Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.

— E. O. Wilson

The most passioned E. O. Wilson quotes that are little-known but priceless

Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.


If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.


You are capable of more than you know.

Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.


Look closely at nature. Every species is a masterpiece, exquisitely adapted to the particular environment in which it has survived. Who are we to destroy or even diminish biodiversity?


We exist in a bizarre combination of Stone Age emotions, medieval beliefs, and god-like technology.


You teach me, I forget. You show me, I remember. You involve me, I understand.


We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.

The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.


Destroying a tropical rainforest for profit is like burning all the paintings of the Louvre to cook dinner.


We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.


Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.

.. Eliminate one species, and another increases to take its place. Eliminate a great many species, and the local ecosystem starts to decay.


Competing is intense among humans, and within a group, selfish individuals always win. But in contests between groups, groups of altruists always beat groups of selfish individuals.


Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.


About E. O. Wilson

Quotes 247 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

We are not afraid of predators, we're transfixed by them, prone to weave stories and fables and chatter endlessly about them, because fascination creates preparedness, and preparedness, survival. In a deeply tribal way, we love our monsters.


There can be no purpose more enspiriting than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us.


The essence of humanity's spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another. Is there a way to erase the dilemma, to resolve the contradictions between the transcendentalist and the empiricist world views?


Blind faith, no matter how passionately expressed, will not suffice.

Science for its part will test relentlessly every assumption about the human condition.


We don't need to clear the 4 to 6 percent of the Earth's surface remaining in tropical rain forests, with most of the animal and plant species living there.


Known as the biosphere to scientists and as the creation to theologians, all of life together consists of a membrane around earth so thin that it cannot be seen edgewise from a satellite yet so prodigiously diverse that only a tiny fraction of species have been discovered and named.


So in my freshman year at the University of Alabama, learning the literature on evolution, what was known about it biologically, just gradually transformed me by taking me out of literalism and increasingly into a more secular, scientific view of the world.


Humanity, in the desperate attempt to fit 8 billion or more people on the planet and give them a higher standard of living, is at risk of pushing the rest of life off the globe.


Humanity is part of nature, a species that evolved among other species.

The more closely we identify ourselves with the rest of life, the more quickly we will be able to discover the sources of human sensibility and acquire the knowledge on which an enduring ethic, a sense of preferred direction, can be built.


The toxic mix of religion and tribalism has become so dangerous as to justify taking seriously the alternative view, that humanism based on science is the effective antidote, the light and the way at last placed before us.


The world depends on fungi, because they are major players in the cycling of materials and energy around the world.


There doesn't seem to be any other way of creating the next green revolution without GMOs.


When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.


It's the technique, I think, of writing a novel that is difficult for a nonfiction writer.


The search for knowledge is in our genes.

It was put there by our distant ancestors who spread across the world, and it's never going to be quenched.


There is no better high than discovery.


Let us see how high we can fly before the sun melts the wax in our wings.


Companies that are willing to share, to withhold in order to further the growth of the company, willing to try to get a better atmosphere through a demonstration of democratic principles, fairness and cooperation, a better product, those will win in the end.


I tend to believe that religious dogma is a consequence of evolution.


In the early stages of creation of both art and science, everything in the mind is a story.


We ought to recognize that religious strife is not the consequence of differences among people. It's about conflicts between creation stories.


Ants make up two-thirds of the biomass of all the insects.

There are millions of species of organisms and we know almost nothing about them.


True character arises from a deeper well than religion.


Even as empiricism is winning the mind, transcendentalism continues to win the heart.


Ants are the leading removers of dead creatures on the land.

And the rest of life is substantially dependent upon them.


The human race is not divided into two opposing camps of good and evil.

It is made up of those who are capable of learning and those who are incapable of doing so.


Jungles and grasslands are the logical destinations, and towns and farmland the labyrinths that people have imposed between them sometime in the past. I cherish the green enclaves accidentally left behind.


The biological evolutionary perception of life and of human qualities is radically different from that of traditional religion, whether it's Southern Baptist or Islam or any religion that believes in a supernatural supervalance over humanity.


[Bacteria are the] dark matter of the biological world [with 4 million mostly unknown species in a ton of soil].


Overall, the human brain is the most complex object known in the universe - known, that is, to itself.


Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies.

I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.


Well, let me tell you, ants are the dominant insects.

They make up as much as a quarter of the biomass of all insects in the world. They are the principal predators. They're the cemetery workers.


Only in the last moment in history has the delusion arisen that people can flourish apart from the rest of the living world.


Political ideology can corrupt the mind, and science.


People respect nonfiction but they read novels.


When you get into the whole field of exploring, probably 90 percent of the kinds of organisms, plants, animals and especially microorganisms and tiny invertebrate animals are unknown. Then you realize that we live on a relatively unexplored plan.


Science needs the intuition and metaphorical power of the arts, and the arts need the fresh blood of science ... Interpretation is the logical channel of consilient explanation between science and the arts. The arts ... also nourish our craving for the mystical.