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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index O > Category: Optimal

Optimal Quotes (4 quotes)

Organisms ... are directed and limited by their past. They must remain imperfect in their form and function, and to that extent unpredictable since they are not optimal machines. We cannot know their future with certainty, if only because a myriad of quirky functional shifts lie within the capacity of any feature, however well adapted to a present role.
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Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (22)  |  Capacity (51)  |  Certainty (98)  |  Direct (51)  |  Extent (34)  |  Feature (36)  |  Form (223)  |  Function (100)  |  Functional (6)  |  Future (256)  |  Imperfect (11)  |  Know (394)  |  Lie (99)  |  Limit (97)  |  Machine (136)  |  Myriad (20)  |  Organism (144)  |  Past (127)  |  Present (119)  |  Quirky (2)  |  Remain (82)  |  Role (36)  |  Shift (26)  |  Unpredictable (10)

Our world is not an optimal place, fine tuned by omnipotent forces of selection. It is a quirky mass of imperfections, working well enough (often admirably); a jury-rigged set of adaptations built of curious parts made available by past histories in different contexts ... A world optimally adapted to current environments is a world without history, and a world without history might have been created as we find it. History matters; it confounds perfection and proves that current life transformed its own past.
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Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (22)  |  Adaptation (46)  |  Admirably (2)  |  Available (19)  |  Build (89)  |  Confound (9)  |  Context (18)  |  Create (114)  |  Curious (28)  |  Current (44)  |  Different (132)  |  Environment (152)  |  Find (297)  |  Fine (26)  |  Force (208)  |  History (314)  |  Imperfection (19)  |  Life (993)  |  Mass (67)  |  Matter (288)  |  Often (81)  |  Omnipotent (6)  |  Optimally (2)  |  Part (163)  |  Past (127)  |  Perfection (75)  |  Place (133)  |  Prove (69)  |  Quirky (2)  |  Selection (28)  |  Set (72)  |  Transform (22)  |  Tune (10)  |  Work (493)  |  World (746)

We do not inhabit a perfected world where natural selection ruthlessly scrutinizes all organic structures and then molds them for optimal utility. Organisms inherit a body form and a style of embryonic development; these impose constraint s upon future change and adaptation. In many cases, evolutionary pathways reflect inherited patterns more than current environmental demands. These inheritances constrain, but they also provide opportunity. A potentially minor genetic change ... entails a host of complex, nonadaptive consequences ... What ‘play’ would evolution have if each structure were built for a restricted purpose and could be used for nothing else? How could humans learn to write if our brain had not evolved for hunting, social cohesion, or whatever, and could not transcend the adaptive boundaries of its original purpose?
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Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (46)  |  Adaptive (3)  |  Body (206)  |  Boundary (30)  |  Brain (184)  |  Build (89)  |  Case (67)  |  Change (324)  |  Cohesion (5)  |  Complex (81)  |  Consequence (81)  |  Constrain (7)  |  Constraint (10)  |  Current (44)  |  Demand (55)  |  Development (231)  |  Embryonic (6)  |  Entail (4)  |  Environmental (13)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Form (223)  |  Future (256)  |  Genetic (11)  |  Host (10)  |  Human (472)  |  Hunt (13)  |  Impose (18)  |  Inhabit (15)  |  Inherit (14)  |  Inheritance (19)  |  Learn (193)  |  Minor (7)  |  Mold (26)  |  Natural Selection (85)  |  Nothing (302)  |  Opportunity (50)  |  Organic (49)  |  Organism (144)  |  Original (38)  |  Pathway (11)  |  Pattern (63)  |  Perfect (48)  |  Play (74)  |  Provide (49)  |  Purpose (145)  |  Reflect (20)  |  Restrict (9)  |  Scrutinize (4)  |  Social (95)  |  Structure (193)  |  Style (15)  |  Transcend (10)  |  Utility (23)  |  World (746)  |  Write (93)

When Bonner writes that ‘natural selection for optimal feeding is then presumed to be the cause of non-motility in all forms,’ I can’t help suspecting that some plants might do even better if they could walk from shade to sun–but the inherited constraints of design never permitted a trial of this intriguing option.
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Science quotes on:  |  Better (146)  |  Cause (242)  |  Constraint (10)  |  Design (99)  |  Feed (25)  |  Form (223)  |  Help (78)  |  Inherit (14)  |  Intriguing (2)  |  Natural Selection (85)  |  Option (8)  |  Permit (20)  |  Plant (182)  |  Presume (6)  |  Shade (22)  |  Sun (252)  |  Suspect (13)  |  Trial (24)  |  Walk (64)  |  Write (93)


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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
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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 -
Antoine Lavoisier
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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