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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index R > Category: Reversion

Reversion Quotes (3 quotes)

Evolution ever climbing after some ideal good,
And Reversion ever dragging Evolution in the mud.
'Locksley Hall Sixty Years After' (1886), collected in Alfred Tennyson and William James Rolfe (ed.) The Poetic and Dramatic Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1898), 522.
Science quotes on:  |  Climbing (4)  |  Dragging (2)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Good (255)  |  Ideal (57)  |  Mud (14)

The fertilized germ of one of the higher animals … is perhaps the most wonderful object in nature… . On the doctrine of reversion [atavism] … the germ becomes a far more marvelous object, for, besides the visible changes which it undergoes, we must believe that it is crowded with invisible characters … separated by hundreds or even thousands of generations from the present time: and these characters, like those written on paper with invisible ink, lie ready to be evolved whenever the organization is disturbed by certain known or unknown conditions.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (325)  |  Change (324)  |  Character (89)  |  Crowd (13)  |  Disturbed (2)  |  Doctrine (55)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Fertilize (2)  |  Generation (118)  |  Germ (27)  |  Ink (7)  |  Invisible (33)  |  Marvelous (14)  |  Organization (80)  |  Paper (55)  |  Present (119)  |  Separate (52)  |  Visible (24)  |  Wonderful (41)  |  Write (93)

The majority of evolutive movements are degenerative. Progressive cases are exceptional. Characters appear suddenly that have no meaning in the atavistic series. Evolution in no way shows a general tendency toward progress… . The only thing that could be accomplished by slow changes would be the accumulation of neutral characteristics without value for survival. Only important and sudden mutations can furnish the material which can be utilized by selection.
As quoted in Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 91. Please contact Webmaster if you know the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (29)  |  Appear (71)  |  Change (324)  |  Character (89)  |  Characteristic (72)  |  Degeneration (5)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Exception (33)  |  Furnish (20)  |  Important (135)  |  Majority (33)  |  Material (129)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Movement (70)  |  Mutation (26)  |  Natural Selection (85)  |  Neutral (7)  |  Progress (320)  |  Slow (39)  |  Sudden (23)  |  Survival (52)  |  Tendency (41)  |  Value (188)


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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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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