Currently reading anything I can get my hands on to wrap my head around eighteenth-century French materialist philosophy for my thesis, I came across a passage where La Mettrie shares his thoughts on the origin of humans. He ponders:
“Perhaps he [man] was thrown by chance on a point of the earth’s surface without anyone being able to say how or why, but simply that he has to live and die, like mushrooms which appear from one day to the next.”
Julien Offray de la Mettrie, Machine Man, in (trans. and ed.) Thompson, A., Machine Man and Other Writings, Cambridge, 1996, p.23.