„To put it in the terms chosen lately by Mr. Arthur Harris in a friendly criticism of my views: "Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest."“

—  Hugo de Vries, Concluding sentence of his work Species and Varieties: Their Origin by Mutation (1904), The Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago, p. 826.
Hugo de Vries Foto
Hugo de Vries
niederländischer Biologe 1848 - 1935
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Baruch Spinoza Foto

„My purpose is to explain, not the meaning of words, but the nature of things.“

—  Baruch Spinoza, book Ethics
Ethics (1677), Meum institutum non est verborum significationem sed rerum naturam explicare Part III, Def. XX

Alfred Russel Wallace Foto
J. B. S. Haldane Foto

„Where natural selection slackens, new forms may arise which would not survive under more rigid competition“

—  J. B. S. Haldane, book The Causes of Evolution
The Causes of Evolution (1932), Context: Where natural selection slackens, new forms may arise which would not survive under more rigid competition, and many ultimately hardy combinations will thus have a chance of arising.... Thus the distinction between the principal mammalian orders seems to have arisen during an orgy of variation in the early Eocene which followed the doom of the great reptiles... Since that date mammalian evolution has been a slower affair, largely a progressive improvement of the types originally laid down in the Eocene. Another possible mode of making rapid evolutionary jumps is by hybridisation.... hybridisation (where the hybrids are fertile) usually causes an epidemic of variation in the second generation which may include new and valuable types which could not have arisen within a species by slower evolution. Ch. IV Natural Selection, pp. 104-106.

Robert G. Ingersoll Foto

„Did they explain any of the phenomena of nature?“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
A Thanksgiving Sermon (1897), Context: Did Christ or any of his apostles add to the sum of useful knowledge? Did they say one word in favor of any science, of any art? Did they teach their fellow-men how to make a living, how to overcome the obstructions of nature, how to prevent sickness—how to protect themselves from pain, from famine, from misery and rags? Did they explain any of the phenomena of nature? Any of the facts that affect the life of man? Did they say anything in favor of investigation—of study—of thought? Did they teach the gospel of self-reliance, of industry—of honest effort? Can any farmer, mechanic, or scientist find in the New Testament one useful fact? Is there anything in the sacred book that can help the geologist, the astronomer, the biologist, the physician, the inventor—the manufacturer of any useful thing?

Thomas Henry Huxley Foto
George W. Bush Foto

„Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed. It must be chosen.“

—  George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946
2000s, 2006, United Nations General Assembly speech (September 2006), Context: Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed. It must be chosen. From Beirut to Baghdad, people are making the choice for freedom. And the nations gathered in this chamber must make a choice, as well: Will we support the moderates and reformers who are working for change across the Middle East—or will we yield the future to the terrorists and extremists? America has made its choice: We will stand with the moderates and reformers.

Albert Camus Foto
Pierre-Auguste Renoir Foto

„There is something in painting which cannot be explained, and that something is the essential. You come to Nature with your theories, and she knocks them all flat.“

—  Pierre-Auguste Renoir French painter and sculptor 1841 - 1919
undated quotes, As quoted in Masterpieces of painting from the National Gallery of Art (1944), p. 168

Ambrose Bierce Foto
Jean Paul Sartre Foto

„Absurd, irreducible; nothing — not even a profound and secret delirium of nature — could explain it.“

—  Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea
Nausea (1938), Context: Absurd, irreducible; nothing — not even a profound and secret delirium of nature — could explain it. Obviously I did not know everything, I had not seen the seeds sprout, or the tree grow. But faced with this great wrinkled paw, neither ignorance nor knowledge was important: the world of explanations and reasons is not the world of existence. A circle is not absurd, it is clearly explained by the rotation of a straight segment around one of its extremities. But neither does a circle exist. This root, on the other hand, existed in such a way that I could not explain it. Reflections on a chestnut tree root.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“