Quotes on Evolution
"There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."

~ Charles Darwin from On the Origin of Species
"Still, evolution never rests. It's happening right now, in weed patches all over the planet. I'm not presuming to alert you to the end of the world, the end of evolution, or the end of nature. What I've tried to describe here is not an absolute end but a very deep dip, a repeat point within a long, violent cycle. Species die, species arise. The relative pace of those two processes is what matters. Even rats and cockroaches are capable--given the requisite conditions; namely, habitat diversity and time--of speciation. And speciation brings new diversity. So we might reasonably imagine an Earth upon which, 10 million years after the extinction (or, alternatively, the drastic transformation) of Homo sapiens, wondrous forests are again filled with wondrous beasts. That's the good news."

~ David Quammen from "Planet of Weeds"
"I think there is a serenity that comes from understanding, from being able to solve a mystery. And the bigger the mystery, the greater the serenity. When you think about the diversity, complexity, and beauty of life - the elegance of the apparent design of life - it adds up to a colossal mystery. And the solution, Darwin's solution, is quite remarkably simple. My serenity comes from the satisfaction of seeing a really, really neat, elegant explanation that can explain so much."

~ Richard Dawkins
"What do you think about a pink unicorn?"

~ Richard Dawkins, in reference to our ability to disprove the supernatural
Other Quotes I Enjoy
"Thus in idleness, with such thoughts for company, I spent my time, glad that no human being, savage or civilized, was with me."

~ William H. Hudson from Green Mansions
"People come into our lives and then they go out again. The entropy law, as applied to human relations. Sometimes in their passing, though, they register an unimagined and far-reaching influence... There is no scientific way to discern such effects, but memory believes before knowing remembers. And the past lives coiled within the present, beyond sight, beyond revocation, lifting us up or weighting us down, sealed away – almost completely – behind walls of pearl."

~ David Quammen from "The Siphuncle"

"They flow like spilled syrup across the ruler-straight lines of binary definitude."

~ David Quammen from "Either or Neither"
writing about slime molds,
but capturing the core of many people and creatures that are wonderfully impossible to categorize

"...a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such."

~ Aldo Leopold from A Sand County Almanac
"So, although no one is likely to get into New Zealand again accompanied by a live red deer, we have to accept the proposition that invasions of animal and plants and their parasites - and our parasites - will continue as far as the next Millennium and probably for thousands of years beyond it."

"The real thing is that we are living in a period of the world's history when the mingling of thousands of kinds of organisms from different parts of the world is setting up terrific dislocations in nature. "

~ Charles Elton on invasive species in 1958
"But the love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need - if only we had the eyes to see."

~ Edward Abbey from Desert Solitaire
"At its fullest and best, education prepares us to be with others and apart, to enjoy the life of the mind, to survive and prosper, to bring up new generations, to act with integrity and conscience, to pursue useful and interesting work, and to participate in civic and cultural action and thought."

~ Diana Senechal
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

~ J.R.R. Tolkien from The Lord of the Rings
"'Taters, precious."

~Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers movie



Last Updated 7-12-12 | Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife