Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Ernst W. Mayr.

Ernst W. Mayr Ernst W. Mayr > Quotes


more photos (4)

Ernst W. Mayr quotes (showing 1-7 of 7)

“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 W. Mayr
“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.”
Ernst W. Mayr, Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist
“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.”
Ernst W. Mayr
“I published that theory [of speciational evolution] in a 1954 paper…and I clearly related it to paleontology. Darwin argued that the fossil record is very incomplete because some species fossilize better than others... I noted that you are never going to find evidence of a small local population that changed very rapidly in the fossil record... Gould was my course assistant at Harvard where I presented this theory again and again for three years. So he knew it thoroughly. So did Eldredge. In fact, in his 1971 paper Eldredge credited me with it. But that was lost over time.”
Ernst W. Mayr
“Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century.”
Ernst W. Mayr
“The funny thing is if in England, you ask a man in the street who the greatest living Darwinian is, he will say Richard Dawkins. And indeed, Dawkins has done a marvelous job of popularizing Darwinism. But Dawkins' basic theory of the gene being the object of evolution is totally non-Darwinian.”
Ernst W. Mayr
“{On to contributions to evolutionary biology of 18th century French scientist, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon}

He was not an evolutionary biologist, yet he was the father of evolutionism. He was the first person to discuss a large number of evolutionary problems, problems that before Buffon had not been raised by anybody.... he brought them to the attention of the scientific world.

Except for Aristotle and Darwin, no other student of organisms [whole animals and plants] has had as far-reaching an influence.

He brought the idea of evolution into the realm of science. He developed a concept of the "unity of type", a precursor of comparative anatomy. More than anyone else, he was responsible for the acceptance of a long-time scale for the history of the earth. He was one of the first to imply that you get inheritance from your parents, in a description based on similarities between elephants and mammoths. And yet, he hindered evolution by his frequent endorsement of the immutability of species. He provided a criterion of species, fertility among members of a species, that was thought impregnable.”
Ernst W. Mayr


All Quotes | Add A Quote
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game

What Evolution Is What Evolution Is
1,583 ratings
Open Preview
This is Biology: The Science of the Living World This is Biology
120 ratings
One Long Argument One Long Argument
59 ratings