If you seek to challenge the world around you, then let these Charles Darwin quotes serve you with a healthy dose of inspiration.
Charles Darwin is possibly the most important scientist of modern times.
No one has influenced our perception of ourselves as human beings and our place in the world as much as the English naturalist.
Although his theory of evolution caused massive controversy, it is centrally important in the development of scientific and humanist ideas.
Born on 12 February 1809 in Shrewsbury, England, Darwin developed an interest in nature from an early age.
His father hoped he would become a medical doctor but Darwin was far more inclined to pursue natural history.
In 1859, he published his landmark book, On the Origin of Species, which offered an explanation of exactly how species became better suited to their environment over time.
To this date, his theory of evolution by natural selection is still widely accepted as the best available explanation of how life on this planet developed.
Darwin died in London, on April 19, 1882.
He will always be remembered as one of the most original and influential workers in the history of science.
Below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking Charles Darwin quotes, collected from a variety of sources over the years.
Also check out these Stephen Hawking quotes on life, religion and the universe.
If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement.
Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.
Charles Darwin Quotes To Build Your Foundation Of Scientific Reasoning
1. “I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy.” ― Charles Darwin
2. “If everyone was cast in the same mould, there would be no such thing as beauty.” — Charles Darwin
3. “It is so important to bear in mind the probability of conversion from one function to another.” ― Charles Darwin
4. “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” — Charles Darwin
5. “The limit of man’s knowledge in any subject possesses a high interest which is perhaps increased by its close neighborhood to the realms of imagination.” ― Charles Darwin
6. “Evolution is written on the wings of butterflies.” ― Charles Darwin
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7. “But a plant on the edge of a deserts is said to struggle for life against the drought, though more properly it should be said to be dependent upon the moisture.” ― Charles Darwin
8. “…it appears to me, the doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelyhood pursue.” ― Charles Darwin
9. “What wretched doings come from the ardor of fame; the love of truth alone would never make one man attack another bitterly.” ― Charles Darwin
10. “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.” ― Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin quotes that will change the way you think
11. “If it wasn’t for seasickness, all the world would be sailors!” ― Charles Darwin
12. “If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” — Charles Darwin
13. “Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds which follows from the advance of science.” ― Charles Darwin
14. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin
15. “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” ― Charles Darwin
16. “On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation.” – Charles Darwin
17. “I am like a gambler, and love a wild experiment.” — Charles Darwin
18. “… the structure of every organic being is related, in the most essential yet often hidden manner, to that of all the other organic beings …” ― Charles Darwin
19. “The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.” ― Charles Darwin
20. “Man is developed from an ovule, about 125th of an inch in diameter, which differs in no respect from the ovules of other animals.” — Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin quotes to help you reach your highest potential
21. “A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.” ― Charles Darwin
22. “False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.”― Charles Darwin
23. “Free will is to mind what chance is to matter.” — Charles Darwin
24. “The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.” ― Charles Darwin
25. “Species of the same genus would occasionally exhibit reversions to lost ancestral characters.” ― Charles Darwin
26. “Through his powers of intellect, articulate language has been evolved; and on this his wonderful advancement has mainly depended.” ― Charles Darwin
27. “Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire & books & music.” ― Charles Darwin
28. “The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.” ― Charles Darwin
29. “Our ancestor was an animal which breathed water, had a swim-bladder, a great swimming tail, an imperfect skull & undoubtedly was an hermaphrodite! Here is a pleasant genealogy for mankind.” — Charles Darwin
30. “I am a firm believer, that without speculation there is no good and original observation.” — Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin quotes that will inspire you to be an independent thinker
31. “A pleasurable and excited state of mind, associated with affection, is exhibited by some dogs in a very peculiar manner, namely, by grinning.”― Charles Darwin
32. “The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” ― Charles Darwin
33. “Certainly, no fact in the long history of the world is so startling as the wide and repeated exterminations of its inhabitants.” ― Charles Darwin
34. “I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men.” ― Charles Darwin
35. “I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work; and I still think there is an eminently important difference.” ― Charles Darwin
36. “I must begin with a good body of facts and not from a principle (in which I always suspect some fallacy) and then as much deduction as you please.” — Charles Darwin
37. “An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.” ― Charles Darwin
38. “The very essence of instinct is that it’s followed independently of reason.” ― Charles Darwin
39. “It was evident that such facts as these, as well as many others, could only be explained on the supposition that species gradually become modified; and the subject haunted me.” ― Charles Darwin
40. “The imagination is one of the highest prerogatives of man.” ― Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin quotes to inspire you
41. “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” ― Charles Darwin
42. “One may say there is a force like a hundred thousand wedges…” ― Charles Darwin
43. “Natural Selection almost inevitably causes much Extinction of the less improved forms of life and induces what I have called Divergence of Character.” ― Charles Darwin
44. “The tree of life should perhaps be called the coral of life, base of branches dead; so that passages cannot be seen—this again offers contradiction to constant succession of germs in progress.” — Charles Darwin
45. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” ― Charles Darwin
46. “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” ― Charles Darwin
47. “One hand has surely worked throughout the universe.” ― Charles Darwin
48. “But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is immeasurably superior to man’s feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.” ― Charles Darwin
49. “Origin of man now proved.—Metaphysics must flourish.—He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.” ― Charles Darwin
50. “Such simple instincts as bees making a beehive could be sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.” ― Charles Darwin
More Charles Darwin quotes
51. “We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realized that they were inside us.” – Charles Darwin
52. “Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.” – Charles Darwin
53. “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
54. “We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities… still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” – CHARLES DARWIN
55. “Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life, or more difficult–at least I have found it so–than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind.” – Charles Darwin
56. “Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends.” – Charles Darwin
57. “Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.” – Charles Darwin
58. “There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.” – Charles Darwin
59. “We are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it.” – Charles Darwin
60. “We are always slow in admitting any great change of which we do not see the intermediate steps.” – Charles Darwin
Which of these Charles Darwin quotes was your favorite?
No one has influenced our knowledge of life on Earth as much as Charles Darwin.
He was an independent thinker and his influence is felt in far more profound ways than his popular cultural contributions to this day.
Despite being removed from school because of his poor progress and dropping out of a medical course, Darwin went on to become a great scientist and the most influential biologist in history.
Hopefully, his words have inspired you to reach your full potential.
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Which of the quotes was your favorite?
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March 1, 2021 6:00 AM EST