Quotes by Darwin and on Evolution/Darwinism

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. Charles Darwin unknown

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world. Charles Darwin "The Descent of Man"

It is generally admitted that with woman the powers of intuition, of rapid perception and perhaps of imitation, are more strongly marked than in man: but some , at least, of these faculties are characteristic of the lower races, and therefore of a past and lower state of civilisation. Charles Darwin "The Descent of Man"

The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain - whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses or hands. Charles Darwin "The Descent of Man"

'Social Darwinism' is often taken to be something extraneous, an ugly concretion added to the pure Darwinian corpus after the event, tarnishing Darwin's image. But his notebooks make plain that competition, free trade, imperialism, racial extermination, and sexual inequality were written into the equation from the start- 'Darwinism' was always intended to explain human society. Adrian Desmond, & James Moore, "Darwin", (1991)

The Darwinian insight can be turned upside down and grotesquely misused: Voracious robber barons may explain their cut throat practices by an appeal to Social Darwinism; Nazis and other racists may call on "survival of the fittest" to justify genocide. But Darwin did not make John D. Rockefeller or Adolf Hitler. Greed, the Industrial Revolution, the free enterprise system, and corruption of government by the monied are adequate to explain nineteenth-century capitalism. Ethnocentrism, xenophobia, social hierarchies, the long history of anti-Semitism in Germany, the Versailles Treaty, German child-rearing practices, inflation, and the Depression seem adequate to explain Hitler's rise to power. Very likely these or similar events would have transpired with or without Darwin. And modern Darwinism makes it abundantly clear that many less ruthless traits, some not always admired by robber barons and Fuhrers - altruism, general intelligence, compassion - may be the key to survival. Carl Sagan 1995

source: alt.quotations