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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index G > Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes > Evolution

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(28 Aug 1749 - 22 Mar 1832)

German poet, zoologist, botanist and geologist who an intellectual with an interest writing on science, but was primarily famous for poetry and literature.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes on Evolution (6 quotes)

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Zweck sein selbst ist jegliches Tier.
Each animal is an end in itself.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
'Metamorphose der Tiere' (1806), in David Luke (ed.), Goethe (1964), 152.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Nature (1029)

Everything that comes into being seeks room for itself and desires duration: hence it drives something else from its place and shortens its duration.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Desire (101)  |  Drive (38)  |  Duration (9)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Natural Selection (79)  |  Place (111)  |  Room (29)  |  Seek (57)  |  Shorten (2)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (34)

Nature! … She creates needs because she loves action. Wondrous! that she produces all this action so easily. Every need is a benefit, swiftly satisfied, swiftly renewed.—Every fresh want is a new source of pleasure, but she soon reaches an equilibrium.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As quoted by T.H. Huxley, in Norman Lockyer (ed.), 'Nature: Aphorisms by Goethe', Nature (1870), 1, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Benefit (54)  |  Create (98)  |  Easily (16)  |  Equilibrium (16)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fresh (21)  |  Love (164)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  New (340)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Produce (63)  |  Renew (7)  |  Satisfied (14)  |  Source (71)  |  Swift (10)  |  Want (120)  |  Wondrous (7)

Nothing is more consonant with Nature than that she puts into operation in the smallest detail that which she intends as a whole.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Jeremy Naydler (ed.), Goethe On Science: An Anthology of Goethe’s Scientific Writings (1996), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Detail (65)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Nature (1029)

The Primal Plant is going be the strangest creature in the world, which Nature herself must envy me. With this model and the key to it, it will be possible to go on for ever inventing plants and know that their existence is logical; that is to say, if they do not actually exist, they could, for they are not the shadowy phantoms of a vain imagination, but possess an inner necessity and truth. The same law will be applicable to all other living organisms.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To Herder, 17 May 1787. Italian Journey (1816-17), trans. W. H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer (1970), 310-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (482)  |  Plant (173)

Whatever Nature undertakes, she can only accomplish it in a sequence. She never makes a leap. For example she could not produce a horse if it were not preceded by all the other animals on which she ascends to the horse’s structure as if on the rungs of a ladder. Thus every one thing exists for the sake of all things and all for the sake of one; for the one is of course the all as well. Nature, despite her seeming diversity, is always a unity, a whole; and thus, when she manifests herself in any part of that whole, the rest must serve as a basis for that particular manifestation, and the latter must have a relationship to the rest of the system.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Jeremy Naydler (ed.), Goethe On Science: An Anthology of Goethe's Scientific Writings (1996), 60
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (482)  |  Horse (40)  |  Nature (1029)


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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
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Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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