„Natural selection is a mechanism for generating an exceedingly high degree of improbability.“

Reported by J. S. Huxley in Evolution in Action, London: Chatto and Windus, 1953.
1950s

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Ronald Aylmer Fisher Foto
Ronald Aylmer Fisher
Genetiker, Evolutionstheoretiker und Statistiker 1890 - 1962

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Richard Dawkins Foto
Richard Dawkins Foto
Ronald Fisher Foto

„Natural Selection is not evolution.“

—  Ronald Fisher, buch The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection

Preface, opening sentence, p. vii.
The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930)

Richard Dawkins Foto

„Eugenics was not inspired by Darwin's natural selection but by ancient agricultural ARTIFICIAL selection. Eugenics is UNnatural selection.“

—  Richard Dawkins English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author 1941

https://twitter.com/richarddawkins/status/566866395540246528 (15 February 2015)
Twitter

Richard Dawkins Foto

„Mutation is random; natural selection is the very opposite of random.“

—  Richard Dawkins, buch The Blind Watchmaker

Quelle: The Blind Watchmaker (1986), Chapter 2 “Good Design” (p. 41)

Vannevar Bush Foto
Karl Marx Foto

„Nature builds no machines, no locomotives, railways, electric telegraphs, self-acting mules etc. These are products of human industry; natural material transformed into organs of the human will over nature, or of human participation in nature. They are organs of the human brain, created by the human hand; the power of knowledge, objectified. The development of fixed capital indicates to what degree general social knowledge has become a direct force of production, and to what degree, hence, the conditions of the process of social life itself have come under the control of the general intellect and been transformed in accordance with it.“

—  Karl Marx German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist 1818 - 1883

Die Natur baut keine Maschinen, keine Lokomotiven, Eisenbahnen, electric telegraphs, selfacting mules etc. Sie sind Produkte der menschlichen Industrie; natürliches Material, verwandelt in Organe des menschlichen Willens über die Natur oder seiner Betätigung in der Natur. Sie sind von der menschlichen Hand geschaffene Organe des menschlichen Hirns; vergegenständliche Wissenskraft. Die Entwicklung des capital fixe zeigt an, bis zu welchem Grade das allgemeine gesellschaftliche Wissen, knowledge, zur unmittelbaren Produktivkraft geworden ist und daher die Bedingungen des gesellschaftlichen Lebensprozesses selbst unter die Kontrolle des general intellect gekommen, und ihm gemäß umgeschaffen sind.
(1857/58)
Quelle: Notebook VII, The Chapter on Capital, p. 626.

Nikola Tesla Foto

„Alternate currents, especially of high frequencies, pass with astonishing freedom through even slightly rarefied gases. The upper strata of the air are rarefied. To reach a number of miles out into space requires the overcoming of difficulties of a merely mechanical nature.“

—  Nikola Tesla Serbian American inventor 1856 - 1943

"Experiments With Alternate Currents Of High Potential And High Frequency" http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1892-02-03.htm an address to the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London (February 1892)

Richard Dawkins Foto
Charles Darwin Foto

„An infant or child is not "free" to select the nature of his sensory environment“

—  James W. Prescott American psychologist 1930

"Before Ethics and Morality" (1972)
Kontext: An infant or child is not "free" to select the nature of his sensory environment but is dependent upon adults for the quality of his sensory environment and, thus, [for] his neurobiological development and psychobiological predispositions for certain kinds of behavior. From this perspective, it is evident that before a child can reason and before reason can establish principles of moral behavior, the course of an ethical and moral life has already been set.

Francis Galton Foto

„One of the effects of civilization is to diminish the rigour of the application of the law of natural selection.“

—  Francis Galton British polymath: geographer, statistician, pioneer in eugenics 1822 - 1911

"Hereditary Talent and Character" in MacMillan's Magazine Vol. XII (May - October 1865), p. 326.
Other works
Kontext: One of the effects of civilization is to diminish the rigour of the application of the law of natural selection. It preserves weakly lives that would have perished in barbarous lands.

Charles Darwin Foto

„I think it can be shown that there is such an unerring power at work in Natural Selection (the title of my book), which selects exclusively for the good of each organic being.“

—  Charles Darwin British naturalist, author of "On the origin of species, by means of natural selection" 1809 - 1882

Darwin's first published expression of the concept of natural selection.
"On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection" Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London: Zoology (read 1 July 1853; published 20 August 1858) volume 3, pages 45-62, at page 51 http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?pageseq=7&itemID=F350&viewtype=image
Other letters, notebooks, journal articles, recollected statements

„People are often unconscious of some of the mechanisms that naturally occur in them in a biased way.“

—  Robert Trivers American evolutionary biologist and sociobiologist 1943

As quoted in Science at the Edge: Conversations with the Leading Scientific Thinkers of Today (2008), p. 170
Kontext: People are often unconscious of some of the mechanisms that naturally occur in them in a biased way. For example, if I do something that is beneficial to you or to others, I will use the active voice: I did this, I did that, then benefits rained down on you. But if I did something that harmed others, I unconsciously switch to a passive voice: this happened, then that happened, then unfortunately you suffered these costs. One example I always loved was a man in San Francisco who ran into a telephone pole with his car, and he described it to the police as, "the pole was approaching my car, I attempted to swerve out-of-the-way, when it struck me."
Let me give you another, the way in which group membership can entrain language-usages that are self-deceptive. You can divide people into in-groups or out-groups, or use naturally occurring in-groups and out-groups, and if someone's a member of your in-group and they do something nice, you give a general description of it – "he's a generous person". If they do something negative, you state a particular fact: "in this case he misled me", or something like that. But it's exactly the other way around for an out-group member. If an out-group member does something nice, you give a specific description of it: "she gave me directions to where I wanted to go". But if she does something negative, you say, "she's a selfish person". So these kinds of manipulations of reality are occurring largely unconsciously.

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