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

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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 Knowledge (7 quotes)

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From the freedom to explore comes the joy of learning. From knowledge acquired by personal initiative arises the desire for more knowledge. And from mastery of the novel and beautiful world awaiting every child comes self-confidence.
— Edward O. Wilson
In The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (2010), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Arise (32)  |  Awaiting (2)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Child (189)  |  Desire (101)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Initiative (12)  |  Joy (61)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learning (174)  |  Mastery (20)  |  Novel (16)  |  Personal (49)  |  Self-Confidence (3)  |  World (667)

Hands-on experience at the critical time, not systematic knowledge, is what counts in the making of a naturalist. Better to be an untutored savage for a while, not to know the names or anatomical detail. Better to spend long stretches of time just searching and dreaming.
— Edward O. Wilson
In Naturalist (1994), 11-12.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Detail (65)  |  Dreaming (2)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Name (118)  |  Naturalist (49)  |  Savage (23)  |  Searching (5)

I had this experience at the age of eight. My parents gave me a microscope. I don’t recall why, but no matter. I then found my own little world, completely wild and unconstrained, no plastic, no teacher, no books, no anything predictable. At first I did not know the names of the water-drop denizens or what they were doing. But neither did the pioneer microscopists. Like them, I graduated to looking at butterfly scales and other miscellaneous objects. I never thought of what I was doing in such a way, but it was pure science. As true as could be of any child so engaged, I was kin to Leeuwenhoek, who said that his work “was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy, but chiefly from a craving after knowledge, which I notice resides in me more that most other men.”
— Edward O. Wilson
In The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (2010), 143-144.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Book (181)  |  Butterfly (19)  |  Child (189)  |  Complete (43)  |  Craving (5)  |  Drop (27)  |  Enjoyment (27)  |  Experience (268)  |  Find (248)  |  Graduation (3)  |  Kin (6)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (17)  |  Little (126)  |  Microscope (68)  |  Name (118)  |  Parent (39)  |  Pioneer (23)  |  Plastic (15)  |  Praise (17)  |  Predictability (5)  |  Pure Science (18)  |  Pursuit (55)  |  Reside (8)  |  Scale (49)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Unconstrained (2)  |  Water (244)  |  Wild (39)  |  Work (457)  |  World (667)

Let us see how high we can fly before the sun melts the wax in our wings.
About the ambitious pursuit of knowledge, alluding to Icarus of the Greek myth.
— Edward O. Wilson
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1999), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (25)  |  Knowledge (1128)

Preferring a search for objective reality over revelation is another way of satisfying religious hunger. It is an endeavor almost as old as civilization and intertwined with traditional religion, but it follows a very different course—a stoic’s creed, an acquired taste, a guidebook to adventure plotted across rough terrain. It aims to save the spirit, not by surrender but by liberation of the human mind. Its central tenet, as Einstein knew, is the unification of knowledge. When we have unified enough certain knowledge, we will understand who we are and why we are here. If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way.
— Edward O. Wilson
In Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (36)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Albert Einstein (535)  |  Failure (118)  |  Human Mind (51)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Objective (49)  |  Quest (24)  |  Search (85)  |  Terrain (2)  |  Unification (9)

The time has come to link ecology to economic and human development. When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all. What is happening to the rain forests of Madagascar and Brazil will affect us all.
— Edward O. Wilson
Quoted in Jamie Murphy and Andrea Dorfman, 'The Quiet Apocalypse,' Time (13 Oct 1986).
Science quotes on:  |  Ant (19)  |  Biology (150)  |  Bird (96)  |  Brazil (3)  |  Ecology (55)  |  Economics (30)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Rain Forest (21)  |  Tree (143)

We are compelled to drive toward total knowledge, right down to the levels of the neuron and the gene. When we have progressed enough to explain ourselves in these mechanistic terms...the result might be hard to accept.
— Edward O. Wilson
'Man: From Sociobiology to Sociology'. Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975, 1980), 301.
Science quotes on:  |  Gene (68)  |  Genetics (98)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Neuron (9)  |  Progress (317)


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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