The Best Charles Darwin quotes

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Charles Darwin was one of the most influential scientists in history. His work on evolution has shaped the way we see the world today. But how did he come to such groundbreaking discoveries? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at Darwin’s life and work, and explore how he changed the course of science forever.

Discover the most inspiring Love, Selection, Specie, Nature, Life, Believing, Animals, Mind Famous, Change, Evolution quotes from Charles Darwin, and much more.


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About Charles Darwin

birth of the author

12 February 1809

death of the author

19 April 1882

knownfor of the author

Known For:
The Voyage Of The Beagle, On The Origin Of Species, The Descent Of Man

award of the author

Frs And More.

occupation of the author

Natural History, Geology

institution of the author

University Of Edinburgh Medical School, Geological Society Of London


I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification. — Charles Darwin

Sexual selection will also be largely dominated by natural selection tending towards the general welfare of the species. — Charles Darwin

Although much remains obscure, and will long remain obscure, … I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification. — Charles Darwin

Natural selection rendered evolution scientifically intelligible: it was this more than anything else which convinced professional biologists like Sir Joseph Hooker, T. H. Huxley and Ernst Haeckel. — Charles Darwin

the willing horse is always overworked Charles Darwin quote

With highly civilised nations continued progress depends in a subordinate degree on natural selection; for such nations do not supplant and exterminate one another as do savage tribes. — Charles Darwin

The survival or preservation of certain favoured words in the struggle for existence is natural selection. — Charles Darwin

This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection. — Charles Darwin

I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection. — Charles Darwin

I would give absolutely nothing for the theory of Natural Selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent. — Charles Darwin

As natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress toward perfection. — Charles Darwin

I think it can be shown that there is such an unerring power at work in Natural Selection, which selects exclusively for the good of each organic being. — Charles Darwin

Natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight successive favorable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modification; it can act only by very short steps. — Charles Darwin

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

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. — Charles Darwin

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


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In the survival of favoured individuals and races, during the constantly–recurring struggle for existence, we see a powerful and ever–acting form of selection. — Charles Darwin

Sexual selection acts in a less rigorous manner than natural selection. The latter produces its effects by the life or death at all ages of the more or less successful individuals. — Charles Darwin

What is Charles Darwin famous for?

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is the foundation upon which modern evolutionary theory is built.
The theory was outlined in Darwin’s seminal work On the Origin of Species, published in 1859.

Although Victorian England was slow to embrace natural selection as the mechanism that drives evolution, the concept of evolution itself gained widespread traction by the end of Darwin’s life.


The man that created the theory of evolution by natural selection was thrown out by his Dad because he wanted him to be a doctor. GAWD, parents haven’t changed much. — Charles Darwin

The willing horse is always overworked. — Charles Darwin


All nature is perverse & will not do as I wish it. — Charles Darwin

Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends. — Charles Darwin

We behold the face of nature bright with gladness. — Charles Darwin

Nature will tell you a direct lie if she can. — Charles Darwin

If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. — Charles Darwin

all nature is perverse will not do as i wish it Charles Darwin quote

Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws. — Charles Darwin

So great is the economy of nature, that most flowers which are fertilised by crepuscular or nocturnal insects emit their odour chiefly or exclusively in the evening. — Charles Darwin

What a book a devil’s chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel work of nature! — Charles Darwin


Free will is to mind what chance is to matter. — Charles Darwin

An agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind. — Charles Darwin

free will is to mind what chance is to matter Charles Darwin quote

He who remains passive when over–whelmed with grief loses his best chance of recovering his elasticity of mind. — Charles Darwin

I think an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind. The whole subject [of God] is beyond the scope of man’s intellect. — Charles Darwin

I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.–Let each man hope & believe what he can.– — Charles Darwin

Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds which follows from the advance of science. — Charles Darwin

My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts. — Charles Darwin

an agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind Charles Darwin quote

Daily it is forced home on the mind of the biologist that nothing, not even the wind that blows, is so unstable as the level of the crust of this earth. — Charles Darwin

I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as the facts are shown to be opposed to it. — Charles Darwin

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge… — Charles Darwin


It is scarcely possible to doubt that the love of man has become instinctive in the dog. — Charles Darwin

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man. — Charles Darwin

it is scarcely possible to doubt that the love of man has become instinctive in the dog Charles Darwin quote

Much love much trial, but what an utter desert is life without love. — Charles Darwin

What wretched doings come from the ardor of fame; the love of truth alone would never make one man attack another bitterly. — Charles Darwin

I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them. — Charles Darwin

The season of love is that of battle. The roots of these fights run deep. — Charles Darwin

Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral. — Charles Darwin

the love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man Charles Darwin quote

A novel according to my taste, does not come into the moderately good class unless it contains some person whom one can thoroughly love–and if a pretty woman, all the better. — Charles Darwin

Man himself cannot express love and humility by external signs, so plainly as does a dog, when with drooping ears, hanging lips, flexuous body, and wagging tail, he meets his beloved master. — Charles Darwin


A language, like a species, when extinct, never… reappears. — Charles Darwin

I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable. — Charles Darwin

Mere chance … alone would never account for so habitual and large an amount of difference as that between varieties of the same species. — Charles Darwin

a language like a species when extinct never reappears Charles Darwin quote

Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive. — Charles Darwin

Not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity. — Charles Darwin

What is evolution, as Charles Darwin understood it?

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution had three main components: that variation occurred randomly among members of a species; that an individual’s traits could be inherited by its progeny; and that the struggle for existence would allow only those with favorable traits to survive.

Although many of his ideas have been borne out by modern science, Darwin didn’t get everything right: traces of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s outdated theory of evolution remained in Darwin’s own.

He was also unable to correctly establish how traits were inherited, which wasn’t clarified until the rediscovery of Gregor Mendel’s work with peas.

On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation. — Charles Darwin

Redundant Thematics

In Charles Darwin Statements


Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms. — Charles Darwin

I have stated, that in the thirteen species of ground–finches, a nearly perfect gradation may be traced, from a beak extraordinarily thick, to one so fine, that it may be compared to that of a warbler. — Charles Darwin

The formation of different languages and of distinct species and the proofs that both have been developed through a gradual process, are curiously parallel. — Charles Darwin

Not one change of species into another is on record … we cannot prove that a single species has been changed. — Charles Darwin

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. — Charles Darwin

The most powerful natural species are those that adapt to environmental change without losing their fundamental identity which gives them their competitive advantage. — Charles Darwin

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die–which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct. — Charles Darwin


It is difficult to believe in the dreadful but quiet war lurking just below the serene facade of nature. — Charles Darwin

I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. — Charles Darwin

Or she may accept, as appearances would sometimes lead us to believe, not the male which is the most attractive to her, but the one which is the least distasteful. — Charles Darwin

It’s an awful stretcher to believe that a peacock’s tail was thus formed but … most people just don’t get it–I must be a very bad explainer — Charles Darwin

It may be conceit, but I believe the subject will interest the public, and I am sure that the views are original. — Charles Darwin

he who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than locke Charles Darwin quote

Whoever is led to believe that species are mutable will do good service by conscientiously expressing his conviction; for only thus can the load of prejudice by which this subject is overwhelmed be removed. — Charles Darwin

He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke. — Charles Darwin


Sympathy for the lowest animals is one of the noblest virtues with which man is endowed. — Charles Darwin

Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal. — Charles Darwin

What was Charles Darwin’s educational background?

Growing up, Charles Darwin was always attracted to the sciences. In 1825 his father sent him to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine.

There he was exposed to many of the dissenting ideas of the time, including those of Robert Edmond Grant, a former student of the French evolutionist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.

He transferred to Christ’s College, Cambridge, in 1828, where his mentors mostly endorsed the idea of providential design.

A botany professor suggested he join a voyage on the HMS Beagle—a trip that would provide him with much of his evidence for the theory of evolution by natural selection.


It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. — Charles Darwin

sympathy for the lowest animals is one of the noblest virtues with which man is endowed Charles Darwin quote

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

Animals manifestly enjoy excitement, and suffer from annul and may exhibit curiosity. — Charles Darwin

Sympathy beyond the confines of man, that is, humanity to the lower animals, seems to be one of the latest moral acquisitions. — Charles Darwin

It may be doubted that there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world as have these lowly organized creatures. — Charles Darwin

There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery. — Charles Darwin

animals whom we have made our slaves we do not like to consider our equal Charles Darwin quote

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

It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another…we consider those, where the intellectual faculties most developed as the highest.–A bee doubtless would [use] … instincts as a criteria. — Charles Darwin

Blushing is the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions. Monkeys redden from passion, but it would require an overwhelming amount of evidence to make us believe that any animal could blush. — Charles Darwin

From the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of higher animals, directly follows. — Charles Darwin

T]he young and the old of widely different races, both with man and animals, express the same state of mind by the same movements. — Charles Darwin

But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions? — Charles Darwin

Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy of the interposition of a deity. More humble, and I believe truer, to consider him created from animals. — Charles Darwin


But I am very poorly today & very stupid & I hate everybody & everything. One lives only to make blunders. — Charles Darwin

On your life, underestimating the proclivities of finches is likely to lead to great internal hemorrhaging. — Charles Darwin

As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities. — Charles Darwin

a man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life Charles Darwin quote

It is mere rubbish thinking, at present, of origin of life; one might as well think of origin of matter. — Charles Darwin

What was Charles Darwin’s family life like?

Charles Darwin was born in England to a well-to-do family in 1809.

His father was a doctor, and his mother—who died when he was only eight years old—was the daughter of a successful 18th-century industrialist.

Darwin was not the first of his family to gravitate toward naturalism: his father’s father, Erasmus Darwin, was a physician, inventor, and poet who had developed his own theories on the evolution of species.

Darwin later married his first cousin on his mother’s side, Emma Wedgwood. Together they had 10 children, 3 of whom died at a young age.

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. — Charles Darwin

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

Nevertheless it is probable that the hearing rather early in life such views maintained and praised may have favoured my upholding them under a different form in my ‘Origin of Species. — Charles Darwin

The age–old and noble thought of ‘I will lay down my life to save another,’ is nothing more than cowardice. — Charles Darwin

And thus, the forms of life throughout the universe become divided into groups subordinate to groups. — Charles Darwin

Probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. — Charles Darwin

It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life. Who can explain the what is the essence of the attraction of gravity? — Charles Darwin

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

Life is nearly over with me. I have taken no pains about my style of writing. — Charles Darwin

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

Wasting Life?


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