Why has life evolved? Why do living things grow, reproduce and heal? Why this striving to survive? Does the material world have a transcendent dimension? This richly-illustrated book asserts that biological materialism — the idea that the richness of the living world is fully explained by impersonal processes acting over vast periods of time — blinds us to the intensely mindful qualities of purpose and goal-centredness displayed by even the simplest living things. Challenging the materialist’s message of mindless, motiveless mechanicity, Life’s X Factor will intrigue both specialist and lay readers who want science to take more seriously those mysterious but unmistakably intentional attributes of living systems.