The history of biology is littered with horrifying examples of the misuse of genetics (and evolutionary theory) to justify power and inequality: evolutionary justifications for slavery and colonialism, scientific explanations for rape and patriarchy, and genetic explanations for the inherent superiority of the ruling elite.
It is so hard for an evolutionary biologist to write about extinction caused by human stupidity. […] Let me then float an unconventional plea, the inverse of the usual argument. […] The extinction of Partula is unfair to Partula . That is the conventional argument, and I do not challenge its primacy. But we need a humanistic ecology as well, both for the practical reason that people will always touch people more than snails do or can, and for the moral reason that humans are legitimately the measure of all ethical questions for these are our issues, not nature's.stephen jay gould
The theologian could rewrite the Epic of Evolution by expanding on the story told by the scientist. The theologian could declare that this evolutionary story has had a plot all along. When God created the world in the beginning, according to this option, God placed a potential into creation which now through evolution is becoming actualized.
The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialisation, 'Western civilisation' or any flaw in human institutions. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate. Throughout all of history and prehistory, human advance has coincided with ecological devastation.john n. gray
Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinism theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories and consequently orient their research in a given direction, whether it be in the field of ecology, ethology, sociology, demography (dynamics of populations), genetics (so-called evolutionary genetics), or paleontology. This intrusion of theories has unfortunate results: it deprives observations and experiments of their objectivity, makes them biased, and, moreover, creates false problems.
I like to summarize what I regard as the pedestal-smashing messages of Darwin's revolution in the following statement, which might be chanted several times a day, like a Hare Krishna mantra, to encourage penetration into the soul: Humans are not the end result of predictable evolutionary progress, but rather a fortuitous cosmic afterthought, a tiny little twig on the enormously arborescent bush of life, which, if replanted from seed, would almost surely not grow this twig again, or perhaps any twig with any property that we would care to call consciousness.stephen jay gould
We have an evolutionary revulsion from slime, the site of our biologic origins. Every month, it is woman's fate to face the abyss of time and being, the abyss which is herself.camille paglia
I can think of a few microorganisms, possibly the tubercle bacillus, the syphilis spirochete, the malarial parasite, and a few others, that have a selective advantage in their ability to infect human beings, but there is nothing to be gained, in an evolutionary sense, by the capacity to cause illness or death. Pathogenicity may be something of a disadvantage for most microbes, carrying lethal risks far more frightening to them than to us. The man who catches a meningococcus is in considerably less danger for his life, even without chemotherapy, than meningococci with the bad luck to catch a man.lewis thomas
I believe that there is a fundamental mystery in my existence, transcending any biological account of the development of my body (including my brain) with its genetic inheritance and its evolutionary origin. ... I cannot believe that this wonderful gift of a conscious existence has no further future, no possibility of another existence under some other unimaginable conditions.john carew eccles
What kind of God can one infer from the sort of phenomena epitomized by the species on Darwin's Galapagos Islands? The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror.… The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.david hull
I declare that The Beatles are mutants. Prototypes of evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with a mysterious power to create a new human species, a young race of laughing freemen.timothy leary
Life’s Solution builds a forceful case for the predictability of evolutionary outcomes, not in terms of genetic details but rather their broad phenotypic manifestations. The case rests on a remarkable compilation of examples of convergent evolution, in which two or more lineages have independently evolved similar structures and functions.simon conway morris
Year-end financial statements … express a truth about office life which is no less irrefutable yet also, in the end, no less irrelevant or irritating than an evolutionary biologist’s proud reminder that the purpose of existence lies in the propagation of our genes.Alain de Botton
This is perhaps the most important book on evolutionary genetics ever written"ronald fisher
When we look to presumed sources of origin for competing evolutionary explanations of the giraffe's long neck, we find either nothing at all, or only the shortest of speculative conjectures. Length, of course, need not correspond with importance. Garrulous old Polonius , in a rare moment of clarity, reminded us that "brevity is the soul of wit" (and then immediately vitiated his wise observation with a flood of woolly words about Hamlet 's Madness.)stephen jay gould
Later evolutionary theorists of linear progress had to advance the overtly physical and historical claim that an ancestral lineage of arthropods actually turned over to become the first vertebrates (for the classical statement of the inversion theory, see William Patten, The Grand Strategy of Evolution , 1920).stephen jay gould
How ironic. In order to avoid the "nutty" theory of inversion, Gaskell invented the even odder notion of stomachs turning into brains with new guts forming below. No wonder then, that later biologists cast a plague on both speculative houses and opted instead for the obvious alternative: arthropods and vertebrates do not share the same anatomical plan at all, but rather represent two separate evolutionary developments of similar complexity from a much simpler common ancestor that grew neither a discrete gut nor a central nerve cord.stephen jay gould
Independent derivation meshed beautifully with the triumph, from the 1930's on, of a strict version of Darwinism based on the near ubiquity of adaptive design built by natural selection... Arthropods and vertebrates do share several features of functional design. But those similarities only reflect the power of natural selection to craft optimal structures independently in a world of limited biomechanical solutions to common functional problems - an evolutionary phenomenon called convergence .stephen jay gould
We can now determine, easily and relatively cheaply, the detailed chemical architecture of genes ; and we can trace the products of these genes ( enzymes and proteins ) as they influence the course of embryology . In so doing we have made the astounding discovery that all complex animal phyla - arthropods and vertebrates in particular - have retained, despite their half-billion years of evolutionary independence, an extensive set of common genetic blueprints for building bodies.stephen jay gould
We mankind stand at the center of an evolutionary crisis, with a new evolutionary device our consciousness of the crisis as our unique contribution.Margaret Mead
Repression is an evolutionary adaptation permitting us to function under the burden of our expanded consciousness. For what we are conscious of could drive us mad.camille paglia
I judge things from an evolutionary perspective "How does this serve and contribute to the process of our own evolution?" rather than think of good and evil in moral terms. I see the triumph of good over evil as a manifestation of the error-correcting process of evolution .
There will be no drastic revolution in management functions or organizations in order to encompass systems management. Rather, the adaptation of systems management theory to organizations has been and will continue to be an evolutionary process.
Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology.
We freely acknowledge that there is room for differences of opinion on such problems as species formation and the mechanisms of evolutionary change. Nevertheless, we are convinced that masses of evidence render the application of the concept of evolution to man and other primates beyond serious dispute.
What kind of God can one infer from the sort of phenomena epitomized by the species on Darwin's Galapagos Islands? The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror.… The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.
Capitalism is not so much an aberration as a step on an evolutionary path, and one that contains within it some of the answers to its own contradictions.