Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (J.M.
Dent & sons Ltd., London, 1972), p. 463.
...Thus, 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 by the Creator 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
Grady L. Webster, Science, vol. 139, 18 Jan.
1963, p. 236.
...The proponents of strictly empirical approaches to biology have
sometimes played a very useful role in restraining excesses of phylogenetic speculation by
those in the Darwinian camp. But the extreme operationalist point of view not only carries
with it the dangers of shallowness and superficiality but is fundamentally
anti-evolutionist in emphasis, despite assertions to the contrary.
Stanley L. Miller and Leslie E. Orgel, The Origins
of Life on the Earth (Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1974), p. 223.
...The reader has probably been dissatisfied with some of the chapters
in this book, particularly those that are long, detailed, and inconclusive. They are this
way because one or more simple processes have not yet been found. When the correct tricks
are devised, the discussion will become much shorter and simplified. We expect that it
will eventually be possible to demonstrate all of the required prebiotic reactions in a
convincing way. We hope that this book will tempt some readers to join in the search.
G.G. Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution (Bantam
Books, New York, 1967), p. 111. Quoting J. Arthur Thomson, in the first Terry Lecture,
...To be content with the religious answer--always apt to become a soft
pillow to the easy-going--is to abandon the scientific problem as insoluble, and there can
be no greater impiety than that. It is surrendering our birthright--not for a mess of
potage, it is true, but for peace of mind. Therefore man is true to himself when he
presses home the question: How has this marvellous system of animate Nature come to be as
Ibid., p. 246.
...In almost all of these [i.e., vitalistic and finalistic theories,
editor] a sense of despair or of hope, an emotion even more blinding than despair, is
Ibid., p. 250.
...For a time the discoveries of the geneticists seemed only to make
confusion worse confounded. Defeatism and escapism spread among many students of evolution
[i.e., in the first part of this century, before the synthetic theory combining the
effects of mutation with natural selection was developed, editor].
G.G. Simpson, This View of Life (Harcourt,
Brace & World, New York, 1964), p. 200.
...In some cases these theories were clearly born of despair and
faintness in the search, an emotional state with which we must sympathize but which we
should surely seek to avoid in ourselves.