„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."“

Concluding sentence of his work Species and Varieties: Their Origin by Mutation (1904), The Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago, p. 826.

Letzte Aktualisierung 22. Mai 2020. Geschichte
Hugo de Vries Foto
Hugo de Vries
niederländischer Biologe 1848 - 1935

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

—  Baruch Spinoza, buch Ethics

Ethics (1677)
Original: (la) Meum institutum non est verborum significationem sed rerum naturam explicare

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

—  J. B. S. Haldane, buch The Causes of Evolution

Quelle: The Causes of Evolution (1932), Ch. IV Natural Selection, pp. 104-106.
Kontext: 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.

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)
Kontext: 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?

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„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)
Kontext: 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

As quoted in Masterpieces of painting from the National Gallery of Art (1944), p. 168
undated quotes

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„Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.“

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The Devil's Dictionary (1911)
Quelle: The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary

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

—  Jean Paul Sartre, buch Der Ekel

Reflections on a chestnut tree root.
Nausea (1938)
Kontext: 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.

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„The main trouble is, I think, best explained in the analogy of coffee. Natural selection is only a filter, and filters do not provide the taste of coffee that pours through them. Similarly, the range of evolutionary alternatives between which selection takes place has to be already in matter. How it comes to be present there is the real mystery about creation.“

—  Mary Midgley British philosopher and ethicist 1919 - 2018

Are You an Illusion (2014). 16.
Kontext: About all these things physics can tell us nothing. The idea of natural selection, which, as we shall see, is uaully called in to account for this vast creative surge, is already looking increasingly inadequate to explain evolution. The main trouble is, I think, best explained in the analogy of coffee. Natural selection is only a filter, and filters do not provide the taste of coffee that pours through them. Similarly, the range of evolutionary alternatives between which selection takes place has to be already in matter. How it comes to be present there is the real mystery about creation.

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„It may be also confessed that life often survives all the perversities of training. We cannot absolutely nullify the prodigality of nature, try as hard as we may.“

—  Leonard H. Courtney British politician 1832 - 1918

To My Fellow-Disciples at Saratoga Springs (1895)
Kontext: It is true— it has been already admitted— that the picture will not be universally recognized; but it has been suggested that the failure of recognition lies rather in the degeneracy of the faculty of seeing than in the misrepresentation of the vision to be seen. It may be also confessed that life often survives all the perversities of training. We cannot absolutely nullify the prodigality of nature, try as hard as we may. In spite of most careful management, untractable growths survive in the most provoking way, and intrude themselves into fields believed to be kept free from their presence. And sometimes it happens that the poor party managers have to accommodate themselves to the genius they curse.

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