The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
Man himself cannot express love and humility by external signs so plainly as does a dog when with drooping ears, hanging lips, flexuous body, and wagging tail, he meets his beloved master.
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Physiological experiment on animals is justifiable for real investigation, but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity.
The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.
Sympathy beyond the confines of man, that is, humanity to the lower animals, seems to be one of the latest moral acquisitions.
It may be conceit, but I believe the subject will interest the public, and I am sure that the views are original.
If worms have the power of acquiring some notion, however rude, of the shape of an object and over their burrows, as seems the case, they deserve to be called intelligent; for they act in nearly the same manner as would man under similar circumstances.
But when on shore, and wandering in the sublime forests, surrounded by views more gorgeous than even Claude ever imagined, I enjoy a delight which none but those who have experienced it can understand -- If it is to be done, it must be by studying Humboldt.
After my return to England it appeared to me that by following the example of Lyell in Geology, and by collecting all facts which bore in any way on the variation of animals and plants under domestication and nature, some light might perhaps be thrown on the whole subject.
We may confidently come to the conclusion, that the forces which slowly and by little starts uplift continents, and that those which at successive periods pour forth volcanic matter from open orifices, are identical.
One doubts existence of free will because every action determined by heredity, constitution, example of others or teaching of others. This view should teach one profound humility, one deserves no credit for anything...nor ought one to blame others.
Conscience looks backwards and judges past actions, inducing that kind of dissatisfaction, which if weak we call regret, and if severe remorse.
May we not suspect that the vague but very real fears of children, which are quite independent of experience, are the inherited effects of real dangers and abject superstitions during ancient savage times?
I often had to run very quickly to be on time, and from being a fleet runner was generally successful; but when in doubt I prayed earnestly to God to help me, and I well remember that I attributed my success to the prayers and not to my quick running, and marvelled how generally I was aided.
Travelling ought also to teach him distrust; but at the same time he will discover, how many trully goodnatured people there are.
All that at present can be said with certainty, is that, as with the individual, so with the species, the hour of life has run its course, ans is spent.
Till facts are grouped and called there can be no prediction. The only advantage of discovering laws is to foretell what will happen and to see bearing of scattered facts.
I shall always feel respect for every one who has written a book, let it be what it may, for I had no idea of the trouble which trying to write common English could cost one--And alas there yet remains the worst part of all correcting the press.
I suppose you are two fathoms deep in mathematics, and if you are, then God help you. For so am I, only with this difference: I stick fast in the mud at the bottom, and there I shall remain.
I can remember the very spot in the road, whilst in my carriage, when to my joy the solution occurred to me.
I must begin with a good body of facts and not from a principle (in which I always suspect some fallacy) and then as much deduction as you please.
A bad earthquake at once destroys the oldest associations: the world, the very emblem of all that is solid, has moved beneath our feet like a crust over a fluid; one second of time has conveyed to the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would never have created.
On your life, underestimating the proclivities of finches is likely to lead to great internal hemorrhaging.
I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations.
Whoever is led to believe that species are mutable will do good service by conscientiously expressing his conviction; for only thus can the load of prejudice by which this subject is overwhelmed be removed.
The tree of life should perhaps be called the coral of life, base of branches dead; so that passages cannot be seen-this again offers contradiction to constant succession of germs in progress.
Our ancestor was an animal which breathed water, had a swim-bladder, a great swimming tail, an imperfect skull and undoubtedly was an hermaphrodite! Here is a pleasant genealogy for mankind.
The voyage of the Beagle has been by far the most important event in my life and has determined my whole career; yet it depended on so small a circumstance as my uncle offering to drive me 30 miles to Shrewsbury, which few uncles would have done, and on such a trifle as the shape of my nose.
When the sexes differ in beauty, in the power of singing, or in producing what I have called instrumental music, it is almost invariably the male which excels the female.
I conclude that the musical notes and rhythms were first acquired by the male or female progenitors of mankind for the sake of charming the opposite sex.
The western nations of Europe, who now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors, and stand at the summit of civilization, owe little or none of their superiority to direct inheritance from the old Greeks, though they owe much to the written works of that wonderful people.
When primeval man ﬁrst used ﬂint stones for any purpose, he would have accidentally splintered them, and would then have used the sharp fragments. From this step it would be a small one to break the ﬂints on purpose and not a very wide step to fashion them rudely.
The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.
The man that created the theory of evolution by natural selection was thrown out by his Dad because he wanted him to be a doctor. GAWD, parents haven't changed much.
On seeing the marsupials in Australia for the first time and comparing them to placental mammals: An unbeliever ... might exclaim Surely two distinct Creators must have been at work.
I have long discovered that geologists never read each other's works, and that the only object in writing a book is a proof of earnestness.
The instruction at Edinburgh was altogether by lectures, and these were intolerably dull, with the exception of those on chemistry.
With mammals the male appears to win the female much more through the law of battle than through the display of his charms.
The children of the Indians are saved, to be sold or given away as servants, or rather slaves, for as long a time as the owners can deceive them; but I believe in this respect there is little to complain of.
Traveling ought also to teach him distrust; but at the same time he will discover, how many truly kind-hearted people there are, with whom he never before had, or ever again will have any further communication, who yet are ready to offer him the most disinterested assistance.
Man has an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children, but no child has an instinctive tendency to bake, brew, or write.
The age-old and noble thought of 'I will lay down my life to save another,' is nothing more than cowardice.
I have no great quickness of apprehension or wit which is so remarkable in some clever men, for instance Huxley.
When the views entertained in this volume on the origin of species, or when analogous views are generally admitted, we can dimly forsee that there will be a considerable revolution in natural history.
Formerly Milton's Paradise Lost had been my chief favourite, and in my excursions during the voyage of the Beagle, when I could take only a single small volume, I always chose Milton.
He who believes that each being has been created as we now see it, must occasionally have felt surprise when he has met with an animal having habits and structure not at all in agreement.
I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.
A republic cannot succeed, till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honour.
As some of the lowest organisms, in which nerves cannot be detected, are capable of perceiving light, it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves, endowed with this special sensibility.
It is easy to specify the individual objects of admiration in these grand scenes; but it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, astonishment, and devotion, which fill and elevate the mind.
So great is the economy of nature, that most flowers which are fertilised by crepuscular or nocturnal insects emit their odour chiefly or exclusively in the evening.
We thus learn that man is descended from a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in its habits, and an inhabitant of the Old World.
I cannot persuade myself that a beneficient and omnipotent God would have designedly created...that a cat should play with mice.
You ask about my opinion on vivisection. I quite agree that it is justifiable for real investigations on physiology; but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity.
But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.
But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?
To William Graham 3 July 1881.
If man had not been his own classifier, he would never have thought of founding a separate order for his own reception.
Hereafter we shall be compelled to acknowledge that the only distinction between species and well-marked varieties is, that the latter are known, or believed to be connected at the present day by intermediate gradations whereas species were formerly thus connected.
I believe there exists, and I feel within me, an instinct for the truth, or knowledge or discovery, of something of the same nature as the instinct of virtue, and that our having such an instinct is reason enough for scientific researches without any practical results ever ensuing from them.
In the survival of favoured individuals and races, during the constantly-recurring struggle for existence, we see a powerful and ever-acting form of selection.
Nothing can be more hopeless than to attempt to explain this similarity of pattern in members of the same class, by utility or by the doctrine of final causes.
So in regard to mental qualities, their transmission is manifest in our dogs, horses and other domestic animals. Besides special tastes and habits, general intelligence, courage, bad and good tempers. etc., are certainly transmitted.
It appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against Christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds, which follows from the advance of science.
Any one whose disposition leads him to attach more weight to unexplained difficulties than to the explanation of facts will certainly reject my theory.
It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is constant.
This fundamental subject of Natural Selection will be treated at some length in the fourth chapter; and we shall then see how Natural Selection almost inevitably causes much Extinction of the less improved forms of life and induces what I have called Divergence of Character.
Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but at last was complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct.
It may be doubted that there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world as have these lowly organized creatures.
Who when examining in the cabinet of the entomologist the gay and exotic butterflies, and singular cicadas, will associate with these lifeless objects, the ceaseless harsh music of the latter, and the lazy flight of the former -- the sure accompaniments of the still, glowing noonday of the tropics.
To my deep mortification my father once said to me, You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.
It appears to me, the doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelyhood pursue.
But I am very poorly today and very stupid and I hate everybody and everything. One lives only to make blunders.
Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends.
During my second year at Edinburgh 1826-27 I attended Jameson's lectures on Geology and Zoology, but they were incredible dull. The sole effect they produced on me was the determination never as long as I lived to read a book on Geology.
I believe we were all glad to leave New Zealand. It is not a pleasant place. Amongst the natives there is absent that charming simplicity .... and the greater part of the English are the very refuse of society.
I would give absolutely nothing for the theory of Natural Selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent.
Attention, if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement.
Thus we have given to man a pedigree of prodigious length, but not, it may be said, of noble quality.
It strikes me that all our knowledge about the structure of our Earth is very much like what an old hen would know of the hundred-acre field in a corner of which she is scratching.
Man scans with scrupulous care the character and pedigree of his horses, cattle, and dogs before he matches them; but when he comes to his own marriage he rarely, or never, takes any such care.
I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as the facts are shown to be opposed to it.
It is a truly wonderful fact -- the wonder of which we are apt to overlook from familiarity -- that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other in group subordinate to group.
From my early youth I have had the strongest desire to understand or explain whatever I observed. ... To group all facts under some general laws.
I was a young man with uninformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.
The most energetic workers I have encountered in my world travels are the vegetarian miners of Chile.
Mere chance ... alone would never account for so habitual and large an amount of difference as that between varieties of the same species.
It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another...we consider those, where the intellectual faculties most developed as the highest. -- A bee doubtless would use ... instincts as a criteria.
Natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight successive favorable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modification; it can act only by very short steps.
Probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.
With highly civilised nations continued progress depends in a subordinate degree on natural selection; for such nations do not supplant and exterminate one another as do savage tribes.
I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
It is impossible to concieve of this immense and wonderful universe as the result of blind chance or necessity.
Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms.
The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely that man is descended from some lowly-organised form, will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many persons. But there can hardly be a doubt that we are descended from barbarians.
I think it can be shown that there is such an unerring power at work in Natural Selection, which selects exclusively for the good of each organic being.
I always make special notes about evidence that contridicts me: supportive evidence I can remember without trying.
At no time am I a quick thinker or writer: whatever I have done in science has solely been by long pondering, patience and industry.
Every new body of discovery is mathematical in form, because there is no other guidance we can have.
I have been speculating last night what makes a man a discoverer of undiscovered things. As far as I can conjecture the art consists in habitually searching for the causes and meaning of everything which occurs.
If I had life to live over again, I would give my life to poetry, to music, to literature, and to art to make life richer and happier. In my youth I steeled myself against them and thought them so much waste.
The fact of evolution is the backbone of biology, and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an improved theory, is it then a science or faith?
There is a grandeur in this view of life, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful are being evolved.
The most powerful natural species are those that adapt to environmental change without losing their fundamental identity which gives them their competitive advantage.
Even people who aren't geniuses can outthink the rest of mankind if they develop certain thinking habits.
In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.
The world will not be inherited by the strongest, it will be inherited by those most able to change.
It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.
In a series of forms graduating insensibly from some apelike creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on any definite point where the term 'man' ought to be used.
When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.
Therefore a man should examine for himself the great piles of superimposed strata, and watch the rivulets bringing down mud, and the waves wearing away the sea-cliffs, in order to comprehend something about the duration of past time, the monuments of which we see all around us.
July 24th, 1833.--The Beagle sailed from Maldonado, and on August the 3rd she arrived off the mouth of the Rio Negro.
The elder Geoffroy and Goethe propounded, at about the same time, their law of compensation or balancement of growth; or, as Goethe expressed it, in order to spend on one side, nature is forced to economise on the other side.
I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit. Remember what risk the nations of Europe ran, not so many centuries ago of being overwhelmed by the Turks.
This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection.
This preservation of favourable variations and the destruction of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest. Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection and would be left a fluctuating element.
It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life. Who can explain the what is the essence of the attraction of gravity?
The power to charm the female has sometimes been more important than the power to conquer other males in battle. LAWS.
Hence if man goes on selecting, and thus augmenting, any peculiarity, he will almost certainly modify unintentionally other parts of the structure, owing to the mysterious laws of correlation.
How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!
Or she may accept, as appearances would sometimes lead us to believe, not the male which is the most attractive to her, but the one which is the least distasteful.
Origin of man now proved. Metaphysics must flourish. He who understand baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge:.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: It is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.
Two distinct elements are included under the term inheritance-- the transmission, and the development of characters;.
What wretched doings come from the ardor of fame; the love of truth alone would never make one man attack another bitterly.
I do not believe, as we shall presently see, that all our dogs have descended from any one wild species; but, in the case of some other domestic races, there is presumptive, or even strong, evidence in favour of this view.
The limit of man s knowledge in any subject possesses a high interest which is perhaps increased by its close neighbourhood to the realms of imagination.
Man could no longer be regarded as the Lord of Creation, a being apart from the rest of nature. He was merely the representative of one among many Families of the order Primates in the class Mammalia.
Englishmen rarely cry, except under the pressure of the acutest grief; whereas in some parts of the Continent the men shed tears much more readily and freely.
It is difficult to believe in the dreadful but quiet war lurking just below the serene facade of nature.
Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy.
I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work; and I still think there is an eminently important difference.
But a plant on the edge of a deserts is said to struggle for life against the drought, though more properly it should be said to be dependent upon the moisture.
But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?
A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die -- which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct.
A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.