Evolution was far more thrilling to me than the biblical account. Who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel? To my juvenile eyes, Darwin was proved true every day. It doesn't take much to make us flip back into monkeys again.
We're just a conceited naked ape, but in our minds we're some 'divine legend' and we see ourselves as some sort of god, thinking we can decide what will live and what will die, what will be saved and what will be destroyed, but honestly we're just a bunch of primates out of control.
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state as we may hope, than the Caucasian and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
Tom Jones is funny to me, man. I mean, he really tries to ape Ray Charles and Sammy Davis, you know. He's nice-looking; he looks good doing it. I mean, if I was him, I'd do the same thing. If I was only thinking about making money.
Every word I say has chains round its ankles; every thought I think is weighted with heavy weights. Since I was born, hasn't every word I've said, every thought I've thought, everything I've done, been tied up, weighted, chained? And mind you, I know that with all this I don't succeed. Or I succeed in flashes only too damned well. ...But think how hard I try and how seldom I dare. Think - and have a bit of pity. That is, if you ever think, you apes, which I doubt.
Father was afraid of laughter and joy. He was particularly afraid of ridicule. He was afraid that someone would say that humans are descended from apes. Or that the earth is much older than four thousand years. Or that someone would ask where Noah go his polar bears from. Or that someone would swear. Father was terrified.
What right do we have to claim, as some might, that human beings are the only inhabitants of our planet blessed with an actual ability to be "aware"? ... The impression of a "conscious presence" is indeed very strong with me when I look at a dog or a cat or, especially, when an ape or monkey at the zoo looks at me. I do not ask that they are "self-aware" in any strong sense (though I would guess that an element of self-awareness can be present). All I ask is that they sometimes simply feel !
Life existed on Earth for nearly four billion years before anything remotely resembling a human being showed up. And even then, when we started to branch off from other apes about 10,000,000 years ago, our ancestors looked pretty different.