Tree Of Life Quotes (10 quotes)
All living organisms are but leaves on the same tree of life. The various functions of plants and animals and their specialized organs are manifestations of the same living matter. This adapts itself to different jobs and circumstances, but operates on the same basic principles. Muscle contraction is only one of these adaptations. In principle it would not matter whether we studied nerve, kidney or muscle to understand the basic principles of life. In practice, however, it matters a great deal.
Art is the Tree of Life. Science is the Tree of Death.
As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications.
Every great anthropologic and paleontologic discovery fits into its proper place, enabling us gradually to fill out, one after another, the great branching lines of human ascent and to connect with the branches definite phases of industry and art. This gives us a double means of interpretation, archaeological and anatomical. While many branches and links in the chain remain to be discovered, we are now in a position to predict with great confidence not only what the various branches will be like but where they are most like to be found.
Extinction has only separated groups: it has by no means made them; for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished from other groups, as all would blend together by steps as fine as those between the finest existing varieties, nevertheless a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible.
Molecular genetics, our latest wonder, has taught us to spell out the connectivity of the tree of life in such palpable detail that we may say in plain words, This riddle of life has been solved.
Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.
Specialization has gotten out of hand. There are more branches in the tree of knowledge than there are in the tree of life. A petrologist studies rocks; a pedologist studies soils. The first one sieves the soil and throws away the rocks. The second one picks up the rocks and brushes off the soil. Out in the field, they bump into each other only like Laurel and Hardy, by accident, when they are both backing up.
The tree of life should perhaps be called the coral of life, base of branches dead; so that passages cannot be seenthis again offers contradiction to constant succession of germs in progress.
We are all but recent leaves on the same old tree of life and if this life has adapted itself to new functions and conditions, it uses the same old basic principles over and over again. There is no real difference between the grass and the man who mows it.