Survive The Fittest Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Survive The Fittest. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.
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Leon C. Megginson
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The weak die out and the strong will survive, and will live on forever
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Anne Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank)
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The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!' 'Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of any social species, are those who are most social. In human terms, most ethical...There is no strength to be gained from hurting one another. Only weakness.
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Ursula K. Le Guin
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I know it's not good to be weak and helpless. But I don't think it's good to be too strong either. In our society, they talk about survival of the fittest. But we're not animals. We're human.
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Natsuki Takaya
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Survivors aren't always the strongest; sometimes they're the smartest, but more often simply the luckiest.
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Carrie Ryan (The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3))
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Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people.
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Audre Lorde
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He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.
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Jack London (The Call of the Wild)
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Never allow your mind to wander untamed like a wild animal that exists on the basis of survival of the fittest. Tame your mind with consistent focus on your goals and desires.
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Stephen Richards (Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free)
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There's no such things as survival of the fittest. Survival of the most adequate, maybe. It doesn't matter whether a solution's optimal. All that matters is whether it beats the alternative.
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Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
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See, they say it’s β€˜survival of the fittest’, but you and I really know that it’s β€˜survival of the most heavily armed
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Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
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That's the trouble with survival of the fittest, isn't it, Dominick? The corpse at your feet. That little inconvenience.
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Wally Lamb (I Know This Much Is True)
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The universe runs on the principle that one who can exert the most evil on other creatures runs the show.
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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There was no such thing as a fair fight. All vulnerabilities must be exploited.
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Cary Caffrey
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The fittest of the fittest shall survive !
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Bob Marley
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The spirit finds a way to be born. Instinct seeks for ways to survive.
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Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
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I’m a survivor. And like the moon, I have a feeling it would take a truly spectacular event to keep me from taking my place in the scheme of things, waxing, waning, and eclipsing notwithstanding.
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Janet Rebhan (Finding Tranquility Base)
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A student once asked anthropologist Margaret Mead, β€œWhat is the earliest sign of civilization?” The student expected her to say a clay pot, a grinding stone, or maybe a weapon. Margaret Mead thought for a moment, then she said, β€œA healed femur.” A femur is the longest bone in the body, linking hip to knee. In societies without the benefits of modern medicine, it takes about six weeks of rest for a fractured femur to heal. A healed femur shows that someone cared for the injured person, did their hunting and gathering, stayed with them, and offered physical protection and human companionship until the injury could mend. Mead explained that where the law of the jungleβ€”the survival of the fittestβ€”rules, no healed femurs are found. The first sign of civilization is compassion, seen in a healed femur.
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Ira Byock
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And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.
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Andrew Carnegie
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Instead of working for the survival of the fittest, we should be working for the survival of the wittiest - then we can all die laughing.
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Lily Tomlin
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Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto You. Kill or Be Killed. Either Shit or Get Out of the Kitchen. Survival of the Fittest. Make My Day.
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Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
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The very comprehensibility of the world points to an intelligence behind the world. Indeed, science would be impossible if our intelligence were not adapted to the intelligibility of the world. The match between our intelligence and the intelligibility of the world is no accident. Nor can it properly be attributed to natural selection, which places a premium on survival and reproduction and has no stake in truth or conscious thought. Indeed, meat-puppet robots are just fine as the output of a Darwinian evolutionary process.
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William A. Dembski (The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design)
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As I have discovered by examining my past, I started out as a child. Coincidentally, so did my brother. My mother did not put all her eggs in one basket, so to speak: she gave me a younger brother named Russell, who taught me what was meant by "survival of the fittest.
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Bill Cosby
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If you are my food, how am I supposed to feel pity towards you? That would mean starvation for me. β€œA hungry leopard told a fallen, panting, imploring gazelle
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.
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Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
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If theft is advantageous to everyone who succeeds at it, and adultery is a good strategy, at least for males, for increasing presence in the gene pool, why do we feel they are wrong? Shouldn't the only morality that evolution produces be the kind Bill Clinton had - being sorry you got caught?
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Robert J. Sawyer (Calculating God)
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People with good memories are liable to be crushed by the weight of their suffering. Only those with bad memories, the fittest to survive, can live on. - Lu Xun
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Peter Hessler (River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze)
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I remember as a child hearing phrases like "Only the strong survive" and "survival of the fittest" and feeling terrified, because I knew I was neither strong nor fit. I didn't yet understand that when humanity protects the frail among us, and works to ensure their survival, the human project as a whole gets stronger.
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John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
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Life is about survival of the fittest, and Jersey is producing the master race.
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Janet Evanovich (Four to Score (Stephanie Plum, #4))
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Through the anger came something I recognized; the sadness that can result from too many years absorbing the poison of others. - Alex Delaware on Dr. Lehmann
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Jonathan Kellerman (Survival of the Fittest (Alex Delaware, #12))
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Atheists are the most honest of the human race. These people are unable to live a double life; they are unable to lie to themselves. Of course it's an evolutionary handicap, and if that handicap was widespread, our species would run the risk of extinction
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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Every revolution starts with the aim to help the poor, but when the poor get it they forget who they were and become the new oppressors. The cycle goes on forever
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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Life is politics, you do it or it does you
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.
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Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man)
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Let no one ever intimidate you, you are standing on no one's ground. But again, some have claimed the earth as their own and usurped power from the rest of us. But they are usurpers; power belongs to every one of us. Seek it as much as possible. There is no shame in that. In fact it's a necessity. Either you have power or you are trampled to death in the stampede to get to the top
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then man's new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. As a result, we continue to keep alive and to breed the unfit. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct, Several European countries and a number of states of the American Union sterilize the criminal and the insane. This is not sufficient. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.
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Nikola Tesla
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Science lacks something very important that religion provides: a moral code. Survival of the fittest is a scientific fact, but it is a cruel ethic; the way of beasts, not a civilized society. Laws can only take us so far, and they must be based upon somethingβ€”a shared moral code that rises from something. As that moral foundation recedes, so will society’s values.
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A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1))
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In Beauvoir's experience Darwin was way wrong. The fittest didn't survive, they were killed by the idiocy of their neighbors, who continued to bumble along oblivious.
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Louise Penny
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The fittest person survives! The fighting man succeeds! He who Fights to Fit, will Survive to Succeed!
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Israelmore Ayivor
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That's the problem with survival of the fittest ... the corpse at your fett. That little inconvenience.
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Wally Lamb (I Know This Much Is True)
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He is older, crueler, more experienced, perhaps stronger, but survival has never really been the province of the fittest. Merely the hungriest.
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N.K. Jemisin (How Long 'til Black Future Month?)
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Evolution is the law of policies: Darwin said it, Socrates endorsed it, Cuvier proved it and established it for all time in his paper on 'The Survival of the Fittest.' These are illustrious names, this is a mighty doctrine: nothing can ever remove it from its firm base, nothing dissolve it, but evolution.
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Mark Twain
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I do care. That's why I hunt them. But if you've seen what I have, then you learn to deal with the murders and disappearances. You learn to push it aside and move on. The other life isn't here anymore. This new world has its own rules. Survival of the fittest is one of them. If you're hoping for kindness and pity, don't hold your breath.
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Susanne Winnacker (The Other Life (The Other Life, #1))
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When we attempt to clear up the mess others have made, or when we love the unlovely, we demonstrate the kind of weirdness God likes. We give the lie to the evolutionary survival of the fittest maxim...
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Ann Benton (If It's Not Too Much Trouble)
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I saw this cartoon in the paper, once. That Viking, Hagar the Horrible? He’s standing on the mountaintop, holding his hands to the heavens, shouting β€œWhy me?” And down from the heavens comes the answer: β€œWhy not?” Maybe that’s the ultimate truth; what right to do I have to expect a smooth ride?
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Jonathan Kellerman (Survival of the Fittest (Alex Delaware, #12))
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In politics what you see is not what you get
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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Only the strong will remain, all the weak will be consumed by fire
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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Statute books and golden rules were made to fetter slaves and fools.
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Ragnar Redbeard (Might is Right, or The Survival of the Fittest)
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I'm sick and tired of it," he said, "It's the same all the time. 'These are my claws, so this is my cowslip." 'These are my teeth, so this is my burrow.' I'll tell you, if I ever get into the Owsla, I'll treat outskirters with a bit of decency.
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Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
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The goblins of the city may hold committees to divide a single potato, but the strong and the cruel still sit on the hill, and drink vodka, and wear black furs, and slurp borscht by the pail, like blood. Children may wear through their socks marching in righteous parades, but Papa never misses his wine with supper. Therefore, it is better to be strong and cruel than to be fair. At least, one eats better that way. And morality is more dependent on the state of one’s stomach than of one’s nation.
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Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
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When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you "help" individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren't particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi. But isn't that how evolution works? you ask. The survival of the fittest? Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well. When that happens, the forest is no longer a single closed unit. Hot sun and swirling winds can now penetrate to the forest floor and disrupt the moist, cool climate. Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives. When this happens, they depend on their weaker neighbors for support. If they are no longer there, then all it takes is what would once have been a harmless insect attack to seal the fate even of giants.
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Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World)
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Never Give Up, Just Follow Your Dreams....
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Muhammad Imran Hasan
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Politicians know it's a game of power, every politician at every level, even in the common of mortals.
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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Power hungry=life loving
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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We are all in the middle of nature beauty contest.
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Toba Beta (My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut)
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Corporate rule number 7; survival of the fittest spoon. Those who follow reach nowhere.
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Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma (Guru with Guitar)
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Politicians are a higher breed of men. They know that this world is ruthless and that they must live accordingly to cope with it
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (The Great Pearl of Wisdom)
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Nature's stern discipline enjoins mutual help at least as often as warfare. The fittest may also be the gentlest.
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Theodosius Dobzhansky (Mankind Evolving: The Evolution of the Human Species (The Silliman Memorial Lectures Series))
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Once you are in power, never forget those who put you there. Deal with those who think they can do better than you and those who think you are god's representative on earth. Deal with each other according to his actions
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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This preservation of favourable individual differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious, I have called Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest.
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Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
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Evolution was a paste-and-baling-wire process that came up with half-assed solutions like pushing teeth through babies’ gums and menstruation. Survival of the fittest was a technical term that covered a lot more close-enough-is-close-enough than actual design.
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James S.A. Corey (Tiamat's Wrath (The Expanse, #8))
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There were two choices in life. Survive or succumb. And most people weren’t even conscious of the path they chose. Because they chose for all the wrong reasons. Love, principles, dreams, desire. The world hadn’t changed. It had always been survival of the fittest.
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Claire Merle
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Any self-defense situation has the potential to quickly become A 'life and death' situation, therefore your practice of martial arts should be undertaken, as if your very life depends on it . . .
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Soke Behzad Ahmadi (Legacy of A Sensei)
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This century will be called Darwin's century. He was one of the greatest men who ever touched this globe. He has explained more of the phenomena of life than all of the religious teachers. Write the name of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the name of every theologian who ever lived on the other, and from that name has come more light to the world than from all of those. His doctrine of evolution, his doctrine of the survival of the fittest, his doctrine of the origin of species, has removed in every thinking mind the last vestige of orthodox Christianity. He has not only stated, but he has demonstrated, that the inspired writer knew nothing of this world, nothing of the origin of man, nothing of geology, nothing of astronomy, nothing of nature; that the Bible is a book written by ignorance--at the instigation of fear. Think of the men who replied to him. Only a few years ago there was no person too ignorant to successfully answer Charles Darwin, and the more ignorant he was the more cheerfully he undertook the task. He was held up to the ridicule, the scorn and contempt of the Christian world, and yet when he died, England was proud to put his dust with that of her noblest and her grandest. Charles Darwin conquered the intellectual world, and his doctrines are now accepted facts. His light has broken in on some of the clergy, and the greatest man who to-day occupies the pulpit of one of the orthodox churches, Henry Ward Beecher, is a believer in the theories of Charles Darwin--a man of more genius than all the clergy of that entire church put together. ...The church teaches that man was created perfect, and that for six thousand years he has degenerated. Darwin demonstrated the falsity of this dogma. He shows that man has for thousands of ages steadily advanced; that the Garden of Eden is an ignorant myth; that the doctrine of original sin has no foundation in fact; that the atonement is an absurdity; that the serpent did not tempt, and that man did not 'fall.' Charles Darwin destroyed the foundation of orthodox Christianity. There is nothing left but faith in what we know could not and did not happen. Religion and science are enemies. One is a superstition; the other is a fact. One rests upon the false, the other upon the true. One is the result of fear and faith, the other of investigation and reason.
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Robert G. Ingersoll (Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll: Including His Letters On the Chinese God--Is Suicide a Sin?--The Right to One's Life--Etc. Etc. Etc, Volume 2)
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If anyone rises to power, it's not only because he could, but also because the stars were aligned in his favor. Many with apparent means to take it failed simply because they weren't destined for the honor
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
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This survival of the fittest implies multiplication of the fittest. {The phrase 'survival of the fittest' was not originated by Charles Darwin, though he discussed Spencer's 'excellent expression' in a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace (Jul 1866).}
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Herbert Spencer (The Principles of Biology, Vol 1)
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Feeling like, life has been so unfair to me, but what can I say except, "I'm still here." So I'm determined to make the best out of it, take every opportunity as a blessing, and live the rest of my life to the fullest.
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Jonathan Anthony Burkett
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If you ignorantly believe there’s not enough life support available on planet Earth for all humanity, then survival only of the fittest seems self-flatteringly to warrant magna-selfishness. However, it is due only to humans’ born state of ignorance and the 99.99-percent invisibility of technological capabilities that they do not recognize the vast abundance of resources available to support all humanity at an omni-high standard of living.
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R. Buckminster Fuller (Grunch of Giants)
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We no longer have natural selection. We have unnatural selection. Survival of the fittest has been replaced by survival of the fakest.
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Maureen Dowd (Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide)
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It felt to me as if we were all involved in some kind of twisted, South-of-the-Border, Darwinian, "Survival of The Fittest" experiment. And I wanted to win.
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JosΓ© N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
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This world is no longer survival of the fittest, but survival of the heartless.
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Zachary Koukol (Apollyon's Saint The Nine Kingdoms)
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Lie to me. Tell me that I'm going to wake up and all of this is nothing but a nightmare.
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Michael Taylor (Survival of the Fittest: The Last Hope for the Human Race)
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The lucky ones died in the blasts. They were spared the fate of starvation, cannibalism, rape and slaughter. Where a man could be killed over half-eaten can of corn.
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Joe Reyes (Aftermath)
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Capitalism: let live who can afford to, not simply who wishes to. Life has a price and it belongs only to those who can pay it.
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (Book of Wisdom)
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As man becomes more technologically advanced, his barbarity becomes even more lethal
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Bangambiki Habyarimana (The Great Pearl of Wisdom)
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Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but microevolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest... The origin of species β€” Darwin’s problem β€” remains unsolved.
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Scott F. Gilbert
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Boy, there are people who conquered half the world, slaughtered whole populations, wiped cultures off the face of the planet, and you know what history calls them? Heroes! Kings, presidents, champions, explorers. You think America was settled by white men because the Indians invited us her? No, we took this land because we were stronger, and that's how every page of human history is written. It's just our nature. We're a predator species, top of the food chain. Survival of the fittest is written in our blood, it's stenciled on every gene of our DNA. The strong take and the strong make, and the weak are there only to help them do it. End of story.
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Jonathan Maberry (Rot & Ruin (Rot & Ruin, #1))
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The embryological record is almost always abbreviated in accordance with the tendency of nature (to be explained on the principle of survival of the fittest) to attain her needs by the easiest means.
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Francis Maitland Balfour
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Evolution works through this principle: the survival of the fittest. One of the essential elements of Christian discipleship demands that we work for this principle: the survival of the weakest and the gentlest.
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Ronald Rolheiser (Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity)
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Weedon Scott had set himself the task of redeeming White Fang - or rather, of redeeming mankind from the wrong it had done White Fang. It was a matter of principle and conscience. He felt that the ill done White Fang was a debt incurred by man and that it must be paid.
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Jack London (The Call of the Wild / White Fang)
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When you're the sane brother of a schizophrenic identical twin, the tricky thing about saving yourself is the blood it leaves on your hands--the little inconvenience of the look-alike corpse at your feet. And if you're into both survival of the fittest and being your brother's keeper--if you've promised your dying mother--then say so long to sleep and hello to the middle of the night. Grab a book or a beer. Get used to Letterman's gap-toothed smile of the absurd, or the view of the bedroom ceiling, or the indifference of random selection. Take it from a godless insomniac. Take it from the uncrazy twin--the guy who beat the biochemical rap.
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Wally Lamb (I Know This Much Is True)
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We need to move beyond Darwinian Theory, which stresses the importance of individuals, to one that stresses the importance of the community. British scientist Timothy Lenton provides evidence that evolution is more dependent on the interaction among species than it is on the interaction of individuals within a species. Evolution becomes a matter of the survival of the fittest groups rather than the survival of the fittest individuals. In a 1998 article in Nature, Lenton wrote that rather than focusing on individuals and their role in evolution β€œwe must consider the totality of organisms and their material environment to fully understand which traits come to persist and dominate.” (Lenton
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Bruce H. Lipton (The Biology of Belief: Unleasing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles)
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I fully agree with all that you say on the advantages of H. Spencer's excellent expression of 'the survival of the fittest.' This, however, had not occurred to me till reading your letter. It is, however, a great objection to this term that it cannot be used as a substantive governing a verb; and that this is a real objection I infer from H. Spencer continually using the words, natural selection. (Letter to A. R. Wallace July 1866)
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Charles Darwin
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Why should he not hate them? He never asked himself the question. He knew only hate and lost himself in the passion of it. Life had become a hell to him. He had not been made for the close confinement wild beasts endure at the hands of men. And yet it was in precisely this way that he was treated. Men stared at him, poked sticks between the bars to make him snarl, and then laughed at him.
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Jack London (The Call of the Wild / White Fang)
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They used to teach us that evolution of intelligent beings wasn't possible," she said. "Societies protect their weaker members. Civilizations tend to make wheel chairs and spectacles and hearing aids as soon as they have the tools for them. When a society makes war, the men generally have to pass a fitness test before they're allowed, to risk their lives. I suppose it helps win the war." She smiled. "But it leaves precious little room for the survival of the fittest.
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Larry Niven (The Mote in God's Eye (Moties, #1))
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My firm conviction is that if wide-spread Eugenic reforms are not adopted during the next hundred years or so, our Western Civilization is inevitably destined to such a slow and gradual decay as that which has been experienced in the past by every great ancient civilization. The size and the importance of the United States throws on you a special responsibility in your endeavours to safeguard the future of our race. Those who are attending your Congress will be aiding in this endeavour, and though you will gain no thanks from your own generation, posterity will, I believe, learn to realize the great dept it owes to all the workers in this field.
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Leonard Darwin
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...it obeys none of the natural laws of hereditary and environmental change, pays no attention to the survival of the fittest, positively sneers at any attempt on the part of man to work out a rational life cycle, is possibly immortal, unquestionably immoral, evidences anabolism but not katabolism, ruts, spawns, and breeds but does not reproduce, lays no eggs, builds no nests, seeks but does not find, wanders but does not rest.
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Charles Grandison Finney (The Circus of Dr. Lao)
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War has no longer the justification that it makes for the survival of the fittest; it involves the survival of the less fit. The idea that the struggle between nations is a part of the evolutionary law of man's advance involves a profound misreading of the biological analogy. The warlike nations do not inherit the earth; they represent the decaying human element.
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Norman Angell (The Great Illusion (Cosimo Classics))
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In his book In This Very Life, the Burmese meditation teacher Sayadaw U Pandita, wrote, "In their quest for happiness, people mistake excitement of the mind for real happiness." We get excited when we hear good news, start a new relationship, or ride a roller coaster. Somewhere in human history, we were conditioned to think that the feeling we get when dopamine fires in our brain equals happiness. Don't forget, this was probably set up so that we would remember where food could be found, not to give us the feeling "you are now fulfilled." To be sure, defining happiness is a tricky business, and very subjective. Scientific definitions of happiness continue to be controversial and hotly debated. The emotion doesn't seem to be something that fits into a survival-of-the-fittest learning algorithm. But we can be reasonably sure that the anticipation of a reward isn't happiness.
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Judson Brewer (The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits)
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He [William Jennings Bryan] recognized that what Darwin proposed on the biological level, when applied on the societal level, might legitimize an ideology that supports the survival of the fittest, with all of its dire complications. Byran was able to envision the kind of society that Social Darwinism would create- the kind of exploitation that comes from unbridled capitalism, for instance- and chose to war against it.
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Tony Campolo (Red Letter Christians: A Citizen's Guide to Faith and Politics)
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The predisposition to religious belief is an ineradicable part of human behavior. Mankind has produced 100,000 religions. It is an illusion to think that scientific humanism and learning will dispel religious belief. Men would rather believe than know... A kind of Darwinistic survival of the fittest has occurred with religions... The ecological principle called Gause's law holds that competition is maximal between species with identical needs... Even submission to secular religions such as Communism and guru cults involve willing subordination of the individual to the group. Religious practices confer biological advantage. The mechanisms of religion include (1) objectification (the reduction of reality to images and definitions that are easily understood and cannot be refuted), (2) commitment through faith (a kind of tribalism enacted through self-surrender), (3) and myth (the narratives that explain the tribe's favored position on the earth, often incorporating supernatural forces struggling for control, apocalypse, and millennium).
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Edward O. Wilson
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Nearly all of these successful folks have made it in the business world by sticking with the free market ideal of survival of the fittest over everything else. They believe in giving no quarter, and consequently they are antiunion, pro-death penalty, and pro-war- that is, until they actually feel the war's cost in their own wallets and a big voice coming out of the sky says: You could grab more money if we did not have this war to pay for! This is America, where greed is christened "drive" and is deemed a virtue.
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Joe Bageant
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Richard looked up at the beautiful, big pines spreading over them, illuminated in the firelight. A spark of understanding lit in his mind. He saw the branches stretched out with murderous intent in a years-long struggle to reach the sunlight and dispatch its neighbors with its shade. Success would give space for its offspring, many of which would also shrivel in the shade of the parent. Several close neighbors of the big pine were withered and weak, victims all. It was true. The design of nature was success by murder.
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Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
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... if we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories. In this way it is only too easy to obtain what appears to be overwhelming evidence in favor of a theory which, if approached critically, would have been refuted. In order to make the method of selection by elimination work, and to ensure that only the fittest theories survive, their struggle for life must be made severe for them.
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Karl Popper (The Poverty of Historicism)
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Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: And whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ [Matthew 16:25.]…He who is β€˜The Way, the Truth and the Life’ [see John 14:6] has herein set forth an immutable law. …Specifically stated, this law is, β€˜We live our lives most completely when we strive to make the world better and happier.’ The law of pure nature, survival of the fittest, is self-preservation at the sacrifice of all else; but in contrast to this the law of true spiritual life is, deny self for the good of others. …
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David O. McKay
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In my lifelong study of the scores of species of ants to be found in the tropical forests of Dal Hon, I am led to the conviction that all forms of life are engaged in a struggle to survive, and that within each species there exists a range of natural but variable proclivities, of physical condition and of behaviour, which in turn weighs for or against in the battle to survive and procreate. Further, it is my suspicion that in the act of procreation, such traits are passed on. By extension, one can see that ill traits reduce the likelihood of both survival and procreation. On the basis of these notions, I wish to propose to my fellow scholars at this noble gathering a law of survival that pertains to all forms of life. But before I do so, I must add one more caveat, drawn from the undeniable behavioural characteristics of, in my instance of speciality, ants. To whit, success of one form of life more often than not initiates devastating population collapse among competitors, and indeed, sometimes outright extinction. And that such annihilation of rivals may in fact be a defining feature of success. Thus, my colleagues, I wish to propose a mode of operation among all forms of life, which I humbly call-in my four-volume treatise-β€˜The Betrayal of the Fittest’. Obsessional Scrolls Sixth Day Proceedings Address Of Skavat Gill Unta, Malazan Empire, 1097 Burn's Sleep
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Steven Erikson (Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9))
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If you didn’t already know this, the sun is going to die. When I think about the future, I don’t think about inescapable ends. But even if we solve global warming and destroy nuclear bombs and control population, ultimately the human race will annihilate itself if we stay here. Eventually, inevitably, we will no longer be able to live on Earth: we have a giant fireball clock ticking down twilight by twilight. In many ways, I think mortality is more manageable when we consider our eternal components, our genetics and otherwise that carry on after us. Still, soon enough, the books we write and the plants we grow will freeze up and rot in the darkness. But maybe there’s hope. What the universe really boils down to is whether a planet evolves a life-form intelligent enough to create technology capable of transporting and sustaining that life-form off the planet before the sun in that planet’s solar system explodes. I have a limited set of comparative data points, but I’d estimate that we’re actually doing okay at this point. We already have (intelligent) life, technology, and (primitive) space travel. And we still have some time before our sun runs out of hydrogen and goes nuclear. Yet none of that matters unless we can develop a sustainable means of living and traveling in space. Maybe we can. What I’ve concluded is that if we do reach this point, we have crossed a remarkable thresholdβ€”and will emerge into the (rare?) evolutionary status of having outlived the very life source that created us. It’s natural selection on a Universal scale. β€œThe Origin of the Aliens,” one could say; a survival of the fittest planets. Planets capable of evolving life intelligent enough to leave before the lights go out. I suppose that without a God, NASA is my anti-nihilism. Alone and on my laptop, these ideas can humble me into apathy.
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Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
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Considering the timespan of human evolution and the vast potential of humankind -- as evidenced by great genius and leadership, inventions and discoveries, works of art and literature -- it is lamentable that the economic and political systems of 'advanced' cultures are still based on the unenlightened rationales that 'more is better' and 'might makes right.' In the name of 'survival of the fittest' and ensuring 'vital interests,' our economic system creates an ever-widening gap between rich and poor as it dismantles the environment upon which we all depend. Even 'lower' animals generally do not foul their own nests.
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Alex Gerber Jr. (Wholeness : On Education, Buckminster Fuller, and Tao)
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Darwinism met with such overwhelming success because it provided, on the basis of inheritance, the ideological weapons for race and well as class rule and could be used for, as well as against, race discrimination. Politically speaking, Darwinism as such was neutral, and it has led, indeed, to all kinds of pacifism and cosmopolitanism as well as to the sharpest forms of imperialistic ideologies. In the seventies and eighties of the last century, Darwinism was still almost exclusively in the hands of the utilitarian anti-colonial party in England. And the first philosopher of evolution, Herbert Spencer, who treated sociology as part of biology, believed natural selection to benefit the evolution of mankind and to result in everlasting peace. For political discussion, Darwinism offered two important concepts: the struggle for existence with optimistic assertion of the necessary and automatic "survival of the fittest," and the indefinite possibilities which seemed to lie in the evolution of man out of animal life and which started the new "science" of eugenics.
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Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
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Darwin, with his Origin of Species, his theories about Natural Selection, the Survival of the Fittest, and the influence of environment, shed a flood of light upon the great problems of plant and animal life. These things had been guessed, prophesied, asserted, hinted by many others, but Darwin, with infinite patience, with perfect care and candor, found the facts, fulfilled the prophecies, and demonstrated the truth of the guesses, hints and assertions. He was, in my judgment, the keenest observer, the best judge of the meaning and value of a fact, the greatest Naturalist the world has produced. The theological view began to look small and mean. Spencer gave his theory of evolution and sustained it by countless facts. He stood at a great height, and with the eyes of a philosopher, a profound thinker, surveyed the world. He has influenced the thought of the wisest. Theology looked more absurd than ever. Huxley entered the lists for Darwin. No man ever had a sharper sword -- a better shield. He challenged the world. The great theologians and the small scientists -- those who had more courage than sense, accepted the challenge. Their poor bodies were carried away by their friends. Huxley had intelligence, industry, genius, and the courage to express his thought. He was absolutely loyal to what he thought was truth. Without prejudice and without fear, he followed the footsteps of life from the lowest to the highest forms. Theology looked smaller still. Haeckel began at the simplest cell, went from change to change -- from form to form -- followed the line of development, the path of life, until he reached the human race. It was all natural. There had been no interference from without. I read the works of these great men -- of many others – and became convinced that they were right, and that all the theologians -- all the believers in "special creation" were absolutely wrong. The Garden of Eden faded away, Adam and Eve fell back to dust, the snake crawled into the grass, and Jehovah became a miserable myth.
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Robert G. Ingersoll
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The capitalistic economy of the present day is an immense cosmos into which the individual is born, and which presents itself to him, at least as an individual, as an unalterable order of things in which he must live. It forces the individual, in so far as he is involved in the system of market relationships, to conform to capitalistic rules of action, The manufacturer who in the long run acts counter to these norms, will just as inevitably be eliminated from the economic scene as the worker who cannot or will not adapt himself to them will be thrown into the streets without a job. Thus the capitalism of to-day, which has come to dominate economic life, educates and selects the economic subjects which it needs through a process of economic survival of the fittest. But here one can easily see the limits of the concept of selection as a means of historical explanation. In order that a manner of life so well adapted to the peculiarities of capitalism could be selected at all, i.e. should come to dominate others, it had to originate somewhere, and not in isolated individuals alone, but as a way of life common to whole groups of men. This origin is what really needs explanation.
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Max Weber (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism)