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File:L'origine de l'évolution.jpg

Evolution is process of gradual change or transformation, and is commonly used to refer to biological, genetic or organic evolution, the changes in populations of organisms over generations, the processes by which such changes occur, and theories regarding them. Offspring differ from their parents in various ways. When these differences are helpful, the offspring have a greater chance of surviving and reproducing, making the differences more common in the next generation. In this way, differences can accumulate over time, leading to major changes in a population. Major scientific theories of evolution state that all living things on Earth are descended, at some point in the distant past, from a single common ancestor, and others posit the possibility of extraterrestrial genetic material delivered through asteroids and comets. Since the beginnings of life, divergent evolution has produced numerous different species as life has found a variety of ways to survive and flourish.


Alphabetized by author
  • The world has arisen in some way or another. How it originated is the great question, and Darwin's theory, like all other attempts to explain the origin of life, is thus far merely conjectural. I believe he has not even made the best conjecture possible in the present state of our knowledge.
  • Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. . . . There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations. Since no one knows molecular evolution by direct experience, and since there is no authority on which to base claims of knowledge, it can truly be said that . . . the assertion of Darwinian molecular evolution is merely bluster.
  • A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
  • Orgel's Second Rule: Evolution is cleverer than you are.
    • Francis Crick, as quoted by Daniel C. Dennett in Elbow Room (1984)
  • Anthropological, biological, and genetic evidence all put the origin of modern humans at between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago, probably in Africa. There is also much data that show an outburst of cultural behavior occurring around 50,000-40,000 years ago in Europe. That's when archaeologists date the oldest evidence of burial ceremonies, body ornaments, and cave paintings.
  • Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. 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 Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.
  • I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.
  • The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.
  • [Natural Selection] has not vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to be play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the *blind* watchmaker.
  • The antagonism between science and religion, about which we hear so much, appears to me to be purely factitious–fabricated, on the one hand, by short-sighted religious people who confound a certain branch of science, theology, with religion; and, on the other, by equally short-sighted scientific people who forget that science takes for its province only that which is susceptible of clear intellectual comprehension; and that, outside the boundaries of that province, they must be content with imagination, with hope, and with ignorance.
  • "Evolution is a tinkerer.
    • Francois Jacob (French biochemist 1920- )"Evolution and Tinkering" (1977). See "Bricolage"
  • We share most of our DNA with chimpanzees, but nowhere in the genome have we found what it is that makes us so different from chimps.
  • Why don't we see gradual transition in the sequences of fossils? According to Darwin, and the current neo-Darwinists, the fossil record has gaps in it because of the haphazard way in which fossilization occurs-it is bound to be an imperfect record of the history of life. But is it? Is the jerky and abrupt nature of the record really just due to 'gaps', or does it reflect the way evolution actually happened? There is a strong feeling among leading palaeontologists that the punctuated history shown by fossils reflects the way life has evolved-in leaps and bounds rather than in gradual transition. There is also a growing sense that there is much more to understanding 'macroevolution' — the large-scale picture one gets from the fossils — than the simple idea of natural selection can alone explain.
  • A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it.
  • Charles Darwin's evolution theory states that the strong eat the weak. According to Darwin's evolution theory we are the worst people. But it is actually not so. It is a natural universal law. If we take Darwin's evolution theory literally then God is the worst kind of being. Because God planned creation in a certain way. When love is involved there is no evil. Even mother birds sacrifice their own lives for the sake of their babies.
  • We conclude — unexpectedly — that there is little evidence for the neo-Darwinian view: its theoretical foundations and the experimental evidence supporting it are weak, and there is no doubt that mutations of large effect are sometimes important in adaptation.
    • H. Allen Orr [Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis], & Jerry A. Coyne [Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago], "The Genetics of Adaptation: A Reassessment," The American Naturalist, Vol. 140, No. 5 (November 1992), p.726; Sourced at: [1]
  • When things get bad enough, then something happens to correct the course. And it is that sense I speak of evolution as an error-making and error-correctiong process. And if we can be ever so much better — ever so much slightly better — at error correcting than at error making, then we'll make it.
  • I am interested in a phase that I think we are entering. I call it "teleological evolution," evolution with a purpose. The idea of evolution by design, designing the future, anticipating the future. I think of the need for more wisdom in the world, to deal with the knowledge that we have. At one time we had wisdom, but little knowledge. Now we have a great deal of knowledge, but do we have enough wisdom to deal with that knowledge?
  • I judge things from an evolutionary perspective — "How does this serve and contribute to the process of our own evolution?" — rather than think of good and evil in moral terms. I see the triumph of good over evil as a manifestation of the error-correcting process of evolution.
    • Jonas Salk, in Academy of Achievement interview, in San Diego, California (16 May 1991)
  • I speak about universal evolution and teleological evolution, because I think the process of evolution reflects the wisdom of nature. I see the need for wisdom to become operative. We need to try to put all of these things together in what I call an evolutionary philosophy of our time.
    • Jonas Salk, in Academy of Achievement interview, in San Diego, California (16 May 1991)
  • If I did not think you a good tempered and truth-loving man I should not tell you that ... I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly; parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow; because I think them utterly false and grievously mischievous. You have deserted - after a start in that tram-road of all solid physical truth - the true method of induction ...
    • Adam Sedgwick, letter to Charles Darwin from Adam Sedgwick (his mentor), November 24th, 1859, in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin vol. 7, pg. 396, after reading The Origin of Species.
  • Thus life by life and love by love
    We passed through the cycles strange,
    And breath by breath and death by death
    We followed the chain of change.
  • Evolution is a change from an indefinite, incoherent, homogeneity to a definite, coherent, heterogeneity, through continuous differentiations and integrations.
    • Herbert Spencer, First Principles (1862)
    • Evolution is a change from a no-howish untalkaboutable all-alikeness by continous sticktogetheration and somethingelsification.
      • A parody of the above quote, often attributed to William James, 1880 (Lecture Notes 1880-1897), but see [2].
  • Of course, like every other man of intelligence and education I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised.
  • And hear the mighty stream of tendency
    Uttering, for elevation of our thought,
    A clear sonorous voice, inaudible
    To the vast multitude.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 241-42.
  • The stream of tendency in which all things seek to fulfil the law of their being.
  • Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are, and to make new things like them.
  • The rise of every man he loved to trace,
    Up to the very pod O!
    And, in baboons, our parent race
    Was found by old Monboddo.
    Their A, B, C, he made them speak,
    And learn their qui, quæ, quod, O!
    Till Hebrew, Latin, Welsh, and Greek
    They knew as well's Monboddo!
    • Ballad in Blackwood's Magazine referring to the originator of the monkey theory, James Burnett (Lord Monboddo).
  • A fire-mist and a planet,
    A crystal and a cell,
    A jellyfish and a saurian,
    And caves where the cavemen dwell;
    Then a sense of law and beauty,
    And a face turned from the clod—
    Some call it Evolution,
    And others call it God.
  • There was an ape in the days that were earlier,
    Centuries passed and his hair became curlier;
    Centuries more gave a thumb to his wrist—
    Then he was a MAN and a Positivist.
  • Till o'er the wreck, emerging from the storm,
    Immortal NATURE lifts her changeful form:
    Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame,
    And soars and shines, another and the same.
  • Said the little Eohippus,
    "I am going to be a horse,
    And on my middle fingernails
    To run my earthly course!
    * * *
    I'm going to have a flowing tail!
    I'm going to have a mane!
    I'm going to stand fourteen hands high
    On the Psychozoic plain!"
  • A mighty stream of tendency.
  • Or ever the knightly years were gone
    With the old world to the grave,
    I was a king in Babylon
    And you were a Christian Slave.
  • Children, behold the Chimpanzee;
    He sits on the ancestral tree
    From which we sprang in ages gone.
    I'm glad we sprang: had we held on,
    We might, for aught that I can say,
    Be horrid Chimpanzees to-day.
  • We seem to exist in a hazardous time,
    Driftin' along here through space;
    Nobody knows just when we begun,
    Or how fur we've gone in the race.
  • Pouter, tumbler, and fantail are from the same source;
    The racer and hack may be traced to one Horse;
    So men were developed from monkeys of course,
    Which nobody can deny.
  • I was at Euphorbus at the siege of Troy.
  • Equidem æterna constitutione crediderim nexuque causarum latentium et multo ante destinatarum suum quemque ordinem immutabili lege percurrere.
    • For my own part I am persuaded that everything advances by an unchangeable law through the eternal constitution and association of latent causes, which have been long before predestinated.
    • Quintus Curtius Rufus, De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni, V, 11, 10.
  • When you were a tadpole and I was a fish, in the Palæozoic time
    And side by side in the sluggish tide, we sprawled in the ooze and slime.
    • Langdon Smith, A Toast to a Lady (Evolution); printed in The Scrap Book (April, 1906).
  • Civilization is a progress from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity toward a definite, coherent heterogeneity.
    • Herbert Spencer, First Principles, Chapter XVI. Par. 138; also Chapter XVII. Par. 145. He summaries the same: From a relatively diffused, uniform, and indeterminate arrangement to a relatively concentrated, multiform, and determinate arrangement.
  • This survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called "natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life."
  • Out of the dusk a shadow,
    Then a spark;
    Out of the cloud a silence,
    Then a lark;
    Out of the heart a rapture,
    Then a pain;
    Out of the dead, cold ashes,
    Life again.
  • The Lord let the house of a brute to the soul of a man,
    And the man said, "Am I your debtor?"
    And the Lord—"Not yet: but make it as clean as you can,
    And then I will let you a better."
  • Is there evil but on earth? Or pain in every peopled sphere?
    Well, be grateful for the sounding watchword "Evolution" here.
  • Evolution ever climbing after some ideal good
    And Reversion ever dragging Evolution in the mud.

See also Edit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

evolution The following pages include extensive additional material on this subject:

cs:Evoluční teorie de:Evolution es:Evolución biológica it:Evoluzione lt:Evoliucija nn:Evolusjon pl:Ewolucja sk:Evolúcia

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