For the human experience, life in the natural world seems to require the application of meaning, in order to evoke purpose.
Prediction in a complex world is a chancy business. Every decision that a survival machine takes is a gamble, and it is the business of genes to program brains in advance so that on average they take decisions that pay off. The currency used in the casino of evolution is survival, strictly gene survival, but for many purposes individual survival is a reasonable approximation.
Oh, measure it all out! Acceptable levels of misery and suffering!' The cane swung down, thumped hard on the ground. 'Acceptable? Who the fuck says any level is acceptable? What sort of mind thinks that?'Karsa grinned, 'Why, a civilized one.''Indeed!' Shadowthrone turned to Cotillion. 'And you doubted this one!