Charles Darwin Quotes & Wallpapers

Charles Darwin
Total Quotes: 427


Wherever the European had trod, death seemed to pursue the aboriginal. Charles Darwin

The fact of evolution is the backbone of biology, and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an improved theory, is it then a science or faith? Charles Darwin

The several difficulties here discussed, namely our not finding in the successive formations infinitely numerous transitional links between the many species which now exist or have existed; the sudden manner in which whole groups of species appear in our European formations; the almost entire absence, as at present known, of fossiliferous formations beneath the Silurian strata, are all undoubtedly of the gravest nature. Charles Darwin

Your words have come true with a vengeance that I shd [should] be forestalled ... I never saw a more striking coincidence. If Wallace had my M.S. sketch written out in 1842 he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as Heads of my Chapters. Charles Darwin

I see no good reason why the views given this volume [The Origin of Species] should shock the religious feelings of any one. It is satisfactory, as showing how transient such impressions are, to remember that the greatest discovery ever made by man, namely, the law of attraction of gravity, was also attacked by Leibnitz, 'as subversive of natural, and inferentially of revealed, religion.' Charles Darwin

Nature will tell you a direct lie if she can. Charles Darwin

The man that created the theory of evolution by natural selection was thrown out by his Dad because he wanted him to be a doctor. GAWD, parents haven't changed much. Charles Darwin

When primeval man ?rst used ?int stones for any purpose, he would have accidentally splintered them, and would then have used the sharp fragments. From this step it would be a small one to break the ?ints on purpose and not a very wide step to fashion them rudely. Charles Darwin

It is a fatal fault to reason whilst observing, though so necessary beforehand and so useful afterwards. Charles Darwin

This fundamental subject of Natural Selection will be treated at some length in the fourth chapter; and we shall then see how Natural Selection almost inevitably causes much Extinction of the less improved forms of life and induces what I have called Divergence of Character. Charles Darwin

A language, like a species, when extinct, never ... reappears. Charles Darwin

A cell is a complex structure, with its investing membrane, nucleus, and nucleolus. Charles Darwin

If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week. Charles Darwin

I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection. Charles Darwin

It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine. Charles Darwin

I am not the least afraid to die Charles Darwin

We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin. Charles Darwin

What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel work of nature! Charles Darwin

After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision.? Charles Darwin

What wretched doings come from the ardor of fame; the love of truth alone would never make one man attack another bitterly. Charles Darwin

Physiological experiment on animals is justifiable for real investigation, but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity. Charles Darwin

I look at the natural geological record as a history of the world imperfectly kept and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines. Charles Darwin

Hence, a traveller should be a botanist, for in all views plants form the chief embellishment. Charles Darwin

Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral. Charles Darwin

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin

I suppose you are two fathoms deep in mathematics, and if you are, then God help you. For so am I, only with this difference: I stick fast in the mud at the bottom, and there I shall remain. Charles Darwin

Such simple instincts as bees making a beehive could be sufficient to overthrow my whole theory. Charles Darwin

Progress has been much more general than retrogression Charles Darwin

I ought, or I ought not, constitute the whole of morality. Charles Darwin

As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races. Charles Darwin

It is easy to specify the individual objects of admiration in these grand scenes; but it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, astonishment, and devotion, which fill and elevate the mind. Charles Darwin

The more I study Nature, the more I become impressed with ever-increasing force that the contrivances and beautiful adaptations slowly acquired through each part, occasionally varying in a slight degree, but in many ways, with the preservation of those variations which were beneficial to the organism under complex and ever-varying conditions of life, transcend in an incomparable manner the contrivances and adaptations which the most fertile imagination of man could invent. Charles Darwin

We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention and curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals. Charles Darwin

Each organic being is striving to increase in a geometrical ratio . . . each at some period of its life, during some season of the year, during each generation or at intervals, has to struggle for life and to suffer great destruction . . . The vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply. Charles Darwin

I can remember the very spot in the road, whilst in my carriage, when to my joy the solution occurred to me. Charles Darwin

Light may be shed on man and his origins. Charles Darwin

The most important factor in survival is neither intelligence nor strength but adaptability. Charles Darwin

Not one change of species into another is on record ... we cannot prove that a single species has been changed. Charles Darwin

We cannot fathom the marvelous complexity of an organic being; but on the hypothesis here advanced this complexity is much increased. Each living creature must be looked at as a microcosm-a little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars in heaven. Charles Darwin

Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds which follows from the advance of science. Charles Darwin

With highly civilised nations continued progress depends in a subordinate degree on natural selection; for such nations do not supplant and exterminate one another as do savage tribes. Charles Darwin

Now when naturalists observe a close agreement in numerous small details of habits, tastes and dispositions between two or more domestic races, or between nearly-allied natural forms, they use this fact as an argument that all are descended from a common progenitor who was thus endowed; and consequently that all should be classed under the same species. The same argument may be applied with much force to the races of man. Charles Darwin

I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men Charles Darwin

A republic cannot succeed, till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honour. Charles Darwin

I hate a Barnacle as no man ever did before, not even a Sailor in a slow-sailing ship. Charles Darwin

I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable. Charles Darwin

It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist and an evolutionist. ... I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. Charles Darwin

Sympathy beyond the confines of man, that is, humanity to the lower animals, seems to be one of the latest moral acquisitions. Charles Darwin

Nothing can be more hopeless than to attempt to explain this similarity of pattern in members of the same class, by utility or by the doctrine of final causes. Charles Darwin

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I confess, absurd in the highest degree...The difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection , though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered subversive of the theory. Charles Darwin

I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. Charles Darwin

The very essence of instinct is that it's followed independently of reason. Charles Darwin

The love of a dog for his master is notorious; in the agony of death he has been known to caress his master, and everyone has heard of the dog suffering under vivisection, who licked the hand of the operator; this man, unless he had a heart of stone, must have felt remorse to the last hour of his life. Charles Darwin

The most powerful natural species are those that adapt to environmental change without losing their fundamental identity which gives them their competitive advantage. Charles Darwin

How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children. Charles Darwin

People complain of the unequal distribution of wealth [but it is a far greater] injustice that any one man should have the power to write so many brilliant essays... There is no one who writes like [Thomas Huxley]. Charles Darwin

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. Charles Darwin

For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey, who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper; or from that old baboon, who, descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade from a crowd of astonished dogs-as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions. Charles Darwin

When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. Charles Darwin

Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws. Charles Darwin

Some few, & I am one, even wish to God, though at the loss of millions of lives, that the North would proclaim a crusade against Slavery. In the long run, a million horrid deaths would be amply repaid in the cause of humanity. ... Great God how I shd like to see that greatest curse on Earth Slavery abolished. Charles Darwin

The number of humble-bees in any district depends in a great degree on the number of field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests; and Mr. H. Newman, who has long attended to the habits of humble-bees, ... says "Near villages and small towns I have found the nests of humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere, which I attribute to the number of cats that destroy the mice." Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a feline animal in large numbers in a district might determine, through the intervention first of mice and then of bees, the frequency of certain flowers in that district! Charles Darwin

May we not suspect that the vague but very real fears of children, which are quite independent of experience, are the inherited effects of real dangers and abject superstitions during ancient savage times? Charles Darwin

From the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of higher animals, directly follows. Charles Darwin

Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval [tropical] forests, ... temples filled with the varied productions of the God of Nature. No one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body. Charles Darwin

I worked on true Baconian principles, and without any theory collected facts. Charles Darwin

I have been speculating last night what makes a man a discoverer of undiscovered things; and a most perplexing problem it is. Many men who are very clever - much cleverer than the discoverers - never originate anything. Charles Darwin

That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Which is more likely, that pain and evil are the result of an all-powerful and good God, or the product of uncaring natural forces? The presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection. Charles Darwin

I am aware that the conclusions arrived at in this work will be denounced by some as highly irreligious; but he who denounces them is bound to show why it is more irreligious to explain the origin of man as a distinct species by descent from some lower from, through the laws of variation and natural selection, than to explain the birth of the individual through the laws of ordinary reproduction. The birth both of the species and of the individual are equally parts of that grand sequence of events, which our minds refuse to accept as the result of blind chance. Charles Darwin

As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities. Charles Darwin



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