Human Evolution Quotes

Quotes tagged as "human-evolution" (showing 1-30 of 46)
Arthur Koestler
“When one contemplates the streak of insanity running through human history, it appears highly probable that homo sapiens is a biological freak, the result of some remarkable mistake in the evolutionary process. The ancient doctrine of original sin, variants of which occur independently in the mythologies of diverse cultures, could be a reflection of man's awareness of his own inadequacy, of the intuitive hunch that somewhere along the line of his ascent something has gone wrong.”
Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine

R. Buckminster Fuller
“We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief. Advancing science has now discovered that all the known cases of biological extinction have been caused by overspecialization, whose concentration of only selected genes sacrifices general adaptability. Thus the specialist’s brief for pinpointing brevity is dubious. In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding. Specialization has bred feelings of isolation, futility, and confusion in individuals. It has also resulted in the individual’s leaving responsibility for thinking and social action to others. Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as international and ideological discord, which in turn leads to war.”
R. Buckminster Fuller

Carl Sagan
“On the other hand, mere critical thinking, without creative and intuitive insights, without the search for new patterns, is sterile and doomed. To solve complex problems in changing circumstances requires the activity of both cerebral hemispheres: the path to the future lies through the corpus callosum.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“And despite the insignificance of the instant we have so far occupied in cosmic time, it is clear that what happens on and near Earth at the beginning of the second cosmic year will depend very much on the scientific wisdom and the distinctly human sensitivity of mankind.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“It is very difficult to evolve by altering the deep fabric of life; any change there is likely to be lethal. But fundamental change can be accomplished by the addition of new systems on top of old ones.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“It is very difficult to evolve by altering the deep fabric of life; any change there is likely to be lethal. But fundamental change can be accomplished by the addition of new systems on top of old ones…Thus evolution by addition and the functional preservation of the preexisting structure must occur for one of two reasons-either the old function is required as well as the new one, or there is no way of bypassing the old system that is consistent with survival.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Rasheed Ogunlaru
“Advances in technology can be empowering, progressive and enriching. History has shown this across civilisations and societies. But it has also shown, and the present and future will continue to show, that it is foolish, risky, flawed and folly without us raising our individual and collective consciousness and mindfulness to accompany it - to ensure we use it shrewdly, kindly and wisely.”
Rasheed Ogunlaru

Carl Sagan
“It is interesting that it is not the getting of any sort of knowledge that God has forbidden, but, specifically, the knowledge of the difference between good and evil-that is, abstract and moral judgments, which, if they reside anywhere, reside in the neocortex.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“It may be that there are kernels of truth in a few of these doctrines, but their widespread acceptance
betokens a lack of intellectual rigor, an absence of skepticism, a need to replace experiments by desires.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“What functions do dreams serve today? One view, published in a reputable scientific paper, holds that the function of dreams is to wake us up a little, every now and then, to see if anyone is about to eat us. But dreams occupy such a relatively small part of normal sleep that this explanation does not seem very compelling. Moreover, as we have seen, the evidence points just the other way: today it is the mammalian predators, not the mammalian prey, who characteristically have dream-filled sleep.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“The time scale for evolutionary or genetic change is very long. A characteristic period for the emergence of one advanced species from another is perhaps a hundred thousand years; and very often the difference in behavior between closely related species -say, lions and tigers- do not seem very great... But today we do not have ten million years to wait for the next advance. We live in a time when our world is changing at an unprecedented rate. While the changes are largely of our own making, they cannot be ignored. We must adjust and adapt and control, or we perish.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“It is precisely our plasticity, our long childhood, that prevents a slavish adherence to genetically preprogrammed behavior in human beings more than in any other species… Some substantial adjustment of the relative role of each component of the triune brain is well within our powers.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“Those mothers with hereditary large pelvises were able to bear large-brained babies who because of their superior intelligence were able to compete successfully in adulthood with the smaller-brained offspring of mothers with smaller pelvises.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“MacLean has shown that the R-complex plays an important role in aggressive behavior, territoriality, ritual and the establishment of social hierarchies. Despite occasional welcome exceptions, this seems to me to characterize a great deal of modern human bureaucratic and political behavior.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“Washburn has reported that infant baboons and other young primates appear to be born with only three inborn fears -of falling, snakes, and the dark-corresponding respectively to the dangers posed by
Newtonian gravitation to tree-dwellers, by our ancient enemies the reptiles, and by mammalian nocturnal predators, which must have been particularly terrifying for the visually oriented primates.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“with rare exceptions (chiefly the social insects), mammals and birds are the only organisms to devote substantial attention to the care of their young; an evolutionary development that, through the long period of plasticity which it permits, takes advantage of the large information-processing capability of the mammalian and primate brains. Love seems to be an invention of the mammals.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“Some evidence suggests the left-handers are more likely to have problems with such left-hemisphere functions as reading, writing, speaking and arithmetic; and to be more adept at such right -hemisphere functions as imagination, pattern recognition and general creativity.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“There is no doubt that right-hemisphere intuitive thinking may perceive patterns and connections too difficult for the left hemisphere; but it may also detect patterns where none exist. Skeptical and
critical thinking is not a hallmark of the right hemisphere. And unalloyed right-hemisphere doctrines, particularly when they are invented during new and trying circumstances, may be erroneous or paranoid.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“Somewhere in the steaming jungles of the Carboniferous Period there emerged an organism that for the first time in the history of the world had more information in its brains than in its genes. It was an early reptile which, were we to come upon it in these sophisticated times, we would probably not describe as exceptionally intelligent… Much of the history of life since the Carboniferous Period can be described as the gradual (and certainly incomplete) dominance of brains over genes.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“In a way, science might be described as paranoid thinking applied to Nature: we are looking for natural conspiracies, for connections among apparently disparate data. Our objective is to abstract patterns from Nature (right-hemisphere thinking), but many proposed patterns do not in fact correspond to the
data. Thus all proposed patterns must be subjected to the sieve of critical analysis (left-hemisphere thinking).”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“This sort of information gathering is precisely what we call play. And the important function of play is thus revealed: it permits us to gain, without any particular future application in mind, a holistic understanding of the world, which is both a complement of and a preparation for later analytical activities.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“Dartmouth College employs computer learning techniques in a very broad array of courses. For example, a student can gain a deep insight into the statistics of Mendelian genetics in an hour with the computer rather than spend a year crossing fruit flies
in the laboratory.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“When all is said and done, the invention of writing must be reckoned not only as a brilliant innovation but as a surpassing good for humanity. And assuming that we survive long enough to use their inventions wisely, I believe the same will be said of the modern Thoths and Prometheuses who are today devising
computers and programs at the edge of machine intelligence.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“The entire evolutionary record on our planet, particularly the record contained in fossil endocasts, illustrates a progressive tendency toward intelligence. There is nothing mysterious about this:
smart organisms by and large survive better and leave more offspring than stupid ones.”
Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan
“a typical chromosomal DNA molecule in a human being is composed of about five billion pairs of nucleotides… But since there are four different kinds of nucleotides, the number of bits of information in DNA is four times the number of nucleotide pairs. Thus if a single chromosome has five billion (5 X 10^9) nucleotides, it contains twenty billion (2 X 10^10) bits of information… We also see that if more than some tens of billions (several times 10^10) of bits of information are necessary for human survival, extragenetic systems will have to provide them: the rate of development of genetic systems is so slow that no source of such additional biological information can be sought in the DNA.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“Evolution is adventitious and not foresighted. Only through the deaths of an immense number of slightly maladapted organisms are we, brains and all, here today.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Carl Sagan
“The time scale for evolutionary or genetic change is very long. A characteristic period for the emergence of one advanced species from another is perhaps a hundred thousand years; and very often the difference in behavior between closely related
species-say, lions and tigers-do not seem very great... But today we do not have ten million years to wait for the next advance. We live in a time when our world is changing at an unprecedented rate. While the changes are largely of our own making, they cannot be ignored. We must adjust and adapt and
control, or we perish.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

“The human condition is plagued with a labyrinth of shortcomings, frailties and limitations that hinder man from reaching his fullest potential. Therefore, it only makes sense that we find ourselves at the next phase in human evolution where restricted man merges with the infinite possibilities of hyper-evolving technologies. This techno-human transmutation will prove to be ‘the’ quantum leap in human progression. The harmonization of technologically extending oneself, consciousness, artificial intelligence and machine learning will reverse the failures of genetic predisposition and limitation.”
James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology

Carlo Rovelli
“We are a species which is naturally moved by curiosity, the only one left of a group of species (the genus Homo) made up of a dozen equally curious species. The other species in the group have already become extinct; some, like the Neanderthals, quite recently, roughly thirty thousand years ago. It is group of species which evolved in Africa, akin to the hierarchical and quarrelsome chimpanzees -- and even more closely akin to the bonobos, the small, peaceful, cheerfully egalitarian and promiscuous type of chimps. A group of species which repeatedly went out of Africa in order to explore new worlds, and went far: as far, eventually, as Patagonia -- and as far, eventually, as the moon.
It is not against our nature to be curious: it is in our nature to be so.”
Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

“We are not from different nations, ethnic backgrounds, or other human-related groups. Instead, we have come from an infinite number of planets, stars, and dimensions to experience and evolve through the Earth-Human experience.”
Maya M

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