Charles Darwin Quotes & Wallpapers

Charles Darwin
Total Quotes: 427


When the sexes differ in beauty, in the power of singing, or in producing what I have called instrumental music, it is almost invariably the male which excels the female. Charles Darwin
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Thomson's views on the recent age of the world have been for some time one of my sorest troubles. Charles Darwin
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I shall always feel respect for every one who has written a book, let it be what it may, for I had no idea of the trouble which trying to write common English could cost one-And alas there yet remains the worst part of all correcting the press. Charles Darwin
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The theory which I would offer, is simply, that as the land with the attached reefs subsides very gradually from the action of subterranean causes, the coral-building polypi soon raise again their solid masses to the level of the water: but not so with the land; each inch lost is irreclaimably gone; as the whole gradually sinks, the water gains foot by foot on the shore, till the last and highest peak is finally submerged. Charles Darwin
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Describing laughter: The sound is produced by a deep inspiration followed by short, interrupted, spasmodic contractions of the chest, and especially the diaphragm... the mouth is open more or less widely, with the corners drawn much backwards, as well as a little upwards; and the upper lip is somewhat raised. Charles Darwin
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On the theory of natural selection we can clearly understand the full meaning of that old canon in natural history, "Natura non facit saltum." This canon, if we look only to the present inhabitants of the world, is not strictly correct, but if we include all those of past times, it must by my theory be strictly true. Charles Darwin
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When the views entertained in this volume on the origin of species, or when analogous views are generally admitted, we can dimly forsee that there will be a considerable revolution in natural history. Charles Darwin
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But Geology carries the day: it is like the pleasure of gambling, speculating, on first arriving, what the rocks may be; I often mentally cry out 3 to 1 Tertiary against primitive; but the latter have hitherto won all the bets. Charles Darwin
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...all nature is perverse & will not do as I wish it. Charles Darwin
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It has often and confidently been asserted, that man's origin can never be known: but 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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Origin of man now proved.-Metaphysics must flourish.-He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke. Charles Darwin
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Man with all his noble qualities... with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin. Charles Darwin
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Building a better mousetrap merely results in smarter mice. Charles Darwin
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Traveling ought also to teach him distrust; but at the same time he will discover, how many truly kind-hearted people there are, with whom he never before had, or ever again will have any further communication, who yet are ready to offer him the most disinterested assistance. Charles Darwin
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Every one must be struck with astonishment, when he first beholds one of these vast rings of coral-rock, often many leagues in diameter, here and there surmounted by a low verdant island with dazzling white shores, bathed on the outside by the foaming breakers of the ocean, and on the inside surrounding a calm expanse of water, which, from reflection, is of a bright but pale green color. Charles Darwin
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I have long discovered that geologists never read each other's works, and that the only object in writing a book is a proof of earnestness. Charles Darwin
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In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God ... I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind. Charles Darwin
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If man had not been his own classifier, he would never have thought of founding a separate order for his own reception. Charles Darwin
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The western nations of Europe, who now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors, and stand at the summit of civilization, owe little or none of their superiority to direct inheritance from the old Greeks, though they owe much to the written works of that wonderful people. Charles Darwin
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... probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. Charles Darwin
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On your life, underestimating the proclivities of finches is likely to lead to great internal hemorrhaging. Charles Darwin
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Sympathy will have been increased through natural selection Charles Darwin
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I was a young man with uninformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them. Charles Darwin
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The explanation of types of structure in classes - as resulting from the will of the Deity, to create animals on certain plans - is no explanation. It has not the character of a physical law and is therefore utterly useless. It foretells nothing because we know nothing of the will of the Deity, how it acts and whether constant or inconstant like that of man. Charles Darwin
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We fancied even that the bushes smelt unpleasantly. Charles Darwin
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It is really laughable to see what different ideas are prominent in various naturalists' minds, when they speak of 'species'; in some, resemblance is everything and descent of little weight-in some, resemblance seems to go for nothing, and Creation the reigning idea-in some, descent is the key,-in some, sterility an unfailing test, with others it is not worth a farthing. It all comes, I believe, from trying to define the undefinable. Charles Darwin
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The noble science of Geology loses glory from the extreme imperfection of the record. The crust of the earth with its embedded remains must not be looked at as a well-filled museum, but as a poor collection made at hazard and at rare intervals. Charles Darwin
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Any one whose disposition leads him to attach more weight to unexplained difficulties than to the explanation of facts will certainly reject my theory. Charles Darwin
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When it was first said that the sun stood still and world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei [the voice of the people is the voice of God], as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Charles Darwin
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How so many absurd rules of conduct, as well as so many absurd religious beliefs, have originated, we do not know; nor how it is that they have become, in all quarters of the world, so deeply impressed on the minds of men; but it is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, while the brain is impressionable, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason. Charles Darwin
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I am a firm believer, that without speculation there is no good and original observation. Charles Darwin
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Man himself cannot express love and humility by external signs, so plainly as does a dog, when with drooping ears, hanging lips, flexuous body, and wagging tail, he meets his beloved master. Charles Darwin
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My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain that alone on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine would not, I suppose, have thus suffered, and if I had to live my life over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept alive through use. Charles Darwin
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A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth. Charles Darwin
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Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits. Charles Darwin
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False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness. Charles Darwin
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A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone. Charles Darwin
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On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation. Charles Darwin
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If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. Charles Darwin
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I long to set foot where no man has trod before. Charles Darwin
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The man who walks with Henslow. Charles Darwin
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History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge, periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts them asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing grub, at intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another. Charles Darwin
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The lower animals, on the other hand, must have their bodily structure modified in order to survive under greatly changed conditions. They must be rendered stronger, or acquire more effective teeth or claws, in order to defend themselves from new enemies; or they must be reduced in size so as to escape detection and danger. When they migrate into a colder climate they must become clothed with thicker fur, or have their constitutions altered. If they fail to be thus modified, they will cease to exist. Charles Darwin
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There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery. Charles Darwin
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It has been a bitter mortification for me to digest the conclusion that the "race is for the strong" and that I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides others made in science. Charles Darwin
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Although I am fully convinced of the truth of Evolution, I by no means expect to convince experienced naturalists. But I look with confidence to the future naturalists, who will be able to view both sides with impartiality. Charles Darwin
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I never gave up Christianity until I was forty years of age. Charles Darwin
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Consequently, if my theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Silurian stratum was deposited, long periods elapsed, as long as, or probably far longer than, the whole interval from the Silurian age to the present day; and that during these vast, yet quite unknown, periods of time, the world swarmed with living creatures. To the question why we do not find records of these vast primordial periods, I can give no satisfactory answer. Charles Darwin
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As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form. Charles Darwin
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I often had to run very quickly to be on time, and from being a fleet runner was generally successful; but when in doubt I prayed earnestly to God to help me, and I well remember that I attributed my success to the prayers and not to my quick running, and marvelled how generally I was aided. Charles Darwin
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I am actually weary of telling people that I do not pretend to adduce [direct] evidence of one species changing into another, but I believe that this view is in the main correct, because so many phenomena can thus be grouped end explained. Charles Darwin
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There are several other sources of enjoyment in a long voyage, which are of a more reasonable nature. The map of the world ceases to be a blank; it becomes a picture full of the most varied and animated figures. Charles Darwin
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In however complex a manner this feeling may have originated, as it is one of high importance to all those animals which aid and defend one another, it will have been increased through natural selection; for those communities, which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members, would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring. Charles Darwin
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Seeing every height crowned with its crater, and the boundaries of most of the lava-streams still distinct, we are led to believe that within a period, geologically recent, the unbroken ocean was here spread out. Hence, both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact - that mystery of mysteries - the first appearance of new beings on this earth. Charles Darwin
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I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics, for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense. Charles Darwin
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we are always slow in admitting any great change of which we do not see the intermediate steps Charles Darwin
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The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for ?the existence of God. Charles Darwin
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I am not very skeptical... a good deal of skepticism in a scientific man is advisable to avoid much loss of time, but I have met not a few men, who... have often thus been deterred from experiments or observations which would have proven servicable. Charles Darwin
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Our ancestor was an animal which breathed water, had a swim-bladder, a great swimming tail, an imperfect skull & undoubtedly was an hermaphrodite! Here is a pleasant genealogy for mankind. Charles Darwin
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This preservation of favourable variations and the destruction of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest. Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection and would be left a fluctuating element. Charles Darwin
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There is no fundamental difference between humans and the higher mammalsin their mental faculties Charles Darwin
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Disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but at last it was complete. Charles Darwin
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...conscience looks backwards and judges past actions, inducing that kind of dissatisfaction, which if weak we call regret, and if severe remorse. Charles Darwin
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I never saw a more striking coincidence. If [Alfred Russel] 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
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Owing to this struggle for life, any variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relations to other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring. The offspring, also, will thus have a better chance of surviving. Charles Darwin
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Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. 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
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But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient. Charles Darwin
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It is a truly wonderful fact - the wonder of which we are apt to overlook from familiarity - that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other in group subordinate to group. Charles Darwin
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Even people who are' geniuses can outthink the rest of mankind if they develop certain thinking habits. Charles Darwin
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Who when examining in the cabinet of the entomologist the gay and exotic butterflies, and singular cicadas, will associate with these lifeless objects, the ceaseless harsh music of the latter, and the lazy flight of the former - the sure accompaniments of the still, glowing noonday of the tropics. Charles Darwin
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