators_. While _they_ had no inkling of their interests, and properly speaking had no interests, we, peering back from our godlike vantage point at their early days, can non-arbitrarily assign them certain interests - generated by their defining "interest" in self-replication."
(from: Daniel C. Dennett - Consciousness Explained)