Charles Robert Darwin (1809 – 1882) was and is a renowned English naturalist, famous for being the father of the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection.

This theory is studied and has wide acceptance today, bringing Darwin’s studies to be studied in a large number of countries. He is possibly one of the best examples to follow within the world of science, together with great scientists such as: Newton, Hawking or Einstein.

  • You may be interested in: “The 26 best famous phrases of Marie Curie”

Charles Darwin’s famous phrases

We’ve all heard about this scientist, but how many of us have read his own words in the first person? Below you can enjoy the 70 best phrases and reflections of Charles Darwin , with which you are sure to learn a lot about him.

1. I am not fit to blindly follow the example of other men.

We must always think for ourselves, we must not blindly follow anyone.

2. It is always advisable to clearly perceive our ignorance.

Knowing we are ignorant is the first step towards personal wisdom.

3. Great is the power of constant misrepresentation.

Unfortunately, today’s society is an inexhaustible source of misrepresentation, as Darwin rightly tells us in this quote.

4. Beauty is the result of sexual selection.

Sexual selection is largely responsible for the physical beauty of a species.

5. The social instinct guides animals to enjoy their fellow man in society.

Humans, like all other animals, enjoy the company of our fellow man.

6. If I had to live my life over again, I would have made it a rule to read some poetry and listen to music at least once a week.

Reading poetry and listening to good music can help us find our inner peace.

7. Music awakens in us various emotions, but not the most terrible ones, but rather sweet thoughts of tenderness and love.

As we all know music tames the beast, Darwin was aware of this fact.

8. Intelligence is based on how efficient species become at doing the things they need to survive.

All species develop their intelligence in relation to how nature tests us.

9. Man tends to grow at a faster rate than his means of subsistence.

Human beings are always looking for new resources to exploit; we are a consumerist species by nature.

10. We stopped looking for monsters under the bed when we realized they were inside us.

The greatest monsters that human beings face are within themselves.

11. A moral being is one who is able to reflect on his past actions and motives, to approve of some and disapprove of others.

The human being is the only animal that can judge his own actions once they are in the past.

12. Killing a mistake is as good a service, and sometimes even better, as establishing a new truth or fact.

We must not persevere in our mistakes, we must learn from them so as not to make them again.

13. It is hard to believe in the frightening but quiet war lurking just below the serene facade of nature.

Nature may seem calm, but if we know how to look deep down we can see that it is a battle in constant development.

14. Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider them our equals.

The human being is considered superior to any other animal, when in fact he is just another link in the evolutionary chain.

15. Math seems to give one a new meaning.

Mathematics allows human beings to develop new forms of scientific and technological innovation.

16. Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities related to social instincts that in us would be called morality.

We must be more humane and value animals in a way that is much more honest with our own ideals.

17. There is certainly no progress.

All progress comes from an original doubt.

18. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly be exterminated, and they will be replaced by the wild races of the world.

The human being is unfortunately heading towards his own self-destruction.

19. I became a kind of machine for observing facts and drawing conclusions.

Darwin was a former connoisseur of the scientific method and spent long periods of time observing the natural environment.

20. We have not obtained any scientific explanation for the ordinary view that each of the species has been created independently.

This scientist’s famous theory clashed, and still does, head-on with the theory of creation.

21. Little by little I stopped believing that Christianity was a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions spread like wildfire over a large part of the earth had some influence on me.

As a scientist, Darwin clearly questioned the Christian religion itself, since his way of thinking clashed with that religion.

22. In the fight for survival, the strongest wins at the expense of their rivals because they are better able to adapt to their environment.

Knowing how to adapt more efficiently to problems will undoubtedly lead us to their best resolution.

23. With savagery, the weaknesses of the body and the mind are quickly eliminated.

The human being is the only animal that has developed a truly advanced society, banishing savagery from it.

24. The surgeon is capable of hurting himself while operating because he knows he is doing his patient some good.

Medicine is one of the greatest forces that human beings possess, of that we have no doubt.

25. The shield is as important to victory as the sword and spear.

A good defense can be the best offense.

26. Sexual selection is less rigorous than natural selection.

We living beings tend to reproduce ourselves to a great extent, as we are designed for such a purpose.

27. I die slowly because I have no one to talk to about insects.

Darwin felt a great misunderstanding in the society where he lived, this quote gives us proof of that.

28. I love bugs.

Darwin’s love of insects will endure forever in his studies.

29. How easily we hide our ignorance behind the phrase “the plan of creation”.

Religion was created largely to give a logical meaning to those things that human beings did not understand.

30. It is quite clear that organic beings must be exposed to new living conditions for several generations to cause an appreciable amount of variation.

Living beings adapt and evolve, especially as a result of the adversities to which they are exposed.

31. Bugs, like me, are misunderstood by most people.

Insects may be the great misunderstood of creation.

32. At last I fell asleep on the grass and I could wake up with the singing of the birds above my head.

This scientist was undoubtedly a great lover of nature.

33. Man selects for his own good, nature selects for the common good.

The natural selection keeps a great care of all its members, the nature itself needs all of them for its proper functioning.

34. In the future I see more open fields for other investigations.

I am sure that this famous naturalist would enjoy the latest technological advances in the field of research.

35. In the history of mankind, those who learn to cooperate are those who have prevailed.

Acting as a group allows us to be more efficient and to obtain a much more satisfactory result.

36. It is the weaker members of a society who tend to propagate their species.

The weakest members of a society can also be the most valuable link.

37. It is a demonic curse for any man to be absorbed in any matter as I have been.

All the great geniuses, including Darwin, have been seriously absorbed by his discoveries.

38. My mistake was a good lesson that taught me never to trust the principle of exclusion in the scientific field.

All great discoveries are the result of some kind of mistake.

39. I have no doubt that, on the whole, my works have been overvalued time and time again.

In this quote we can see the great humility this scientist showed throughout his life.

40. I am a firm believer that without speculation there is no good and original observation.

In order to get to the bottom of any matter, we must first explore all the ins and outs of it.

41. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble for us; and for my part I must be content to remain agnostic.

Darwin, as he explains so well in this quote, was a convinced agnostic.

42. Favorable individual variations and differences, and the destruction of those that are harmful, is what we have called “natural selection” or “survival of the fittest.

Those specimens that are best adapted to their natural environment are the ones that prevail.

43. A man of science should have no desire or affection, but a mere heart of stone.

In order to do a purely scientific job, we must put our emotions aside.

44. The man is descended from a four-legged, hairy tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in habit.

Today we know that all mammals come from a common ancestor, an ancestral rat-like animal.

45. In conclusion, it seems that nothing can be better for a young naturalist than a trip to distant countries.

To discover new species, naturalists are forced to make long journeys, often to the ends of civilization.

46. There is no fundamental difference between man and the animals, in their capacity to feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery.

All animals, just like human beings, feel, suffer and endure.

47. I love dumb experiments. I’m always doing them.

The most relevant conclusions can be drawn from the silliest experiments.

48. I have called this principle, by which every slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of natural selection.

Natural selection allows us to evolve as living beings, highlighting those qualities that are most beneficial to us.

49. The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we must control our thoughts.

The power to control one’s thoughts is a power that most animals do not possess.

50. Love for all living creatures is the noblest attribute of man.

As rational animals we must watch over those animals that do not possess our same quality.

51. If the misery of the poor is not caused by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.

The human being is the biggest predator who suffers himself, we tend to harm each other.

52. The very essence of instinct is that it is followed independently of reason.

Our instincts are capable of giving us a solution to a problem much more quickly and effectively than our reason.

53. Ignorance often engenders confidence more often than knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who claim that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

Ignorance is an evil that has always harmed human beings, because those who suffer from it are not able to realize that they are carriers.

54. It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor is it the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that adapts better to change.

In this quote we see how Darwin gives a twist to the famous belief that the strongest or smartest survive, is simply the best adapted.

55. I tried to read Shakespeare too late, so late it made me nauseous.

No doubt this famous scientist was not a great admirer of William Shakespeare.

56. Free will is to mind what chance is to matter.

Free will and chance have certain traits in common.

57. You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

If we are not focused we cannot understand what our own eyes see.

58. A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.

Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are, our friendships often define us.

59. A man who dares to waste an hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

We must never waste time, it is the most valuable asset available to human beings.

60. Natural selection, as we shall see below, is a force always ready for action and as immeasurably superior to the weak efforts of man as the works of nature are to those of art.

The human being is not exempt from natural selection; he also suffers from the designs of this famous law of nature.

61. When it was first said that the sun remained fixed and that the world revolved, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying “vox populi, vox Dei,” as every philosopher knows, cannot be entrusted to science.

We must think for ourselves and not get carried away by what most people think.

62. An American monkey, an ateles, who was drunk with cognac, could never be made to taste it again, in what he did with greater sanity than many men.

Animals are quicker to learn from their mistakes than human beings, we are obsessed with our mistakes.

63. History repeats itself. That is one of history’s mistakes.

Human beings must learn from history, so as not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

64. So evident is that good and bad qualities are hereditary.

Indeed the best and worst qualities of our ancestors will shape us as individuals.

65. We don’t like to consider the animals we’ve made our slaves our equals.

The human being has the absurd belief that he is a “superior entity” to the rest of the animal world, when in fact this is not the case.

66. The mystery of the beginning of all things is unsolvable for us.

How the universe was shaped is a question that still haunts us today.

67. Actually, I doubt whether compassion is a natural or innate quality.

Compassion is a quality that takes a long time for a human being to understand and value.

68. The tropical climate suits me admirably; it makes me want to live quietly for some time.

The tropical climate is very benign for many people, the heat and good weather affects us all positively.

69. Although the pigeon, which is the wild pigeon in a slightly altered state, has managed in some places to return to this primitive state.

Certain domesticated animals have the ability to return to the wild in a short period of time.

70. There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties.

Human beings simply have a different adaptation to the environment around them, but we are, after all, just another species of primate.