Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

98 Famous Quotes By Charles Darwin, The Author Of On The Origin Of Species.

Famous As: Naturalist known for His Contributions to Evolutionary Biology
Born On: February 12, 1809
Died On: April 19, 1882
Born In: The Mount House, Shrewsbury, England
Died At Age: 73

Charles Robert Darwin was a naturalist and geology expert from England, who is most well-known for propounding the theory of evolution that is often regarded as among the most significant findings in the history of biology. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, before going on to attend Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge. It was at Cambridge that he followed his lifelong passion of the natural sciences. After completed a voyage on HMS Beagle that lasted 5 years, Darwin started studying all that he collected during that time in 1838 and eventually laid the foundations of the path breaking theory of natural selection. It took him decades of painstaking research to finally publish his conclusions and his theories remain the only accepted version of evolution due to its scientific rigour. His most well-known works are ‘The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex’ about evolution and ‘The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms’ among others. His findings have made him one of the most important men in history. Darwin was a man who was far ahead of his time and his curious mind allowed him to explain one of mankind’s oldest questions. Here are some of the famous quotes by Charles Darwin.

If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.

If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.

Charles Darwin
A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

Charles Darwin
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

Charles Darwin
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

Charles Darwin
If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.

If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.

Charles Darwin
I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men

I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men

Charles Darwin
The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.

The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.

Charles Darwin
The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognise that we ought to control our thoughts.

The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognise that we ought to control our thoughts.

Charles Darwin
An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.

An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.

Charles Darwin
We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realized that they were inside us.

We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realized that they were inside us.

Charles Darwin
Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.

Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.

Charles Darwin
Blushing is the most peculiar and most human of all expressions.

Blushing is the most peculiar and most human of all expressions.

Charles Darwin
We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

Charles Darwin
One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.

One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.

Charles Darwin
Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.

Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.

Charles Darwin
In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.

Charles Darwin
We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universe, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act.

We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universe, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act.

Charles Darwin
Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life, or more difficult--at least I have found it so--than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind.

Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life, or more difficult--at least I have found it so--than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind.

Charles Darwin
Great is the power of steady misrepresentation

Great is the power of steady misrepresentation

Charles Darwin
Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends.

Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends.

Charles Darwin
I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone.

I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone.

Charles Darwin
...for the shield may be as important for victory, as the sword or spear.

...for the shield may be as important for victory, as the sword or spear.

Charles Darwin
Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds which follows from the advance of science.

Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds which follows from the advance of science.

Charles Darwin
I am not the least afraid to die

I am not the least afraid to die

Charles Darwin
It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
not the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Charles Darwin
It is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance.

It is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance.

Charles Darwin
To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.

To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.

Charles Darwin
There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.

There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.

Charles Darwin
We are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it.

We are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it.

Charles Darwin
The loss of these tastes [for poetry and music] is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

The loss of these tastes [for poetry and music] is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

Charles Darwin
...I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.— Let each man hope & believe what he can.—

...I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.— Let each man hope & believe what he can.—

Charles Darwin
Natural Selection almost inevitably causes much Extinction of the less improved forms of life and induces what I have called Divergence of Character.

Natural Selection almost inevitably causes much Extinction of the less improved forms of life and induces what I have called Divergence of Character.

Charles Darwin
The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.

The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.

Charles Darwin
The very essence of instinct is that it's followed independently of reason.

The very essence of instinct is that it's followed independently of reason.

Charles Darwin
We are always slow in admitting any great change of which we do not see the intermediate steps

We are always slow in admitting any great change of which we do not see the intermediate steps

Charles Darwin
Wherever the European had trod, death seemed to pursue the aboriginal.

Wherever the European had trod, death seemed to pursue the aboriginal.

Charles Darwin
But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.

But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.

Charles Darwin
He who understands baboons would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.

He who understands baboons would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.

Charles Darwin
A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone.

A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone.

Charles Darwin
Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music.

Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music.

Charles Darwin
We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.

We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.

Charles Darwin
In conclusion, it appears that nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist, than a journey in distant countries.

In conclusion, it appears that nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist, than a journey in distant countries.

Charles Darwin
Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy.

Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy.

Charles Darwin
One hand has surely worked throughout the universe.

One hand has surely worked throughout the universe.

Charles Darwin
A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.

A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question." Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin
It is difficult to believe in the dreadful but quiet war lurking just below the serene facade of nature.

It is difficult to believe in the dreadful but quiet war lurking just below the serene facade of nature.

Charles Darwin
But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?

But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?

Charles Darwin
The limit of man s knowledge in any subject possesses a high interest which is perhaps increased by its close neighbourhood to the realms of imagination.

The limit of man s knowledge in any subject possesses a high interest which is perhaps increased by its close neighbourhood to the realms of imagination.

Charles Darwin
I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work; and I still think there is an eminently important difference.

I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work; and I still think there is an eminently important difference.

Charles Darwin
But a plant on the edge of a deserts is said to struggle for life against the drought, though more properly it should be said to be dependent upon the moisture.

But a plant on the edge of a deserts is said to struggle for life against the drought, though more properly it should be said to be dependent upon the moisture.

Charles Darwin
A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct.

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct.

Charles Darwin
Englishmen rarely cry, except under the pressure of the acutest grief; whereas in some parts of the Continent the men shed tears much more readily and freely.

Englishmen rarely cry, except under the pressure of the acutest grief; whereas in some parts of the Continent the men shed tears much more readily and freely.

Charles Darwin
What wretched doings come from the ardor of fame; the love of truth alone would never make one man attack another bitterly.

What wretched doings come from the ardor of fame; the love of truth alone would never make one man attack another bitterly.

Charles Darwin
It is necessary to look forward to a harvest, however distant that may be, when some fruit will be reaped, some good effected.

It is necessary to look forward to a harvest, however distant that may be, when some fruit will be reaped, some good effected.

Charles Darwin
Such simple instincts as bees making a beehive could be sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.

Such simple instincts as bees making a beehive could be sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.

Charles Darwin
...ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge...

...ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge...

Charles Darwin
I have stated, that in the thirteen species of ground-finches, a nearly perfect gradation may be traced, from a beak extraordinarily thick, to one so fine, that it may be compared to that of a warbler.

I have stated, that in the thirteen species of ground-finches, a nearly perfect gradation may be traced, from a beak extraordinarily thick, to one so fine, that it may be compared to that of a warbler.

Charles Darwin
Our descent, then, is the origin of our evil passions!! The devil under form of Baboon is our grandfather.

Our descent, then, is the origin of our evil passions!! The devil under form of Baboon is our grandfather.

Charles Darwin
The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.

The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.

Charles Darwin
How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!

How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!

Charles Darwin
Or she may accept, as appearances would sometimes lead us to believe, not the male which is the most attractive to her, but the one which is the least distasteful.

Or she may accept, as appearances would sometimes lead us to believe, not the male which is the most attractive to her, but the one which is the least distasteful.

Charles Darwin
One may say there is a force like a hundred thousand wedges...

One may say there is a force like a hundred thousand wedges...

Charles Darwin
In regard to the amount of difference between the races, we must make some allowance for our nice powers of discrimination gained by a long habit of observing ourselves.

In regard to the amount of difference between the races, we must make some allowance for our nice powers of discrimination gained by a long habit of observing ourselves.

Charles Darwin
Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.

Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.

Charles Darwin
He [Erasmus Darwin] used to say that 'unitarianism was a feather-bed to catch a falling Christian.

He [Erasmus Darwin] used to say that 'unitarianism was a feather-bed to catch a falling Christian.

Charles Darwin
When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.

When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.

Charles Darwin
Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods, though in very different ways, but they were mere schoolboys to old Aristotle.

Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods, though in very different ways, but they were mere schoolboys to old Aristotle.

Charles Darwin
[Alexander von Humboldt was the] greatest scientific traveller who ever lived.

[Alexander von Humboldt was the] greatest scientific traveller who ever lived.

Charles Darwin
Die Tiere empfinden wie der Mensch Freude und Schmerz, Glck und Unglck.

Die Tiere empfinden wie der Mensch Freude und Schmerz, Glck und Unglck.

Charles Darwin
I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification.

I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification.

Charles Darwin
It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life. Who can explain the what is the essence of the attraction of gravity?

It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life. Who can explain the what is the essence of the attraction of gravity?

Charles Darwin
Origin of man now proved. Metaphysics must flourish. He who understand baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.

Origin of man now proved. Metaphysics must flourish. He who understand baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.

Charles Darwin
Whilst Man, however well-behaved,
At best is but a monkey shaved!

Whilst Man, however well-behaved, At best is but a monkey shaved!

Charles Darwin
But I am very poorly today & very stupid & I hate everybody & everything. One lives only to make blunders.

But I am very poorly today & very stupid & I hate everybody & everything. One lives only to make blunders.

Charles Darwin
I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics, for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense.

I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics, for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense.

Charles Darwin
I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me

I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me

Charles Darwin
What an extraordinary thing it is, Mr. Darwin seems to spend hours in cracking a horse-whip in his room, for I often hear the crack when I pass under his windows.

What an extraordinary thing it is, Mr. Darwin seems to spend hours in cracking a horse-whip in his room, for I often hear the crack when I pass under his windows.

Charles Darwin
I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision.

I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision.

Charles Darwin
I think an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind. The whole subject [of God] is beyond the scope of man's intellect.

I think an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind. The whole subject [of God] is beyond the scope of man's intellect.

Charles Darwin
And thus, the forms of life throughout the universe become divided into groups subordinate to groups.

And thus, the forms of life throughout the universe become divided into groups subordinate to groups.

Charles Darwin
Two distinct elements are included under the term

Two distinct elements are included under the term "inheritance"— the transmission, and the development of characters;

Charles Darwin
The power to charm the female has sometimes been more important than the power to conquer other males in battle. LAWS

The power to charm the female has sometimes been more important than the power to conquer other males in battle. LAWS

Charles Darwin
I am dying by inches, from not having any body to talk to about insects...

I am dying by inches, from not having any body to talk to about insects...

Charles Darwin
I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.

Charles Darwin
Sexual selection will also be largely dominated by natural selection tending towards the general welfare of the species.

Sexual selection will also be largely dominated by natural selection tending towards the general welfare of the species.

Charles Darwin
Unusual degree. This family became divided eight generations

Unusual degree. This family became divided eight generations

Charles Darwin
Sexual selection acts in a less rigorous manner than natural selection. The latter produces its effects by the life or death at all ages of the more or less successful individuals.

Sexual selection acts in a less rigorous manner than natural selection. The latter produces its effects by the life or death at all ages of the more or less successful individuals.

Charles Darwin
Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy of the interposition of a deity. More humble, and I believe truer, to consider him created from animals.

Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy of the interposition of a deity. More humble, and I believe truer, to consider him created from animals.

Charles Darwin
If any man wants to gain a good opinion of his fellow men, he ought to do what I am doing: pester them with letters.

If any man wants to gain a good opinion of his fellow men, he ought to do what I am doing: pester them with letters.

Charles Darwin
This preservation of favourable individual differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious, I have called Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest.

This preservation of favourable individual differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious, I have called Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest.

Charles Darwin
Nevertheless it is probable that the hearing rather early in life such views maintained and praised may have favoured my upholding them under a different form in my 'Origin of Species.

Nevertheless it is probable that the hearing rather early in life such views maintained and praised may have favoured my upholding them under a different form in my 'Origin of Species.

Charles Darwin
Natural selection rendered evolution scientifically intelligible: it was this more than anything else which convinced professional biologists like Sir Joseph Hooker, T. H. Huxley and Ernst Haeckel.

Natural selection rendered evolution scientifically intelligible: it was this more than anything else which convinced professional biologists like Sir Joseph Hooker, T. H. Huxley and Ernst Haeckel.

Charles Darwin
This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection.

This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection.

Charles Darwin