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 will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.
A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct.
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.
But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.
I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone.
I think it inevitably follows, that as new species in the course of time are formed through natural selection, others will become rarer and rarer, and finally extinct. The forms which stand in closest competition with those undergoing modification and improvement will naturally suffer most.
It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life. Who can explain the what is the essence of the attraction of gravity?
Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends.
Multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.
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!
I love fools' experiments. I am always making them.
An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.
My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts.
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.
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.
The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.
How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children.
It is generally admitted that with woman the powers of intuition, of rapid perception and perhaps of imitation, are more strongly marked than in man but some, at least, of these faculties are characteristic of the lower races, and therefore of a pas
To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.
I fully subscribe to the judgement of those writers who maintain that of all the differences between man and the lower animal, the moral sense of conscience is by far the most important....It is the most noble of all the attributes of man.
The evolution of the human race will not be accomplished in the ten thousand years of tame animals, but in the million years of wild animals, because man is and will always be a wild animal.
A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.
A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone.
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.
A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life
I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.
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.
The most powerful natural species are those that adapt to environmental change without losing their fundamental identity which gives them their competitive advantage.
Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence.
More Charles Darwin Quotations (Based on Topics)
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More Charles Darwin Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Origin of Species
Louis Pasteur - Charles Darwin - William J. Mayo - Steven Chu - Sid Meier - Pierre Curie - John Dalton - Humphry Davy - Edward Jenner - Claude Levi-Strauss