E. O. Wilson Quotes

While ants exist in just the right numbers for the rest of E. O. Wilson Picture Quote

Environment Quotes

While ants exist in just the right numbers for the rest of the living world, humans have become too numerous. If we were to vanish today, the land environment would return to the fertile balance that existed before the human population explosion. Only a dozen or so species, among which are the crab louse and a mite that lives in the oil glands of our foreheads, depend on us entirely. But if ants were to disappear, tens of thousands of other plants and animal species would perish also, simplifying and weakening land ecosystems almost everywhere.

Now when you cut a forest, an ancient forest in particular, you E. O. Wilson Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

Now when you cut a forest, an ancient forest in particular, you are not just removing a lot of big trees and a few birds fluttering around in the canopy. You are drastically imperiling a vast array of species within a few square miles of you. The number of these species may go to tens of thousands. ... Many of them are still unknown to science, and science has not yet discovered the key role undoubtedly played in the maintenance of that ecosystem, as in the case of fungi, microorganisms, and many of the insects.

Without the instruments and accumulated knowledge of the natural sciences… humans are E. O. Wilson Picture Quote

World Quotes

Without the instruments and accumulated knowledge of the natural sciences... humans are trapped in a cognitive prison. They are like intelligent fish born in a deep shallowed pool. Wondering and restless, longing to reach out, they think about the world outside. They invent ingenious speculations and myths about the origin of the confining waters, of the sun and the sky and the stars above , and the meaning of their own existence. But they are wrong, always wrong because the world is too remote from ordinary experience to be merely imagined.

The green prehuman earth is the mystery we were chosen to solve, E. O. Wilson Picture Quote

Earth Quotes, Humanity Quotes, Understanding Quotes

The green prehuman earth is the mystery we were chosen to solve, a guide to the birthplace of our spirit, but it is slipping away. The way back seems harder every year. If there is danger in the human trajectory, it is not so much in the survival of our own species as in the fulfillment of the ultimate irony of organic evolution: that in the instant of achieving self-understanding, through the mind of man, life has doomed its most beautiful creations. And thus humanity closes the door on its past.

Individual versus group selection results in a mix of altruism and selfishness, E. O. Wilson Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

Individual versus group selection results in a mix of altruism and selfishness, of virtue and sin, among the members of a society. If one colony member devotes its life to service over marriage, the individual is of benefit to the society, even though it does not have personal offspring. A soldier going into battle will benefit his country, but he runs a higher risk of death than one who does not. An altruist benefits the group, but a layabout or coward who saves his own energy and reduces his bodily risk passes the resulting social cost to others.