110+ E. O. Wilson Quotes On Nature, Democracy And Biophilia

Top 10 E. O. Wilson Quotes (BEST)

  1. Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.
  2. Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
  3. 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?
  4. We exist in a bizarre combination of Stone Age emotions, medieval beliefs, and god-like technology.
  5. You teach me, I forget. You show me, I remember. You involve me, I understand.
  6. Destroying a tropical rainforest for profit is like burning all the paintings of the Louvre to cook dinner.
  7. We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.
  8. 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.
  9. Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.
  10. There can be no purpose more enspiriting than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us.

E. O. Wilson Short Quotes

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  • There doesn't seem to be any other way of creating the next green revolution without GMOs.
  • It's the technique, I think, of writing a novel that is difficult for a nonfiction writer.
  • There is no better high than discovery.
  • I tend to believe that religious dogma is a consequence of evolution.
  • True character arises from a deeper well than religion.
  • To genetic evolution, the human lineage has added the parallel track of cultural evolution.
  • Theology made no provision for evolution.
  • The education of women is the best way to save the environment.
  • Science and technology are what we can do; morality is what we agree we should or should not do.
  • I grew up as a Southern Baptist with strict adherence to the Bible, which I read as a youngster.

E. O. Wilson Quotes On Nature

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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. — E. O. Wilson

Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius. — E. O. Wilson

The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us. — E. O. Wilson

Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us. Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become. — E. O. Wilson

I had in mind a message, although I hope it doesn't intrude too badly, persuading Americans, and especially Southerners, of the critical importance of land and our vanishing natural environment and wildlife. — E. O. Wilson

I doubt that most people with short-term thinking love the natural world enough to save it. — E. O. Wilson

[T]he true natural sciences lock together in theory and evidence to form the ineradicable technical base of modern civilization. The pseudosciences satisfy personal psychological needs... but lack the ideas or the means to contribute to the technical base. — E. O. Wilson

Evolution by natural selection is not an idle hypothesis. The genetic variation on which selection acts is well understood in principle all the way down to the molecular level. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

Ninety-nine percent of all species that ever lived are now extinct. — E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson Quotes On Ants

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When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

Ants are the leading removers of dead creatures on the land. And the rest of life is substantially dependent upon them. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

The ant world is a tumult, a noisy world of pheromones being passed back and forth. — E. O. Wilson

Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans. — E. O. Wilson

I was a senior in high school when I decided I wanted to work on ants as a career. I just fell in love with them, and have never regretted it. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

An individual ant, even though it has a brain about a millionth of a size of a human being's, can learn a maze; the kind we use is a simple rat maze in a laboratory. They can learn it about one-half as fast as a rat. — E. O. Wilson

But once the ants and termites jumped the high barrier that prevents the vast variety of evolving animal groups from becoming fully social, they dominated the world. — E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson Quotes On World

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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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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? — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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

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. — E. O. Wilson

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

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

It's always been a dream of mine, of exploring the living world, of classifying all the species and finding out what makes up the biosphere. — E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson Quotes On Science

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Blind faith, no matter how passionately expressed, will not suffice. Science for its part will test relentlessly every assumption about the human condition. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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

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

Political ideology can corrupt the mind, and science. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

By any reasonable measure of achievement, the faith of the Enlightenment thinkers in science was justified. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

If someone could actually prove scientifically that there is such a thing as a supernatural force, it would be one of the greatest discoveries in the history of science. So the notion that somehow scientists are resisting it is ludicrous. — E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson Quotes On Years

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The historical circumstance of interest is that the tropical rain forests have persisted over broad parts of the continents since their origins as stronghold of the flowering plants 150 million years ago. — E. O. Wilson

[The natural world cleans water, pollinates plants and provides pharmaceuticals, among many other gifts.] Thirty trillion dollars worth of services, scot-free to humanity, every year. — E. O. Wilson

So, the ant way of life is very ancient and very successful. As far as human beings are concerned, we've been around for only one million years--too soon be sure. — E. O. Wilson

This is the assembly of life that took a billion years to evolve. It has eaten the storms - folded them into its genes - and created the world that created us. It holds the world steady. — E. O. Wilson

Thirty trillion dollars worth of services, scot-free to humanity, every year. — E. O. Wilson

Ants are the dominant insects of the world, and they've had a great impact on habitats almost all over the land surface of the world for more than 50-million years. — E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson Quotes On People

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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. — E. O. Wilson

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

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. — E. O. Wilson

People respect nonfiction but they read novels. — E. O. Wilson

If everyone agreed to become vegetarian, leaving little or nothing for livestock, the present 1.4 billion hectares of arable land (3.5 billion acres) would support about 10 billion people. — E. O. Wilson

It's always been a great survival value for people to believe they belong to a superior tribe. That's just in human relationships. — E. O. Wilson

It's obvious that the key problem facing humanity in the coming century is how to bring a better quality of life - for 8 billion or more people - without wrecking the environment entirely in the attempt. — E. O. Wilson

I've found that good dialogue tells you not only what people are saying or how they're communicating but it tells you a great deal - by dialect and tone, content and circumstance - about the quality of the character. — E. O. Wilson

People need a sacred narrative. They must have a sense of larger purpose, in one form or another, however intellectualized. They will find a way to keep ancestral spirits alive. — E. O. Wilson

The living environment is the biosphere, the thin layer around the world of living organisms. We're part of that. Our existence is dependent on it in ways that people haven't even begun to appreciate. Our existence depends not just on its existence, but its stability and its richness. — E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson Quotes On Mind

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Even as empiricism is winning the mind, transcendentalism continues to win the heart. — E. O. Wilson

The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology. — E. O. Wilson

The cost of scientific advance is the humbling recognition that reality was not constructed to be easily grasped by the human mind. This is the cardinal tenet of scientific understanding. Our species and its ways of thinking are a product of evolution, not the purpose of evolution. — E. O. Wilson

No species ... possesses a purpose beyond the imperatives created by genetic history ... The human mind is a device for survival and reproduction, and reason is just one of its various techniques. — E. O. Wilson

The brain and its satellite glands have now been probed to the point where no particular site remains that can reasonably be supposed to harbour a nonphysical mind. — E. O. Wilson

Adults forget the depths of languor into which the adolescent mind decends with ease. They are prone to undervalue the mental growth that occurs during daydreaming and aimless wandering — E. O. Wilson

And pigs may fly. And we may be able to terraform and send surface populations to Mars. And Jesus may come next week anyway, so it doesn't matter one way or the other. All these crazy things run through people's minds. — E. O. Wilson

Of course, there is no reconciliation between the theory of evolution by natural selection and the traditional religious view of the origin of the human mind. — E. O. Wilson

I had reached a point in my career in which I was ready to try something new in my writing, and the idea of a novel has always been in the back of my mind. — E. O. Wilson

[W]hen the martyr's righteous forebrain is exploded by the executioner's bullet and his mind disintegrates, what then? Can we safely assume that all those millions of neural circuits will be reconstituted in an immaterial state, so the conscious mind carries on? — E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson Famous Quotes And Sayings

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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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

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

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. — E. O. Wilson

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. — E. O. Wilson

If we were to wipe out insects alone on this planet, the rest of life and humanity with it would mostly disappear from the land. Within a few months. — E. O. Wilson

A very Faustian choice is upon us: whether to accept our corrosive and risky behavior as the unavoidable price of population and economic growth, or to take stock of ourselves and search for a new environmental ethic. — E. O. Wilson

If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way. The moral imperative of humanism is the endeavor alone, whether successful or not, provided the effort is honorable and failure memorable. — E. O. Wilson

Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life. — E. O. Wilson

Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God? — E. O. Wilson

The newborn infant is now seen to be wired with awesome precision... This marvelous robot will be launched into the world under the care of its parents... But to what extent does the wiring of the neurons, so undeniably encoded in the genes, preordain the directions that social development will follow? — E. O. Wilson

Every major religion today is a winner in the Darwinian struggle waged among cultures, and none ever flourished by tolerating its rivals. — E. O. Wilson

Biodiversity is the totality of all inherited variation in the life forms of Earth, of which we are one species. We study and save it to our great benefit. We ignore and degrade it to our great peril. — E. O. Wilson

We need freedom to roam across land owned by no one but protected by all, whose unchanging horizon is the same that bounded the world of our millennial ancestors. — E. O. Wilson

No statistical proofs exist that prayer reduces illness and mortality, except perhaps through a psychogenic enhancement of the immune system; if it were otherwise the whole world would pray continuously. — E. O. Wilson

These slender little people (Homo Habilis), the size of modern 12 year olds, were devoid of fangs and claws and almost certainly slower on foot than the four legged animals around them. They could have succeeded in their new way of life only by relying on tools and sophisticated cooperative behavior — E. O. Wilson

The growth of a naturalist is like the growth of a musician or athlete: excellence for the talented, lifelong enjoyment for the rest, benefit for humanity. — E. O. Wilson

The extinctions ongoing worldwide promise to be at least as great as the mass extinction that occurred at the end of the age of dinosaurs. — E. O. Wilson

To know how scientists engage in visual imagery is to understand how they think creatively. — E. O. Wilson

An Armageddon is approaching at the beginning of the third millennium. But it is not the cosmic war and fiery collapse of mankind foretold in sacred scripture. It is the wreckage of the planet by an exuberantly plentiful and ingenious humanity. — E. O. Wilson

In the attempt to make scientific discoveries, every problem is an opportunity — and the more difficult the problem, the greater will be the importance of its solution. — E. O. Wilson

To the extent that philosophical positions both confuse us and close doors to further inquiry, they are likely to be wrong. — E. O. Wilson

Darwin's dice have rolled badly for Earth. The human species is, in a word, an environmental abnormality. Perhaps a law of evolution is that intelligence usually extinguishes itself. — E. O. Wilson

Jehovah had nothing to say to Moses and the others about the care of the planet. He had plenty to say about tribal loyalty and conquest. — E. O. Wilson

In 2010, my two Harvard mathematician colleagues and I dismantled kin-selection theory, which was the reigning theory of the origin of altruism at the time. — E. O. Wilson

It often occurs to me that if, against all odds, there is a judgmental God and heaven, it will come to pass that when the pearly gates open, those who had the valor to think for themselves will be escorted to the head of the line, garlanded, and given their own personal audience. — E. O. Wilson

Religious belief itself is an adaptation that has evolved because we're hard-wired to form tribalistic religions. — E. O. Wilson

It may be argued that to know one kind of beetle is to know them all. But a species is not like a molecule in a cloud of molecules-it is a unique population. — E. O. Wilson

The variety of genes on the planet in viruses exceeds, or is likely to exceed, that in all of the rest of life combined. — E. O. Wilson

In a purely technical sense, each species of higher organism-beetle, moss, and so forth, is richer in information than a Caravaggio painting, Mozart symphony, or any other great work of art. — E. O. Wilson

I'm very much a Christian in ideals and ethics, especially in terms of belief in fairness, a deep set obligation to others, and the virtues of charity, tolerance and generosity that we associate with traditional Christian teaching. — E. O. Wilson

I believe that traditional religious belief and scientific knowledge depict the universe in radically different ways. At the bedrock they are incompatible and mutually exclusive. — E. O. Wilson

The price of these failures has been a loss of moral consensus, a greater sense of helplessness about the human condition. ... The intellectual solution to the first dilemma can be achieved by a deeper and more courageous examination of human nature that combines the findings of biology with those of the social sciences. — E. O. Wilson

If history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth. — E. O. Wilson

Our brain is mapping the world. Often that map is distorted, but it's a map with constant immediate sensory input. — E. O. Wilson

Secular humanists can sit around and talk about their love of humanity, but it doesn't stack up against a two-millennium-old funeral high mass. — E. O. Wilson

Much of good science and perhaps all of great science has its roots in fantasy. — E. O. Wilson

The cutting of primeval forest and other disasters, fueled by the demands of growing human populations, are the overriding threat to biological diversity everywhere. — E. O. Wilson

Life Lessons by E. O. Wilson

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  1. E. O. Wilson's work emphasizes the importance of understanding and preserving the natural environment. He encourages us to be mindful of the interconnectedness of all living things and the consequences of our actions on the environment.
  2. He has also highlighted the need for interdisciplinary collaboration between the sciences and humanities to better understand the complexities of the natural world.
  3. By studying Wilson's work, we can learn to appreciate the beauty and fragility of nature and to act responsibly to protect it.

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