Every politician, clergyman, educator, or physician, in short, anyone dealing with human individuals, is bound to make grave mistakes if he ignores these two great truths of population zoology: (1) no two individuals are alike, and (2) both environment and genetic endowment make a contribution to nearly every trait.

— Ernst Mayr

The most unconventional Ernst Mayr quotes that will add value to your life

As a consequence, geneticists described evolution simply as a change in gene frequencies in populations, totally ignoring the fact that evolution consists of the two simultaneous but quite separate phenomena of adaptation and diversification.

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Indeed, I was unable to find any evidence whatsoever of the occurrence of a drastic evolutionary acceleration and genetic reconstruction in widespread, populous species.

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The history of science knows scores of instances where an investigator was in the possession of all the important facts for a new theory but simply failed to ask the right questions.

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Mathematics is as little a science as grammar is a language.

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Evolution, thus, is merely contingent on certain processes articulated by Darwin: variation and selection. No longer is a fixed object transformed, as in transformational evolution, but an entirely new start is, so to speak, made in every generation.

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A species is a reproductive community of populations reproductively isolated from others that occupies a specific niche in nature.

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most scientific problems are far better understood by studying their history than their logic.

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I had found again and again that the most aberrant population of a species - often having reached species rank, and occasionally classified even as a separate genus - occurred at a peripheral location, indeed usually at the most isolated peripheral location.

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In those early years in New York when I was a stranger in a big city, it was the companionship and later friendship which I was offered in the Linnean Society that was the most important thing in my life.

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The most consequential change in man's view of the world, of living nature and of himself came with the introduction, over a period of some 100 years beginning only in the 18th century, of the idea of change itself, of change over periods of time: in a word, of evolution.

12

There is more to biology than rats, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis, and E. coli.

11

On Earth, among millions of lineages or organisms and perhaps 50 billion speciation events, only one led to high intelligence ; this makes me believe its utter improbablity.

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About Ernst Mayr

Quotes 44 sayings
Nationality German
Profession Scientist
Birthday July 5, 1904

Definitions are temporary verbalizations of concepts, and concepts- particularly difficult concepts- are usually revised repeatedly as our knowledge and understanding grows.

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It is curious how often erroneous theories have had a beneficial effect for particular branches of science.

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To take an unequivocal stand, it seems to me, is of greater heuristic value and far more likely to stimulate constructive criticism than to evade the issue.

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Evolution ... is opportunistic, hence unpredictable.

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Evolution thus is merely contingent on certain processes articulated by Darwin: variation and selection.

3

Living in an entirely different physical as well as biotic environment, such a population would have unique opportunities to enter new niches and to select novel adaptive pathways.

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A new species develops if a population which has become geographically isolated from its parental species acquires during this period of isolation characters which promote or guarantee reproductive isolation when the external barriers break down.

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There are a number of attributes of species and populations that are not of any particular selective advantage to any single individual in a population but that are of great advantage to the population as a whole.

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New gene pools are generated in every generation, and evolution takes place because the successful individuals produced by these gene pools give rise to the next generation.

3

Two forms or species are sympatric, if they occur together, that is if their areas of distribution overlap or coincide. Two forms (or species) are allapatric, if they do not occur together, that is if they exclude each other geographically. The term allopatric is primarily useful in denoting geographic representatives.

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Biology can be divided into the study of proximate causes, the study of the physiological sciences (broadly conceived), and into the study of ultimate (evolutionary) causes, the subject of natural history.

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Scientific progress consists in the development of new concepts.

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All I claimed was that when a drastic change occurs, it occurs in a relatively small and isolated population.

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Wherever we look at the living biota … discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent…The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates.

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Life is simply the reification of the process of living.

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In neither his definition nor the examples illustrating what memes are does Dawkins mention anything that would distinguish memes from concepts.

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I did not claim that speciation occurs only in founder populations.

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On the other hand, famous evolutionists such as Dobzhansky were firm believers in a personal God. He would work as a scientist all week and then on Sunday get down on his knees and pray to God. Frankly I've never been able to understand it because you would need two totally different compartments in your brain, one that deals with religion and the other with everything else.

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According to the concept of transformational evolution, first clearly articulated by Lamarck, evolution consists of the gradual transformation of organisms from one condition of existence to another.

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Evolution as such is no longer a theory for a modern author.

It is as much a fact as that the earth revolves around the sun.

0

A species consists of a group of populations which replace each other geographically or ecologically and of which the neighboring ones integrate or hybridise wherever they are in contact or which are potentially capable of doing so (with one or more of the populations) in those cases where contact is prevented by geographical or ecological barriers.

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It seems to me that for Darwin the pulsing of evolutionary rates was a strictly vertical phenomenon.

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I have the honesty to say I'm an Atheist.

There is nothing that supports the idea of a personal God.

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Isolating mechanisms are biological properties of individuals that prevent the interbreeding of populations that are actually or potentially sympatric.

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anyone who writes about "Darwin's theory of evolutionin the singular, without segregating the theories of gradual evolution, common descent, speciation, and the mechanism of natural selection, will be quite unable to discuss the subject competently.

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I feel that one species, mankind, doesn't have the right to exterminate

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Most of them are doomed to rapid extinction, but a few may make evolutionary inventions, such as physiological, ecological, or behavioral innovations that give these species improved competitive potential.

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The major novelty of my theory was its claim that the most rapid evolutionary change does not occur in widespread, populous species, as claimed by Most geneticists, but in small founder populations.

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Our understanding of the world is achieved more effectively by conceptual improvements than by discovery of new facts

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All interpretations made by a scientist are hypotheses, and all hypotheses are tentative. They must forever be tested and they must be revised if found to be unsatisfactory. Hence, a change of mind in a scientist, and particularly in a great scientist, is not only not a sign of weakness but rather evidence for continuing attention to the respective problem and an ability to test the hypothesis again and again.

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Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series.

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