Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Edward O. Wilson.

Edward O. Wilson Edward O. Wilson > Quotes


Edward O. Wilson quotes (showing 1-30 of 236)

“People would rather believe than know.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Perhaps the time has come to cease calling it the 'environmentalist' view, as though it were a lobbying effort outside the mainstream of human activity, and to start calling it the real-world view.”
Edward 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.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Karl Marx was right, socialism works, it is just that he had the wrong species”
Edward O. Wilson, The Ants
“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.”
Edward O. Wilson
“There is no better high than discovery.”
Edward O. Wilson
“You teach me, I forget. You show me, I remember. You involve me, I understand.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.”
Edward O. Wilson, The Social Conquest of Earth
“One planet, one experiment.”
Edward 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”
Edward O. Wilson
“Humanity is a biological species, living in a biological environment, because like all species, we are exquisitely adapted in everything: from our behavior, to our genetics, to our physiology, to that particular environment in which we live. The earth is our home. Unless we preserve the rest of life, as a sacred duty, we will be endangering ourselves by destroying the home in which we evolved, and on which we completely depend.”
Edward O. Wilson
“The love of complexity without reductionism makes art; the love of complexity with reductionism makes science.”
Edward O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
“True character arises from a deeper well than religion. It is the internalization of moral principles of a society, augmented by those tenets personally chosen by the individual, strong enough to endure through trials of solitude and adversity. The principles are fitted together into what we call integrity, literally the integrated self, wherein personal decisions feel good and true. Character is in turn the enduring source of virtue. It stands by itself and excites admiration in others.”
Edward O. Wilson
“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.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Still, if history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth. The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology. Acceptance of the supernatural conveyed a great advantage throughout prehistory when the brain was evolving. Thus it is in sharp contrast to biology, which was developed as a product of the modern age and is not underwritten by genetic algorithms. The uncomfortable truth is that the two beliefs are not factually compatible. As a result those who hunger for both intellectual and religious truth will never acquire both in full measure.”
Edward O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Science and technology are what we can do; morality is what we agree we should or should not do.”
Edward O. Wilson, The Future Of Life
“The great challenge of the twenty-first century is to raise people everywhere to a decent standard of living while preserving as much of the rest of life as possible.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.”
Edward 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.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Human nature is deeper and broader than the artificial contrivance of any existing culture.”
Edward O. Wilson, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth
“I believe that in the process of locating new avenues of creative thought, we will also arrive at an existential conservatism. It is worth asking repeatedly: Where are our deepest roots? We are, it seems, Old World, catarrhine primates, brilliant emergent animals, defined genetically by our unique origins, blessed by our newfound biological genius, and secure in our homeland if we wish to make it so. What does it all mean? This is what it all means: To the extent that we depend on prosthetic devices to keep ourselves and the biosphere alive, we will render everything fragile. To the extent that we banish the rest of life, we will impoverish our own species for all time. And if we should surrender our genetic nature to machine-aided ratiocination, and our ethics and art and our very meaning to a habit of careless discursion in the name of progress, imagining ourselves godlike and absolved from our ancient heritage, we will become nothing.”
Edward O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
“All my life I have placed great store in civility and good manners, practices I find scarce among the often hard-edged, badly socialized scientists with whom I associate. Tone of voice means a great deal to me in the course of debate. I despise the arrogance and doting self-regard so frequently found among the very bright.”
Edward O. Wilson, Naturalist
“I will argue that every scrap of biological diversity is priceless, to be learned and cherished, and never to be surrendered without a struggle.”
Edward O. Wilson
“To explore and affiliate with life is a deep and complicated process in mental development. To an extent still undervalued in philosophy and religion, our existence depends on this propensity, our spirit is woven from it hope rises on its currents.”
Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia
“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.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Human existence may be simpler than we thought. There is no predestination, no unfathomed mystery of life. Demons and gods do not vie for our allegiance. Instead, we are self-made, independent, alone, and fragile, a biological species adapted to live in a biological world. What counts for long-term survival is intelligent self-understanding, based upon a greater independence of thought than that tolerated today even in our most advanced democratic societies.”
Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence
“In the end ... success or failure will come down to an ethical decision, one on which those now living will be judged for generations to come.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Would I be happy if I discovered that I could go to heaven forever? And the answer is no. Consider this argument. Think about what is forever. And think about the fact that the human mind, the entire human being, is built to last a certain period of time. Our programmed hormonal systems, the way we learn, the way we settle upon beliefs, and the way we love are all temporary. Because we go through a life's cycle. Now, if we were to be plucked out at the age of 12 or 56 or whenever, and taken up and told, "Now you will continue your existence as you are. We're not going to blot out your memories. We're not going to diminish your desires." You will exist in a state of bliss - whatever that is - forever. [...] Now think, a trillion times a trillion years. Enough time for universes like this one to be born, explode, form countless star systems and planets, then fade away to entropy. You will sit there watching this happen millions and millions of times and that will be just the beginning of the eternity that you've been consigned to bliss in this existence.”
Edward O. Wilson

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8

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

The Diversity of Life The Diversity of Life
4,913 ratings
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge Consilience
3,640 ratings
Open Preview
On Human Nature On Human Nature
2,345 ratings
Open Preview
The Social Conquest of Earth The Social Conquest of Earth
2,718 ratings
Open Preview