Human Intellect Quotes (4 quotes)
In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the haughtiest and most mendacious minute of world historyyet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die. ... There have been eternities when [human intellect] did not exist; and when it is done for again, nothing will have happened.
It is a remarkable illustration of the ranging power of the human intellect that a principle first detected in connection with the clumsy puffing of the early steam engines should be found to apply to the whole world, and possibly, even to the whole cosmic universe.
There is no doubt that human survival will continue to depend more and more on human intellect and technology. It is idle to argue whether this is good or bad. The point of no return was passed long ago, before anyone knew it was happening.
Wallaces error on human intellect arose from the in adequacy of his rigid selectionism, not from a failure to apply it. And his argument repays our study today, since its flaw persists as the weak link in many of the most modern evolutionary speculations of our current literature. For Wallaces rigid selectionism is much closer than Darwins pluralism to the attitude embodied in our favored theory today, which, ironically in this context, goes by the name of Neo-Darwinism.