The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.
There are certain books in the world which every searcher for truth must know: the Bible, the Critique of Pure Reason, the Origin of Species, and Karl Marx’s Capital.
An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.
… 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.
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.
It will be possible, through the detailed determination of amino-acid sequences of hemoglobin molecules and of other molecules too, to obtain much information about the course of the evolutionary process, and to illuminate the question of the origin of species.
When it was first said that the sun stood still and world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei [the voice of the people is the voice of God], as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science.
Every philosophical thinker hails it [The Origin of Species] as a veritable Whitworth gun in the armoury of liberalism.
Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure.
From the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of higher animals, directly follows.
The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.
One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.
We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.
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.
On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation.
Each organic being is striving to increase in a geometrical ratio . . . each at some period of its life, during some season of the year, during each generation or at intervals, has to struggle for life and to suffer great destruction . . . The vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.