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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Altruism

Altruism Quotes (7 quotes)

... the cooperative forces are biologically the more important and vital. The balance between the cooperative and altruistic tendencies and those which are disoperative and egoistic is relatively close. Under many conditions the cooperative forces lose, In the long run, however, the group centered, more altruistic drives are slightly stronger. ... human altruistic drives are as firmly based on an animal ancestry as is man himself. Our tendencies toward goodness... are as innate as our tendencies toward intelligence; we could do well with more of both.
Where Angels Fear to Tread: A contribution from general sociology to human ethics, Science, vol 97, 1943, p.521
Science quotes on:  |  Cooperation (29)

Altruisme des sylviculteurs pouvant servir de devise à l'humanité en général : «Nous récoltons ce que nous n’avons pas semé. Nous semons ce que nous ne récolterons pas.»
The altruism of foresters can serve as a motto for humanity in general: “We reap what we have not sown. We sow what we do not reap.”
Cited by Bismarck, 28 Jan 1886. As given in Recueil d'Œuvres de Léo Errera: Botanique Générale (1908), 194. Google translation by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Forester (3)  |  Humanity (111)  |  Motto (23)  |  Reaping (4)  |  Sowing (5)

Animals have genes for altruism, and those genes have been selected in the evolution of many creatures because of the advantage they confer for the continuing survival of the species.
In Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony(1984), 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (48)  |  Animal (325)  |  Continuation (19)  |  Creature (142)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Gene (70)  |  Selection (28)  |  Species (198)  |  Survival (52)

But here I stop–short of any deterministic speculation that attributes specific behaviors to the possession of specific altruist or opportunist genes. Our genetic makeup permits a wide range of behaviors–from Ebenezer Scrooge before to Ebenezer Scrooge after. I do not believe that the miser hoards through opportunist genes or that the philanthropist gives because nature endowed him with more than the normal complement of altruist genes. Upbringing, culture, class, status, and all the intangibles that we call ‘free will,’ determine how we restrict our behaviors from the wide spectrum–extreme altruism to extreme selfishness–that our genes permit.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Attribute (26)  |  Behavior (54)  |  Belief (421)  |  Call (76)  |  Class (64)  |  Complement (3)  |  Culture (87)  |  Determine (49)  |  Deterministic (2)  |  Endow (10)  |  Extreme (41)  |  Free Will (11)  |  Gene (70)  |  Genetic (11)  |  Give (145)  |  Hoard (2)  |  Intangible (6)  |  Makeup (3)  |  Miser (3)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Normal (22)  |  Opportunist (3)  |  Permit (20)  |  Philanthropist (3)  |  Possession (37)  |  Range (44)  |  Restrict (9)  |  Selfishness (8)  |  Short (35)  |  Specific (32)  |  Spectrum (24)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Status (18)  |  Stop (60)  |  Upbringing (2)  |  Wide (21)

How can altruism, which by definition reduces personal fitness, possibly evolve by natural selection? The answer is kinship: if the genes causing the altruism are shared by two organisms because of common descent, and if the altruistic act by one organism increases the joint contribution of these genes to the next generation, the propensity to altruism will spread through the gene pool. This occurs even though the altruist makes less of a solitary contribution to the gene pool as the price of its altruistic act.
In Sociobiology (1975), 3-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (154)  |  Fitness (8)  |  Gene (70)  |  Gene Pool (2)  |  Generation (118)  |  Kin (6)  |  Natural Selection (85)  |  Organism (144)  |  Propensity (7)

If you look into their [chimpanzees] eyes, you know you’re looking into a thinking mind. They teach us that we are not the only beings with personalities, minds capable of rational thought, altruism and a sense of humor. That leads to new respect for other animals, respect for the environment and respect for all life.
From interview by Tamar Lewin, 'Wildlife to Tireless Crusader, See Jane Run', New York Times (20 Nov 2000), F35.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (325)  |  Capability (36)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Environment (152)  |  Eye (190)  |  Humor (5)  |  Life (993)  |  Looking (25)  |  Mind (576)  |  Personality (42)  |  Rational (44)  |  Respect (61)  |  Sense (258)  |  Thinking (223)  |  Thought (400)

Science is the flower of the altruism of the ages, by which nothing that lives “liveth for itself alone.” The recognition of facts and laws is the province of science.
From Presidential Address (5 Dec 1896) to the Biological Society of Washington, 'The Malarial Parasite and Other Pathogenic Protozoa', Popular Science Monthly (Mar 1897), 642.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (146)  |  Alone (75)  |  Fact (628)  |  Flower (67)  |  Law (425)  |  Life (993)  |  Nothing (302)  |  Province (11)  |  Recognition (64)  |  Science (1741)


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
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
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