The authors explore some of the oldest and most fundamental of philosophical issues, such as the purposes of life, the destiny of mankind, and the fate of the universe. They find evolutionary patterns in the physics, chemistry, and biology of the universe as it is generally understood. These patterns include transitions between chaos and order and the diversification and specialization of species. The authors speculate that biology on earth is now specializing, transforming its environment, and setting the stage for the evolution of new species. Humans are a critical transition species — the first biological species on earth controlled by both genes and memes (ideas) and the first species to deliberately create its own successor species — pure meme machines. When these machines are endowed by humans with self-replication, they will proceed to diversify and eventually propagate widely throughout the universe. Ultimately and inadvertently, the search of these machines for energy for their own survival and propagation may reconstitute significant amounts of matter in the universe, thereby winding the universal clock.