Charles Darwin Quotes & Wallpapers

Charles Darwin
Total Quotes: 427


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
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As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities. Charles Darwin
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Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. Charles Darwin
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Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal. Charles Darwin
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An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men. Charles Darwin
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We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act. Charles Darwin
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Blushing is the most peculiar and most human of all expressions. Charles Darwin
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Nevertheless so profound is our ignorance, and so high our presumption, that we marvel when we hear of the extinction of an organic being; and as we do not see the cause, we invoke cataclysms to desolate the world, or invent laws on the duration of the forms of life! Charles Darwin
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As natural selection acts by competition, it adapts the inhabitants of each country only in relation to the degree of perfection of their associates; so that we need feel no surprise at the inhabitants of any one country, although on the ordinary view supposed to have been specially created and adapted for that country, being beaten and supplanted by the naturalised productions from another land. Charles Darwin
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It is scarcely possible to doubt that the love of man has become instinctive in the dog. Charles Darwin
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So great is the economy of Nature, that most flowers which are fertilized by crepuscular or nocturnal insects emit their odor chiefly or exculsively in the evening. Charles Darwin
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If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case. Charles Darwin
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But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record. Charles Darwin
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But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? Charles Darwin
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How fleeting are the wishes and efforts of man! how short his time! and consequently how poor will his products be, compared with those accumulated by nature during whole geological periods. Can we wonder, then, that nature's productions should be far 'truer' in character than man's productions; that they should be infinitely better adapted to the most complex conditions of life, and should plainly bear the stamp of far higher workmanship? Charles Darwin
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To suppose that the eye could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree Charles Darwin
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It is impossible to concieve of this immense and wonderful universe as the result of blind chance or necessity. Charles Darwin
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Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life, or more difficult - at least I have found it so - than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind...We behold the face of nature bright with gladness...We do not see, or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects and seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life. Charles Darwin
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Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but at last was complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. Charles Darwin
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He who understands baboons would do more towards metaphysics than Locke. Charles Darwin
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It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present, which could have ever been present. But if (and oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, &c., present, that a proteine compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed. Charles Darwin
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I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations. Charles Darwin
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I liked the thought of being a country clergyman. Accordingly I read with care Pearson on the Creed and a few other books on divinity; and as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our Creed must be fully accepted. Charles Darwin
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Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music. Charles Darwin
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The most energetic workers I have encountered in my world travels are the vegetarian miners of Chile. Charles Darwin
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Man is more courageous, pugnacious, and energetic than woman, and has a more inventive genius. His brain is absolutely larger, butwhether or not proportionally to his larger body, has not, I believe, been fully ascertained. In woman the face is rounder; the jaws and the base of skull smaller; the outlines of the body rounder, in parts more prominent; and her pelvis is broader than in man; but this latter character may perhaps be considered rather as a primary than a secondary sexual character. She comes to maturity at an earlier age than man. Charles Darwin
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And hail their queen, fair regent of the night. Charles Darwin
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When the principles of breeding and of inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining by an easy method whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man. Charles Darwin
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Even the humblest mammal's strong sexual, parental, and social instincts give rise to 'do unto others as yourself' and 'love thy neighbor as thyself'. Charles Darwin
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I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine. Charles Darwin
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As natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress toward perfection. Charles Darwin
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The more efficient causes of progress seem to consist of a good education during youth whilst the brain is impressible, and of a high standard of excellence, inculcated by the ablest and best men, embodied in the laws, customs and traditions of the nation, and enforced by public opinion. Charles Darwin
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The more one thinks, the more one feels the hopeless immensity of man's ignorance. Charles Darwin
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Music was known and understood before words were spoken. Charles Darwin
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The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, &c., when playing together, like our own children. Even insects play together, as has been described by that excellent observer, P. Huber, who saw ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies. Charles Darwin
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I cannot persuade myself that a beneficient and omnipotent God would have designedly created...that a cat should play with mice. Charles Darwin
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... not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity. Charles Darwin
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The age-old and noble thought of 'I will lay down my life to save another,' is nothing more than cowardice. Charles Darwin
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It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another...we consider those, where the intellectual faculties most developed as the highest. - A bee doubtless would [use] ... instincts as a criteria. Charles Darwin
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But when on shore, & wandering in the sublime forests, surrounded by views more gorgeous than even Claude ever imagined, I enjoy a delight which none but those who have experienced it can understand. Charles Darwin
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I am not the least afraid to die. Charles Darwin
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The plow is one of the most ancient and most valuable of man's inventions; but long before he existed the land was in fact regularly plowed, and still continues to be thus plowed by earthworms. It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures. Charles Darwin
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Ultimately a highly complex sentiment, having its first origin in the social instincts, largely guided by the approbation of our fellow-men, ruled by reason, self-interest, and in later times by deep religious feelings, confirmed by instruction and habit, all combined, constitute our moral sense or conscience. Charles Darwin
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It's an awful stretcher to believe that a peacock's tail was thus formed but ... most people just don't get it - I must be a very bad explainer Charles Darwin
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It struck me that favourable variations would tend to be preserved and unfavourable ones tend to be destroyed Charles Darwin
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Language is an art, like brewing or baking.... It certainly is not a true instinct, for every language has to be learnt. Charles Darwin
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Animals manifestly enjoy excitement, and suffer from annul and may exhibit curiosity. Charles Darwin
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Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. Charles Darwin
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There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties...The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind. Charles Darwin
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Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends. Charles Darwin
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We thus learn that man is descended from a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in its habits, and an inhabitant of the Old World. Charles Darwin
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I have been speculating last night what makes a man a discoverer of undiscovered things. As far as I can conjecture the art consists in habitually searching for the causes and meaning of everything which occurs. Charles Darwin
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It is mere rubbish thinking, at present, of origin of life; one might as well think of origin of matter. Charles Darwin
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I am aware that the assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for his existence. The idea of a universal and beneficent Creator does not seem to arise in the mind of man, until he has been elevated by long-continued culture. Charles Darwin
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A celebrated author and divine has written to me that he has gradually learned to see that it is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that he created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that he required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of his laws. Charles Darwin
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Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history. Charles Darwin
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The formation of different languages and of distinct species and the proofs that both have been developed through a gradual process, are curiously parallel. Charles Darwin
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A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. Charles Darwin
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Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. Charles Darwin
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I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions. Charles Darwin
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It may be doubted that there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world as have these lowly organized creatures. Charles Darwin
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Attention, if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement. Charles Darwin
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It is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance. Charles Darwin
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The normal food of man is vegetable. Charles Darwin
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It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin
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I have just finished my sketch of my species theory. If as I believe that my theory is true & if it be accepted even by one competent judge, it will be a considerable step in science. I therefore write this, in case of my sudden death, as my most solemn & last request, which I am sure you will consider the same as if legally entered in my will, that you will devote 400 to its publication & further will yourself, or through Hensleigh [Wedgwood], take trouble in promoting it. Charles Darwin
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To my deep mortification my father once said to me, "You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family." Charles Darwin
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[Herschel and Humboldt] stirred up in me a burning zeal to add even the most humble contribution to the noble structure of Natural Science. No one or a dozen other books influenced me nearly so much as these two. I copied out from Humboldt long passages about Teneriffe and read them aloud on one of [my walking excursions]. Charles Darwin
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On seeing the marsupials in Australia for the first time and comparing them to placental mammals: "An unbeliever . . . might exclaim 'Surely two distinct Creators must have been at work'" Charles Darwin
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With mammals the male appears to win the female much more through the law of battle than through the display of his charms. Charles Darwin
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