Zitat des Tages von E. O. Wilson:
Blind faith, no matter how passionately expressed, will not suffice. Science for its part will test relentlessly every assumption about the human condition.
In my heart, I'm an Alabaman who went up north to work.
When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.
Science and religion are the two most powerful forces in the world. Having them at odds... is not productive.
If history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth.
Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?
Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.
Even as empiricism is winning the mind, transcendentalism continues to win the heart.
I was a senior in high school when I decided I wanted to work on ants as a career. I just fell in love with them, and have never regretted it.
If we were to wipe out insects alone on this planet, the rest of life and humanity with it would mostly disappear from the land. Within a few months.
A very Faustian choice is upon us: whether to accept our corrosive and risky behavior as the unavoidable price of population and economic growth, or to take stock of ourselves and search for a new environmental ethic.
There is no better high than discovery.
But once the ants and termites jumped the high barrier that prevents the vast variety of evolving animal groups from becoming fully social, they dominated the world.
We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.
It's like having astronomy without knowing where the stars are.
I had in mind a message, although I hope it doesn't intrude too badly, persuading Americans, and especially Southerners, of the critical importance of land and our vanishing natural environment and wildlife.
Ants are the leading removers of dead creatures on the land. And the rest of life is substantially dependent upon them.
If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way. The moral imperative of humanism is the endeavor alone, whether successful or not, provided the effort is honorable and failure memorable.
But I feel music has a very important role in ritual activity, and that being able to join in musical activity, along with dancing, could have been necessary at a very early stage of human culture.
The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology.
You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.
By any reasonable measure of achievement, the faith of the Enlightenment thinkers in science was justified.
Political ideology can corrupt the mind, and science.
I see no way out of the problems that organized religion and tribalism create other than humans just becoming more honest and fully aware of themselves.
Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.
The essence of humanity's spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another. Is there a way to erase the dilemma, to resolve the contradictions between the transcendentalist and the empiricist world views?
Well, let me tell you, ants are the dominant insects. They make up as much as a quarter of the biomass of all insects in the world. They are the principal predators. They're the cemetery workers.
Change will come slowly, across generations, because old beliefs die hard even when demonstrably false.
It's always been a dream of mine, of exploring the living world, of classifying all the species and finding out what makes up the biosphere.
Perhaps the time has come to cease calling it the 'environmentalist' view, as though it were a lobbying effort outside the mainstream of human activity, and to start calling it the real-world view.
We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.
People need a sacred narrative. They must have a sense of larger purpose, in one form or another, however intellectualized. They will find a way to keep ancestral spirits alive.
Religious belief itself is an adaptation that has evolved because we're hard-wired to form tribalistic religions.
Every major religion today is a winner in the Darwinian struggle waged among cultures, and none ever flourished by tolerating its rivals.
It's obvious that the key problem facing humanity in the coming century is how to bring a better quality of life - for 8 billion or more people - without wrecking the environment entirely in the attempt.