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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > David L. Lack Quotes

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David L. Lack
(16 Jul 1910 - 12 Mar 1973)

British ornithologist and author known for his classic The Life of the Robin (1943), based on scientific observations beginning while teaching at Dartington School. He wrote the influential study, Darwin’s Finches (1947), based on systematic research of museum specimens and five months on the Galαpagos Islands.


Science Quotes by David L. Lack (3 quotes)

On consideration, it is not surprising that Darwin's finches should recognize their own kind primarily by beak characters. The beak is the only prominent specific distinction, and it features conspicuously both in attacking behaviour, when the birds face each other and grip beaks, and also in courtship, when food is passed from the beak of the male to the beak of the female. Hence though the beak differences are primarily correlated with differences in food, secondarily they serve as specific recognition marks, and the birds have evolved behaviour patterns to this end.
— David L. Lack
Darwin's Finches (1947), 54.
Science quotes on:  |  Beak (4)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Bird (149)  |  Both (493)  |  Character (243)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Difference (337)  |  Distinction (72)  |  End (590)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Face (212)  |  Female (50)  |  Finch (4)  |  Food (199)  |  Kind (557)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pass (238)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Specific (95)

Rumour has it that the gardens of natural history museums are used for surreptitious burial of those intermediate forms between species which might disturb the orderly classifications of the taxonomist.
— David L. Lack
Darwin's Finches (1947), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Burial (7)  |  Classification (97)  |  Disturb (28)  |  Form (959)  |  Garden (60)  |  History (673)  |  Intermediate (37)  |  Museum (31)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural History (70)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Rumour (2)  |  Species (401)  |  Surreptitious (2)

The fundamental problem in the origin of species is not the origin of differences in appearance, since these arise at the level of the geographical race, but the origin of genetic segregation. The test of species-formation is whether, when two forms meet, they interbreed and merge, or whether they keep distinct.
— David L. Lack
Darwin's Finches (1947), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (140)  |  Arise (158)  |  Breed (24)  |  Difference (337)  |  Distinct (97)  |  Form (959)  |  Formation (96)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Origin (239)  |  Origin Of Species (42)  |  Problem (676)  |  Race (268)  |  Segregation (2)  |  Species (401)  |  Test (211)  |  Two (937)


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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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