Edward O. Wilson Quotes

Edward O. Wilson Quotes

People would rather believe than know.

One planet, one experiment.

Science, its imperfections notwithstanding, is the sword in the stone that humanity finally pulled. The question it poses, of universal and orderly materialism, is the most important that can be asked in philosophy and religion.

We are a biological species arising from Earth’s biosphere as one adapted species among many; and however splendid our languages and cultures, however rich and subtle our minds, however vast our creative powers, the mental process is the product of a brain shaped by the hammer of natural selection upon the anvil of nature.

Real scientists do not take vacations. They take field trips...

Social intelligence was therefore always at a high premium. A sharp sense of empathy can make a huge difference, and with it in an ability to manipulate, to gain cooperation, and to deceive.

If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.

The race is now on between the technoscientific and scientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save it. . . . If the race is won, humanity can emerge in far better condition than when it entered, and with most of the diversity of life still intact.

[Scientific humanism is] the only worldview compatible with science's growing knowledge of the real world and the laws of nature.

The best way to live in this real world is to free ourselves of demons and tribal gods.

A wiser intelligence might now truthfully say of us at this point: here is a chimera, a new and very odd species come shambling into our universe, a mix of Stone Age emotion, medieval self-image, and godlike technology. The combination makes the species unresponsive to the forces that count most for its own long-term survival.

Human beings appear to be sufficiently selfish and calculating to be capable of indefinitely greater harmony and social homeostasis. This statement is not self-contradictory. True selfishness, if obedient to the other constraints of mammalian biology, is the key to a more nearly perfect social contract. - pg. 157

You teach me, I forget. You show me, I remember. You involve me, I understand.

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