Philosopher Mary Midgely pointed out the fatuousness of the “meme” hypothesis in painfully direct terms.
Such accounts invoke the abrupt appearance of key features of advanced eyes including the lens, cornea, and iris.
French writer Bernard de Fontenelle expressed the belief that there really was a man on the moon — and a whole civilisation to boot, if you please.
Wait. Barash’s hypothesis overlooks the fact that suffering is more than an alarm system. An alarm could be going off in an empty building.
One might, with Darwin, theorize that the development of the biosphere was simply down to that empirically unattested variant of chance, “natural selection.”