Quotes About Paleontology

Quotes tagged as "paleontology" (showing 1-16 of 16)
Charles Dickens
“The carpenter's daughter has won a name for herself, and deserved to win it”
Charles Dickens, Contributions To All The Year Round

Charles Darwin
“But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.”
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

Henry Gee
“No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way... To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”
Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time

“The idea that one can go to the fossil record and expect to empirically recover an ancestor-descendant sequence, be it of species, genera, families, or whatever, has been, and continues to be, a pernicious illusion.”
Gareth J. Nelson

“The phrase 'the fossil record' sounds impressive and authoritative. As used by some persons it becomes, as intended, intimidating, taking on the aura of esoteric truth as expounded by an elite class of specialists. But what is it, really, this fossil record? Only data in search of interpretation. All claims to the contrary that I know, and I know of several, are so much superstition.”
Gareth J. Nelson

“The worse the country, the more tortured it is by water and wind, the more broken and carved, the more it attracts fossil hunters, who depend on the planet to open itself to us. We can only scratch away at what natural forces have brought to the surface.”
Jack Horner, How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn't Have to Be Forever

Richard E. Leakey
“I simply would not accede to being forced into this, and would frequently be kept out of classes because of irreverent comments and mocking this religious stuff. Frankly, it stayed with me to this day. In fact, don't get me going. I'm almost as bad as Richard Dawkins on this issue.”
Richard E. Leakey

Georges Cuvier
“Why has not anyone seen that fossils alone gave birth to a theory about the formation of the earth, that without them, no one would have ever dreamed that there were successive epochs in the formation of the globe.”
Georges Cuvier, Discours Aur Les Rvolutions Du Globe, Tudes Sur L'Ibis Et Mmoire Sur La Vnus Hottentote

“Today there remain but a few small areas on the world’s map unmarked by explorers’ trails. Human courage and endurance have conquered the Poles; the secrets of the tropical jungles have been revealed. The highest mountains of the earth have heard the voice of man. But this does not mean that the youth of the future has no new worlds to vanquish. It means only that the explorer must change his methods.”
Roy Chapman Andrews, On the Trail of Ancient Man

Elizabeth Kolbert
“This is the Mona Lisa of paleontology.”
Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Noah  Wareness
“Punker, what's compassion for a world this far gone? The streets don't give a fuck. It's a bummer, your care slides down its target like beads of rain on rock. There's no aquifer for any shit like this. Where does compassion go and can it be returned? You're Donn in this world, with the staff and the purple band. The artificer. Walking the bandoned suites of hell and your eyeballs thinking, what can be saved? Not their gear but its aspects. You started kung fu way later than the rest, and before that you saw compassion in a history spiel. Now it keeps washing up on your shore. Giving a shit might be made of parts, it might be made solo. It might be an invasive species or not. Punks evolved from dinos too. Not even cross time and distance. But the spikes on their heads are the same.”
Noah Wareness

Nicole Krauss
“Bird asked what a paleontologist was and Mom said that if he took a complete, illustrated guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, shred it into a hundred pieces, cast them into the wind from the museum’s steps, let a few weeks pass, went back and scoured Fifth Avenue and Central Park for as many surviving scraps as he could find, then tried to reconstruct the history of painting, including schools, styles, genres, and names of painters from his scraps, that would be like a paleontologist.”
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

“From an illustration in her "Animals of a Bygone Era": a Leptictidium, an extinct rabbit-like animal who left no descendants, says: "Too bad, because we were really cute.”
Maja Säfström

Bill Gaede
“Geneticists are a group of mathematicians who have taken over the Neanderthal Paleontology Guild. They call the shots now.”
Bill Gaede, Why God Doesn't Exist

Bill Gaede
“A geneticist is a geek who claims to have proven through regression analyses that a Neanderthal had sex with your great-grandmother 50,000 years ago.”
Bill Gaede, Why God Doesn't Exist

Bill Gaede
“After a handful of geeks sequenced the Neanderthal genome and found a 2% match, they opened the flood gates to hundreds of geneticists that now make a living telling you what diseases you inherited from an extinct Arctic ape.”
Bill Gaede, Why God Doesn't Exist

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