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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > Edward O. Wilson Quotes > Evolution

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Edward O. Wilson
(10 Jun 1929 - )

American biologist known for his study of ants. He is an active environmentalist.


Edward O. Wilson Quotes on Evolution (7 quotes)

>> Click for 40 Science Quotes by Edward O. Wilson

>> Click for Edward O. Wilson Quotes on | Biology | Diversity | Gene | Genetics | Knowledge | Organism | Population | Species |

Biology is a science of three dimensions. The first is the study of each species across all levels of biological organization, molecule to cell to organism to population to ecosystem. The second dimension is the diversity of all species in the biosphere. The third dimension is the history of each species in turn, comprising both its genetic evolution and the environmental change that drove the evolution. Biology, by growing in all three dimensions, is progressing toward unification and will continue to do so.
— Edward O. Wilson
In 'Systematics and the Future of Biology', Systematics and the Origin of Species: on Ernst Mayr's 100th anniversary, Volume 102, Issues 22-26 (2005), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Biosphere (10)  |  Cell (125)  |  Change (291)  |  Dimension (26)  |  Diversity (46)  |  Ecosystem (21)  |  Environment (138)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Genetics (98)  |  Growth (111)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Organism (126)  |  Organization (79)  |  Population (71)  |  Progress (317)  |  Species (181)  |  Study (331)  |  Unification (9)

Can the cultural evolution of higher ethical values gain a direction and momentum of its own and completely replace genetic evolution? I think not. The genes hold culture an a leash. The leash is very long, but inevitably values will be constrained in accordance with their effects in the human gene pool. The brain is a product of evolution. Human behaviour—like the deepest capacities for emotional response which drive and guide it—is the circuitous technique by which human genetic material has been and will be kept intact. Morality has no other demonstrable ultimate function.
— Edward O. Wilson
In On Human Nature (1978), 167. In William Andrew Rottschaefer, The Biology and Psychology of Moral Agency (1998), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  Culture (85)  |  Gene (68)

If history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth. The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology.
— Edward O. Wilson
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998, 1999), 286
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Biology (150)  |  Desire (101)  |  Evolution (482)  |  God (454)  |  History (302)  |  Human Mind (51)  |  Passion (54)  |  Science (1699)  |  Truth (750)

In the process of natural selection, then, any device that can insert a higher proportion of certain genes into subsequent generations will come to characterize the species.
— Edward O. Wilson
'The Morality of the Gene'.; Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975, 1980), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (482)  |  Gene (68)  |  Genetics (98)  |  Natural Selection (79)  |  Species (181)

Populations of bacteria live in the spumes of volcanic thermal vents on the ocean floor, multiplying in water above the boiling point. And far beneath Earth's surface, to a depth of 2 miles (3.2 km) or more, dwell the SLIMES (subsurface lithoautotrophic microbial ecosystems), unique assemblages of bacteria and fungi that occupy pores in the interlocking mineral grains of igneous rock and derive their energy from inorganic chemicals. The SLIMES are independent of the world above, so even if all of it were burned to a cinder, they would carry on and, given enough time, probably evolve new life-forms able to re-enter the world of air and sunlight.
— Edward O. Wilson
'Vanishing Before Our Eyes', Time (26 Apr 2000).
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Bacteria (32)  |  Cinder (5)  |  Energy (185)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fungus (4)  |  Grain (24)  |  Igneous (2)  |  Life (917)  |  Life-Form (4)  |  Microbe (17)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Population (71)  |  Pore (5)  |  Rock (107)  |  Slime (5)  |  Sunlight (14)  |  Volcano (36)

To be anthropocentric is to remain unaware of the limits of human nature, the significance of biological processes underlying human behavior, and the deeper meaning of long-term genetic evolution.
— Edward O. Wilson
Tanner Lecture on Human Values, University of Michigan, 'Comparative Social Theory' (30 Mar 1979).
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Genetics (98)  |  Human Behavior (4)  |  Human Nature (51)  |  Limit (86)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Process (201)  |  Remain (77)  |  Significance (60)  |  Unaware (3)  |  Underlying (14)

Why do we study insects? Because, together with man, hummingbirds and the bristlecone pine, they are among the great achievements of organic evolution.
— Edward O. Wilson
In The Insect Societies (1971), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Hummingbird (3)  |  Insect (57)  |  Organic (48)  |  Pine (9)  |  Study (331)


See also:
  • 10 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Wilson's birth.
  • Edward O. Wilson - “Burning a Renaissance Painting to Cook a Meal” illustrated quote - Medium 500px
  • Edward O. Wilson - “Burning a Renaissance Painting to Cook a Meal” illustrated quote - Large 800px
  • Naturalist, by Edward O. Wilson. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for Edward O. Wilson.

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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