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Friday, March 28, 2008

article : The Theory of Evolution (2)

Evolution: Charles Darwin Charles Darwin Quotes
Theory of Evolution, Science, Humanity, Knowledge, God & Religion

In scientific investigations, it is permitted to invent any hypothesis and, if it explains various large and independent classes of facts, it rises to the rank of a well-grounded theory. (Charles Darwin)

How extremely stupid for me not to have thought of that!

(Thomas Huxley's first reflection after mastering, in 1859, the central idea of Darwin's Origin of Species)

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. (Charles Darwin, Introduction to The Descent of Man, 1871)

In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment. (Charles Darwin)

Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system- with all these exalted powers- Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin. (Charles Darwin)

Nothing before had ever made me thoroughly realise, though I had read various scientific books, that science consists in grouping facts so that general laws or conclusions may be drawn from them. (Charles Darwin)

I have no great quickness of apprehension or wit which is so remarkable in some clever men, for instance Huxley. (Charles Darwin)

We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.
.. The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient. (Charles Darwin)

.. doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelihood pursue. (Charles Darwin)

a scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections .. a mere heart of stone. (Charles Darwin)

I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions. (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)

Charles Darwin on God / Religion

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars. (Charles Darwin)

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

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)

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)

I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds, which follow[s] from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, and I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biased by the pain which it would give some members of my family, if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion. (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, The Origin of Species, quoted from John Stear, No Answers in Genesis)

What a book a Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low and horribly cruel works of nature. (Charles Darwin, quoted by Richard Dawkins in A Devil's Chaplain, 2004)

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, reminding his readers that they should always treat "obvious" truths with skepticism, in the context of the apparent absurdity of evolving a complex eye through a long series of gradual steps, in the famous passage added to later editions of the Origin of Species (1872, p. 134), quoted from Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002), chapter 1, "Defining and Revising the Structure of Evolutionary Theory," p. 1 (the bracketed translation is Gould's)

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 everyone takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path toward errors is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened. (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man)

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, Origin of Species p. 422)

About thirty years ago there was much talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorize; and I well remember someone saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a gravel-pit and count the pebbles and describe the colours. How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!
(Charles Darwin, letter to Henry Fawcett, who had defended Darwin before the British Association for the Advancement of Science against a critic who said Darwin's book was too theoretical and that he should have just "'put his facts before us and let them rest," quoted from Michael Shermer, "Colorful Pebbles and Darwin's Dictum: Science is an exquisite blend of data and theory," Scientific American, May, 2001)

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, Descent of Man p. 122)

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, Descent of Man p. 612)

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, Descent of Man p. 613)

But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created that a cat should play with mice. (Charles Darwin, source unknown)

Introduction - Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution - Darwin Quotes on Evolution - Evolution Articles - Links / Evolution - Top of Page

Charles Darwin The Theory of Evolution Evolution Articles
Quotes from 'The Question of Questions' by Thomas H Huxley, 'Evolution by Natural Selection and Buddhism' by Derek Freeman

The different branches of science combine to demonstrate that the universe in its entirety can be regarded as one gigantic process, a process of becoming, of attaining new levels of existence and organization, which can properly be called a genesis or an evolution. (Thomas Huxley)

.. no absolute structural line of demarcation .. can be drawn between the animal world and ourselves. (Thomas Huxley, 1863)

Abuse for six or seven years on the part of the public is of not the greatest consequence when one happens to be in the right and stands to one's guns. (Thomas Huxley)

Man has worked his way to the headship of the sentient world and has become the dominant animal that he is, by virtue of his success in the struggle for existence; and, in this struggle- as among other animals - it is self-assertion, the unscrupulous seizing upon all that can be grasped, the tenacious holding of all that can be kept, that have mattered. (Thomas Huxley)

In the Origin of Species, Darwin had not, in fact, discussed the bearing of Evolution theory on the human species, other than to remark that 'Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.' (Freeman)

Huxley was the first to construct, on the basis of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, a clear and logical image of biological man, and as such, is clearly the founder of evolutionary anthropology. .. For Huxley, the notion that evolution can provide a foundation to morals was 'an illusion'. (Freeman)

Introduction - Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution - Darwin Quotes on Evolution - Evolution Articles - Links / Evolution - Top of Page

Evolution Links: Charles Darwin - Online texts of all of Charles Darwin's work on the theory of evolution. - Traces evolutionary thought as it has developed over time, pausing to ponder the contributions of scientists and thinkers including Aristotle, Charles Darwin, Wallace and many others. - Intelligent summary of some of the problems of Darwinian Theory. On Punctuated Evolution by Stephen Jay Gould


Thomas Huxley, quoted by Robin Cooper in The Evolving Mind, Windhorse Publications 1996

On the Evolution of Nature & Culture
Human, Society, Ecology, Life, The Environment & Universe

'Darwinian Evolution is without metaphysical foundations. The Wave Structure of Matter explains what exists / what is evolving.' (Geoff Haselhurst on Metaphysics of Evolution, Interconnected Ecology of Matter in the Universe)
Metaphysics of Evolution: What is Matter & Life?
'Recent discoveries from Russia confirm that DNA / Genes are resonant structures which are subtly interconnected to their environment. i.e. Genetic material can be manipulated by waves with certain resonant frequencies.' (Haselhurst)
Evolutionary Biology: Wave Genetics
'I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection.' (Charles Darwin, on the Theory of Evolution)
Charles Darwin:
The Theory of Evolution
'Mans most disagreeable habits and idiosyncrasies, his deceit, his cowardice, his lack of reverence, are engendered by his incomplete adjustment to a complicated civilisation. It is the result of the conflict between our instincts and our culture.' (Sigmund Freud)
Evolution of Culture: Sociobiology & Custom
'Our brains are separate and independent enough from our genes to rebel against them ... we do so in a small way everytime we use contraception. There is no reason why we should not rebel in a large way too.' (Richard Dawkins)
Richard Dawkins: Famous Evolutionary Biologist
'History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.' (Jared Diamond, 1998)
Jared Diamond: Famous Biologist Ecologist
Hello, I am a Bilby (a cute endangered Australian animal). 'The world lives amid the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs perished 65 million years ago and most of this loss is caused by human activities.' (Worldwatch)
Endangered Animals Extinct Species List
'When we speak of Nature it is wrong to forget that we are ourselves a part of Nature. We ought to view ourselves with the same curiosity and openness with which we study trees, the sky or a thought, because we too are linked to the entire universe.' (Henri Matisse)
Ecology: Interconnection Life, Matter & Universe
'Life is fundamentally one. ... The deep ecology movement is the ecology movement which questions deeper. ..The adjective 'deep' stresses that we ask why and how, where others do not.' (Arne Naess)
Deep Ecology: Arne Naess: Unity Life Nature
'The basic pattern of life is a network. Whenever you see life, you see networks. The whole planet, what we can term 'Gaia' is a network of processes involving feedback tubes. Humans are part of the larger whole, Gaia.' (Fritjof Capra)
Gaia: Complex Ecology of Nature, Life on Earth
'We don't know nearly enough about the complexities of Nature. If we think we can eliminate natural ecosystems and substitute prosthetic devices, i.e. clean air or water with fusion energy - we are kidding ourselves.' (E.O Wilson)
End of Nature: Climate Change Global Warming
'There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers are kings in this world ... political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.' (Plato, Republic)
Utopia Cultural Evolution Truth Reality & Society

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