Robert Broom, in the first paragraph of his paper, “Further Evidence on the Structure of the South African Pleistocene Anthropoids”, says it better than I co...
All posts tagged with quotes
In 1944, after receiving Franz Weidenreich’s monograph on the fossil sample from Choukoutien, China (now spelled as Zhoukoudian), Arthur Keith wrote a letter...
Eric Delson, Niles Eldredge, and Ian Tattersall in 1977 published on one of the first cladistic analyses of humans and our close relatives: “Reconstruction o...
In the field of human evolution, every so often a scientist will note the absurdity of talking about “anatomically modern humans”. Biologists don’t talk abou...
Charles Darwin, in On the Origin of Species, introduced the idea that the relationships between organisms form a tree.
Franz Weidenreich, in his 1943 article, “The ‘Neanderthal Man’ and the ancestors of ‘Homo sapiens’” (p. 44):
Here’s a painful analogy deployed by Arthur Keith (1924:253) for Neandertal dental anatomy:
In the Descent of Man, Charles Darwin ends his discussion of the relationship of other animals to humans with this evocative paragraph:
A 2015 review paper on archaic human introgression by Fernando Racimo and coworkers has a wonderfully succinct summary of the modern human origins debate:
The University of Michigan has done a release for a new paper studying speciation between black and mantled howler monkeys, by Marcella Baiz and coworkers: “...
For a research paper, I was re-reading some parts of the edited volume that describes the “Kadanuumuu” skeleton from Woranso-Mille, KSD-VP-1/1. This quote fr...
Wilfred Le Gros Clark, on controversy in human origins:
This is a nice paragraph from Waters and Stafford (2013) on the Clovis-first paradigm for initial habitation of the Americas:
Sick burn by Bruce Trigger, 1984:
W. W. Howells, in the conclusion of the 1980 review, “Homo erectus–Who, When and Where: A Survey”:
Doing some reading on supraorbital torus anatomy today, ran across this snarky passage from Mary Doria Russell’s (1985) paper, “The Supraorbital Torus: A Mos...
Ottoline Leyser, “chairwoman of the Royal Society Science Policy Advisory Group,” has published a brief essay on science assessment in the U.K.: “No research...
Charles Darwin, in Descent of Man (1871) pp. 51–52:
Ernst Mayr (1951):
Classic Phillip Tobias:
Andy Farke did a short interview with Kelsey Stilson, an author of a recent study on the paleopathology of rhinocerotids: “Author Interview: Kelsey Stilson o...
Wilton Krogman, in a footnote to his review, “Fifty years of physical anthropology.”
Aleš Hrdlička, in the concluding paragraphs of The Most Ancient Skeletal Remains of Man, his 1914 review of the fossil evidence of human evolution:
I was doing some reading about Piltdown for a project, and ran across a 1916 article by George Grant MacCurdy in Science reviewing diverse opinions about the...
Tim White, from an essay in 2000:
Just some notes from a designer at Facebook worth sharing:
I was surprised to find this quote from George Bartholomew, Jr. and Joseph Birdsell (1953:495), explicitly mentioning the possibility that the spread of homi...
Stanley Garn, writing in “Culture and the direction of human evolution” (1963: 222):
From Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill, a passage synthesizing the role of endemic parasites in weakening entire populations:
Many people know the story that Carl Sagan was rejected for membership in the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. The story has given rise to ...
Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Man and Natural Selection” (American Scientist 49:285, 1961):
Alice Dreger discusses her new book, Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science in The Scientist: “Stirring the Pot”.
Louis Leakey, writing in Nature in 1966 as part of a defense of the Homo habilis definition:
Louis Leakey, in a letter to Wilfrid Le Gros Clark (cited in Morrell, V., Ancestral Passions, p. 209), just after his and Mary’s discoveries of Zinjanthropus...
From Dave Winer: “A note about blogging”.
From today’s Wall Street Journal: “Benno Schmidt: Mitch Daniels’s Gift to Academic Freedom”
I was excited yesterday when I saw that John McPhee’s Annals of the Former World is finally on Kindle, and is selling for less than 9 dollars. It is a master...
Yale University classicist and historian Donald Kagan has just retired from a long and distinguished career. He has an essay in the current New Criterion, re...
Stephen Downes, widely recognized as one of the original inventors of the “MOOC” concept, on why courses should be open: “MOOC - The Resurgence of Community ...
From “The human revolution”, by Charles Hockett and Robert Ascher, footnote 2 Hockett:1964:
I was doing research on another topic, and ran across an obituary of Phillip Tobias that I hadn’t seen: “Phillip Tobias, SA’s great scientist and human being...
Peter Morgan and Glenn Reynolds, from their book The Appearance of Impropriety: How the Ethics Wars Have Undermined American Government, Business, and Societ...
Nicholas Carr, beginning a post discussing the increasing role of Google not only in finding what we’re looking for, but in anticipating the searches we have...
In response to Darwin’s claim that the British aristocracy has been made more beautiful “from pick of women”, Alfred Russel Wallace replied (in a letter to D...
The Paris Review interview of E. B. White has several good passages about writing. Here’s one:
Robert A. Heinlein, in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long:
Jerry Pournelle, in A Step Farther Out ($2.99 on Kindle):
From the preface of Mankind in the Making, by H. G. Wells:
Michael Brub writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education: “Why I Resigned the Paterno Chair”, with a discussion of academics versus athletics. I’m linking be...
In a 1937 paper Haldane:fitness:1937, J. B. S. Haldane covered some aspects of the evolutionary process in a particularly clear way. Not everything in the fo...
Software designer and blogging pioneer Dave Winer:
From Clifford Geertz’ 1965 essay, “The impact of the concept of culture on the concept of man” Geertz:1965:
This is maybe as good a definition of science as one could hope for, from the journals of early Canadian fur trader David Thompson:
Don Johanson and Tim White, writing in their 1979 paper on the phylogeny of early hominins (and introducing Australopithecus afarensis as an ancestor of late...
From the conclusion of Jack Stern, Jr’s retrospective article, “Climbing to the top: A personal memoir of Australopithecus afarensis”:
Hunter R. Rawlings, in Inside HIgher Ed: “Why Research Universities Must Change”.
Stephen Hawking, quoted in Wired (“Stephen Hawking’s best quotes”)
Nero Wolfe, in Fer-de-Lance:
The Guardian writes about the amazing comeback of Zahi Hawass (“Egypt’s man from the past who insists he has a future”). Whether it’s a comeback or just an u...
From an article about exploring Saturn’s moon, Titan, I have never in my life seen a scientist quote that sounds more like something Professor Frink would sa...
John McPhee, in Annals of the Former World (quoted in The Paris Review):
Jo Marchant elegizes an 1858 lecture by John Ruskin, on the topic of iron (“Not just any old iron”). I had to relay this quote:
I like this quote from Neil Stephenson, in his work, “In the beginning was the command line.”
In John Noble Wilford’s article about the new pre-Clovis archaeological site, Buttermilk Creek, Texas, James Adovasio gets the last word about advocates of t...
Here’s a quote from Ales Hrdlicka’s report on “Lansing Man” – a skeleton found near Lansing, Kansas in 1902, which was proposed as extremely early evidence o...
Writer-historian John Dos Passos, in the Paris Review, interviewed in 1968, referring to the academic treatment of modern literature:
Barbara J. King has written a short essay about why she loves anthropology:
John Shea, quoted in an article about the Jebel Faya tools by writer Katherine Harmon:
Before anyone asks: Yes, I’m aware of the Academy’s unfortunate misspelling.
Peter Wood, in a review of Paul Shankman’s book, The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy:
Penn Gillette, writing in 2002 about an experience with a TSA “pat-down”:
Does this word not sound like the midnight call of the Bird of Death?
Theodosius Dobzhansky, concluding a paper titled, “Evolution in the Tropics”, which considered the role of physical environment versus other factors as evolu...
Writer Harlan Ellison has been saying goodbye to fans, according to the Madison independent paper, Isthmus. The interview is interesting, including this part...
I’m using some statistics out of William Boyd’s 1956 printing of Genetics and the Races of ManBoyd:1956. It gives a good accounting of blood group data known...
Thomas Henry Huxley, in Evidence as to Man’s Place in Nature:
From Randi, J. 1988. “The detection of fraud and fakery.” Cell Mol Life Sci 44:287-288:
From Dave Winer’s discussion of bootstrapping and Web 2.0 technologies:
Thomas Henry Huxley, the first line in On the Natural History of Man-Like Apes:
MRS. PUFF: Congratulations, SpongeBob, you pass! SPONGEBOB: But Mrs. Puff, I don't feel like I've really done anything. MRS. PUFF: That's how extra credit is...
From Henry Fairfield Osborn (1927, Proc Am Phil Soc 66:373) “Recent discoveries relating to the origin and antiquity of man.”
Peter Heather’s Empires and Barbarians begins with a chapter summarizing grand theories of demography and social transformation among near-prehistoric people...
Stephen Fry is a famous British actor, humorist and blogger. He recently gave a speech on the occasion of the private viewing of the Royal Academy Summer Exh...
Homer Simpson, at the zoo:
Bioengineer Jim Collins, quoted in Nature on the “synthetic cell” story:
I ran across a heavily used quote by William James – the “blooming, buzzing confusion,” which he describes as a baby’s first experience of the world.
From the Popular Science archive, June 1963 (p. 24):
From p. 37 of the Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930):
Found this "The Earth is not finished, but is now being, and will forever more be-remade." (C.R. Van Hise, 1898) "Hum...
The local station is playing the “creationism” episode of The Simpsons today – maybe in honor of Darwin this week? A Marge Simpson quote from the end:
Daniel H. Burnham, Chicago architect and city planner (1846-1912):
From p. 641 of Carleton Coon’s Origin of Races (1963):
Nero Wolfe, in The Rubber Band, by Rex Stout:
Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute is headed by Nick Bostrum, who gave an interview to Time writer Eben Harrell:
R. A. Fisher and Sewall Wright introduced diffusion approximation methods into genetics; Fisher (1937) was the first to consider spatial disperal using a rea...
Some dialogue from “Too Many Husbands”, as Melvyn Douglas and Fred MacMurray get on each others’ nerves:
I’ll probably have some more material on quantitative analysis of dispersal in the few days. Here’s a quote from Peter Turchin (1998:17-18):
Another passage from Henry Fairfield Osborn, “Hunting the ancestral elephant in the Fayûm desert”:
More from Henry Fairfield Osborn, “Hunting the ancestral elephant in the Fayûm desert”:
I’ve been flipping through Earnest Hooton’s Up From the Ape (1946 edition). It’s a remarkable book for many reasons. I’m almost transfixed by his discussion ...
Henry Fairfield Osborn, “Hunting the ancestral elephant in the Fayûm desert”:
Earnest Hooton, on p. 170 of Up From the Ape:
Louis Leakey, participating in a conference organized by Sherwood Washburn, called “Classification and Human Evolution”, prefaced his contribution with a sau...
There was a really stupid article in the Times (UK) yesterday: “Women are getting more beautiful”. You know I don’t say that lightly. But I had to quote what...
"He to whom Nature reveals her manifest secret, yearns for Art, Nature's worthiest interpreter"
This is random, but John Dvorak writing about the portable phone craze had me laughing:
Elliott Sober’s book, The Nature of Selection, discusses the philosophical underpinnings of evolutionary explanation in relation to other sciences. I turn to...
If you don’t know about Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington, you can read more at this interview of Gervais by Australia’s Asylum. Where Ricky exposes his secr...
Peter Turchin writes very effectively about quantitative modeling and analytical methods in biology. So every so often I like to post an illuminative quote. ...
I happened across this great quote by Marcel Otte, referring to the Bordes-Binford debate among other archaeological donnybrooks:
In a discussion about space travel, I ran across a great quote from physicist Friedwardt Winterberg (emphasis added):
Ann Althouse, commenting on an article about the philosophy job market:
Darwin, in The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, volume 2, pp. 248-249.
Darwin, in the sixth edition of the Origin of Species, pp. 421-422:
Darwin, in The Descent of Man, volume 1, pp. 26-27:
Darwin, in the sixth edition of the Origin of Species, p. 421:
Julien Riel-Salvatore on peer review:
From gaming business guru David Edery, on the Freakonomics blog:
Dienekes comments on a new paper that attempts to estimate the age of a Y chromosomal clade:
Mickey Kaus’ twisted take on what history dooms us to:
James F. Crow, in the conclusion to his great article in the current Annual Review of Genetics, in which he reflects on a personal history of empirical appro...
Franz Weidenreich, in his 1945 article, “The Puzzle of Pithecanthropus”:
Darwin, in The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals, p. 222-223, referring to the muscles involved in furrowing the brow during a frown:
From Randi, J. 1988. “The detection of fraud and fakery.” Cell Mol Life Sci 44:287-288:
Reading through the introduction to Archaeology and Language, by Roger Blench and Matthew Spriggs (1998), I thought this quote was great:
Ann Althouse, writing about science and politics:
The teaser to this post on Science Blog:
Owen Lovejoy, quoted in an Ann Gibbons news piece:
In Mankind Evolving, 1962, p. 310:
Ann Althouse, confronting the Laetoli footprint-makers reconstruction at the American Museum of Natural History:
Spongebob: But Mrs. Puff, I don't feel like I really did anything.
My UW colleague Karen Strier, writing in a comment after a paper by Sayers and Lovejoy on the chimpanzee referent in paleoanthropology:
Monk, explaining why he won't buy a used toaster, even if it is only five bucks:
Steven Pinker, on the experiments that drive interpretations about moral intuition:
My colleague Greg Cochran, commenting on population models with small effective sizes up to the present:
Alec Baldwin, appearing in "Walking With Cavemen":
From the Origin, second edition, pp. 73-74:
Julien Riel-Salvatore comments on the hunting Neandertal women (my comment from last year here). Read the whole thing by all means, but I laughed out loud a...
An apeman is supposed to be dumb. One that smart, I can live without!
Commenter Yajeev, on A Blog Around the Clock:
My little girl, Sadie, couldn't sleep last night and we sat up watching a show about the "Skunk Ape" of the South. She loved it! Well, today I happened acro...
Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) on Mad Men:
From p. 48 of P. V. Tobias, Dart, Taung, and the Missing Link, Witwatersrand University Press, Johannesburg:
Raymond Dart (p. 198 of Australopithecus africanus, the man-ape of South Africa, Nature 115:195-199, 1925), summing up why hominids might have lived in what...
From p. xviii-xix of the preface of Selection, by Graham Bell (Chapman and Hall, New York, 1997):
Attributed to Niels Bohr, in response to Wolfgang Pauli's account of electron spin:
Charles Darwin, p. 50 in The life and letters of Charles Darwin, including an autobiographical chapter, vol. 1., edited by Francis Darwin, John Murray, Lond...
Joseph Hooker, commenting on an address by Lord Kelvin concerning achievements in mathematics, in a letter to Charles Darwin, August 5, 1871:
Astronomer Christopher Martin, about the star with the tail:
Bernard Wood, quoted in Ann Gibbons' story about KNM-ER 42700:
Scooby and the gang, in "Never Ape and Ape Man", 1969:
Ego Seeman, on page 4583 of "Sexual dimorphism in skeletal size, density, and strength," J Clin Endocrin Metabol 86:4576-4584, 2001:
F. G. Parsons, commenting on the more brachycephalic student body of Cambridge compared to Oxford, in "The Cephalic Index of the British Isles," Man, 22:19-...
Jim Laidler, quoted in a Slate article about vaccines and autism:
UK Entertainment Retailers Association co-chairman Paul Quirk, quoted in The Guardian, on Prince's distribution of over 2 million free copies of his new alb...
Justice Clarence Thomas, concurring in the decision of Parents v. Seattle School Board No. 1:
From the NY Times sports section:
Ernest Hooton, in Up from the Ape (1946, Macmillan, New York: p. 488):
Answer to the "genetic modification myth," "GM food means that we'd be eating genes and it's not natural to eat another organism's genes,"
Business columnist John Brandt, using "Neanderthal Inc." as a stand-in for your typical stupid corporation:
Daniel Drezner, commenting on why suburbs mark the top ten places to live for "families with children":
Savage Minds poster Thomas Strong, in reference to blogging:
Joel Allen (1877:139), quoted in Virginie Millien and colleagues (2006):
Erik Trinkaus, quoted by the BBC on the Tianyuan skeleton</a>:
G. H. R. von Koenigswald, in "Early Man: Facts and Fantasy", p. 67:
Ann Miller in On the Town:
"Instapundit" Glenn Reynolds, contrasting the idea of trans-fat bans with the infamous fast food rat problem in NYC:
Local personality Bill Wineke, on the channel 3 news, commenting on the Jesus tomb documentary:
Zen priest Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi:
J. B. S. Haldane, first line of "A mathematical theory of natural and artificial selection" (1924, Trans Camb Phil Soc 23:19-41):
Gretchen, on the real estate listings for the tiny tax haven, Principality of Sealand, and Romania's Bran Castle, linked to Vlad the Impaler.
Ann Althouse, deep in the comments wrapping a One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest metaphor:
Tom Kirkwood, in "Ageing: Too fast by mistake", Nature 444:1015: </p>
G. Ledyard Stebbins, on p. 241 of "The role of hybridization in evolution," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 103:231-251, 1959:
New York Times corrections column, on July 17, 1969 (a day after the Apollo 11 launch), referring to a 1920 column that claimed Robert Goddard's rockets cou...
From p. 1 of Risk, by John Adams:
Regular Althouse commenter Madison Man, on the story about Neandertal women hunting:
From the Fortune sources:
Rachael Ray, in Entertainment Weekly:
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), according to Yahoo:
Milford Wolpoff, in “Neandertals in our family tree”: </p>
Ann Althouse, on the death of an albino squirrel: </p>
Franz Weidenreich, in The Scientific Monthly 67, p. 106:
Dirk Hooijer, writing in Scientific Monthly (72:3-8, 1951):
John Gibson, on Pluto's demotion:
Writer Brian Alexander, on the future of sex:
General Zod, from Superman II, on visiting the Fortress of Solitude:
Ronald M. Green, ethicist, on building the "Bride of Neanderthal":
Metagenomics maven Eddy Rubin, on grinding up some more Neandertals, in Wired:
Darwin, in a letter to J. D. Hooker (Dec. 12, 1856):
Claude Shannon, in The Mathematical Theory of Communication (p. 56-57):
K. S. Lashley (Quarterly Review of Biology 24:28, 1949):
Jesper Hoffmeyer, in Signs of Meaning in the Universe (translated by Barbara Haveland):
Karl Popper, in Unended Quest:
Ann Althouse, on spouting off about topics outside one's expertise:
Frank Livingstone, in Current Anthropology (5:150, 1964):
Gregory Bateson, in Mind and Nature:
My 5-year-old daughter, Sophie:
From an Althouse commenter:
From Cardinal Paul Poupard of the Pontifical Council for Culture (story at News.com.au):
From tonight's CSI:
Cited in a lecture I heard today, from T. H. Huxley:
From Jerry Pournelle:
H. L. Mencken:
From Jerry Pournelle: