Quotations by Darwin, Charles


It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) English naturalist
(Spurious)

Though frequently attributed to Darwin (most specifically in The Origin of Species (1859)), this phrase is not actually found in Darwin's work.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 15-Apr-10
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Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval forests undefaced by the hand of man.  No one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) English naturalist
Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by HMS Beagle, ch. 21 (1839)
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From the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.  There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) English naturalist
On the Origin of Species, Closing Words (1859)
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Ultimately our moral sense or conscience becomes a highly complex sentiment — originating in the social instinct, largely guided by the approbation of our fellow men, ruled by reason, self-interest, and in later times by deep religious feelings, and confirmed by instruction and habit.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) English naturalist
The Descent of Man, 2d ed., ch. 5 (1874)
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We thus learn that Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits, and an inhabitant of the Old World.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) English naturalist
The Descent of Man, ch. 21 (2nd ed., 1875)
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Added on 30-Mar-20 | Last updated 30-Mar-20
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It has often and confidently been asserted, that man’s origin can never be known: but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) English naturalist
The Descent of Man, Introduction (1871)
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Added on 23-Nov-20 | Last updated 23-Nov-20
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