63 of the Best Charles Darwin Quotes

Charles Darwin Quotes

In England in 1809 a biologist and naturalist, Charles Darwin, was born. Known for his theory on natural selection, Darwin published a book in 1859 called On the Origin of Species. Darwin’s book explained his theories on natural selection and evolution and convinced readers that over a lot of time, species change. Charles explored places such as Argentina and Brazil on a five year voyage to take notes and collect samples of animals, plants, fossils and rocks to shape his theory. In the Galapagos, Darwin studied zoology and botany.

The information and samples he collected on his voyage were studied by scientists, concluding that his theory may be scientifically correct. He had written a few more books surrounding his theory of evolution by natural selection. After spending his life studying natural history and developing his theory, Charles Darwin died in 1882.

Charles Darwin Quotes

  1. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin
  2. “The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” – Charles Darwin
  3. “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” – Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82
  4. “Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal.” – Charles Darwin
  5. “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.” – Charles Darwin
  6. “A republic cannot succeed, till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honour.” – Charles Darwin
  7. “Animals manifestly enjoy excitement, and suffer from annul and may exhibit curiosity.” – Charles Darwin
  8. “but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil.” – Charles Darwin
  9. “A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.” – Charles Darwin
  10. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
  11. “We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realized that they were inside us.” – Charles Darwin
  12. “Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence.” – Charles Darwin
  13. “Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.” – Charles Darwin
  14. “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts.” – Charles Darwin
  15. “Any one whose disposition leads him to attach more weight to unexplained difficulties than to the explanation of facts will certainly reject my theory.” – Charles Darwin
  16. “A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone.” – Charles Darwin
  17. “I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.” – Charles Darwin
  18. “False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long…” – Charles Darwin
  19. “I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men” – Charles Darwin
  20. “The very essence of instinct is that it’s followed independently of reason.” – Charles Darwin
  21. “Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends.” – Charles Darwin
  22. “Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits.” – Charles Darwin
  23. “As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.” – Charles Darwin
  24. “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” – Charles Darwin
  25. “An agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.” – Charles Darwin
  26. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin
  27. “Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy of the interposition of a deity. More humble, and I believe truer, to consider him created from animals.” – Charles Darwin
  28. “A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.” – Charles Darwin
  29. “I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone.” – Charles Darwin
  30. “Building a better mousetrap merely results in smarter mice.” – Charles Darwin
  31. “An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.” – Charles Darwin
  32. “Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.” – Charles Darwin
  33. “The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.” – Charles Darwin
  34. “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts.” – Charles Darwin
  35. “…for the shield may be as important for victory, as the sword or spear.” – Charles Darwin
  36. “Conscience looks backwards and judges past actions, inducing that kind of dissatisfaction, which if weak we call regret, and if severe remorse.” – Charles Darwin
  37. “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.” – Charles Darwin
  38. “The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.” – Charles Darwin
  39. “Nothing exists for itself alone, but only in relation to other forms of life” – Charles Darwin
  40. “Blushing is the most peculiar and most human of all expressions.” – Charles Darwin, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
  41. “To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.” – Charles Darwin
  42. “I am not the least afraid to die.” – Charles Darwin
  43. “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
  44. “He who remains passive when over-whelmed with grief loses his best chance of recovering his elasticity of mind.” – Charles Darwin
  45. “I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them.” – Charles Darwin
  46. “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” – Charles Darwin
  47. “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.” – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
  48. “It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine.” – Charles Darwin
  49. “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. Let each man hope & believe what he can.” – Charles Darwin
  50. “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.” – Charles Darwin
  51. “I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me.” – Charles Darwin
  52. “A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn’t there.” – Charles Darwin
  53. “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
  54. “On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation.” – Charles Darwin
  55. “We are always slow in admitting any great change of which we do not see the intermediate steps.” – Charles Darwin
  56. “A surprising number [of novels] have been read aloud to me, and I like all if moderately good, and if they do not end unhappily against which a law ought to be passed.” – Charles Darwin
  57. “We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities… Still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” – Charles Darwin
  58. “Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.” – Charles Darwin
  59. “We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities… still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” – Charles Darwin
  60. “How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children.” – Charles Darwin
  61. “Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music.” – Charles Darwin
  62. “I am like a gambler, and love a wild experiment.” – Charles Darwin
  63. “In conclusion, it appears that nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist, than a journey in distant countries.” – Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin Video – The Theory of Evolution

The theory of evolution by natural selection is explored briefly in this fun to watch video. This is a quick refresher on Darwin’s theories.

Summary

Charles Darwin’s discoveries and theory of evolution are an important part of history to scientists, zoologists, biologists, archeologists, and naturalists world wide. His theories are still being studied today. In his time it was hard to come out with this theory because people believed that God had created all things. Darwin’s theory and lifetime work went completely against the religious theory. It doesn’t matter what you believe though, these quotes will get you thinking, and inspire you.

Image Credit: Elliott & Fry, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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