Evolution Quotes

These evolution quotes are not quote mining. These are accurate, in context quotes, saying what scientists really are saying.

I have moved Charles Darwin quotes to their own page. Those evolution quotes include both Darwin's quotes, which I've pulled from his writings myself, and quotes from letters to, from, and between his friends and acquaintances.

All scientists agree that evolution has occurred—that all life comes from a common ancestry, that there has been extinction, and that new taxa, new biological groups, have arisen. The question is, is natural selection enough to explain evolution? Is it the driver of evolution?

—Lynn Margulis, as cited by Teresi, Dick. "Lynn Margulis: Q+A." Discover Apr. 2011: 66-71

Great home school video with reenactments of the Dover trial on Intelligent Design.

There is something outrageous about such a huge body of evidence being put together, then being confirmed in all kinds of other scientific disciplines, particularly genetics, and having other people just sort of deny it for reasons that have nothing to do with truth.

—Matthew Chapman, great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, in the movie, Judgment Day

I have been a biologist for a long time, and I hope I never stop getting shivers in my spine when I think about the beauty of how we come to  know things in biology. Biologists make predictions, then they go out into the field or the lab to see if their predictions hold up. When hundreds  of predictions of this sort are fulfilled, a theory reaches the point where it becomes certain, at least on a broad level. And that is where we are with evolution.

—Darrel Falk. (Professor of Biology. Point Loma Nazarene University, California.) June 2009. Science and the Sacred. June 2009. Beliefnet. Accessed May 2010.  http://blog.beliefnet.com/scienceandthesacred/author/darrel-falk-1/2009/06/index.html (apparently offline now).

My note: It is sad that this next quote is so often lived out by Christians. It does not have to be. There is nothing about religion that requires a man to reject courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, or love of the truth. I would also disagree on the matter of courage. There are actually many hard-headed, close-minded, truth-rejecting Christians who are quite courageous, especially about defending their error.

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration—courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth.

—Henry Louis Mencken

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.

—John Kenneth Galbraith

Agassiz, when I saw him last, had read but a part of [Origin of Species].  He says it is POOR—VERY POOR!!.  The fact [is], he is very much annoyed by it.

—Asa Gray to J.D. Hooker. 21 Nov. 1859.

When no one stirs up the pot, those on the bottom get burned.

—Rev. Denny Denson

A look at Genesis 1:11 shows that God did not create the plants directly. Genesis 1:11 "And God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation....'" The Bible states very clearly that God used a secondary cause to produce the vegetation. God used the land. I firmly believe that this implies God used evolution to create the plants.

—Glenn Morton, Christian geologist.

Human science cannot discover God. Human science is but the backward undoing of the tapestry web of God's science. It works with its back to him, and is always leaving his intent and perfected work behind it. Science is always going farther and farther away from the point where his work culminates in revelation.

—George MacDonald. The Truth in Jesus

In all the sacred books ... In the case of a narrative of events, the question arises as to whether everything must be taken according to the figurative sense only, or whether it must be expounded and defended also as a faithful record of what happened. No Christian will dare say that the narrative must not be taken in a figurative sense. For St. Paul says: Now all these things that happened to them were symbolic [1 Cor. 10:11]. And he explains the statement in Genesis, And they shall be two in one flesh [Gen. 2:24], as a great mystery in reference to Christ and to the Church [Eph. 5:32]. If, then, Scripture is to be explained under both aspects, what meaning other than the allegorical have the words: In the beginning God created heaven and earth [Gen. 1:1]. Were heaven and earth made in the beginning of time, or first of all in creation, or in the Beginning who is the Word, the only-begotten Son of God? ... And what is meant by the phrase "heaven and earth"?

—Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis I:1-2

I think that when you consider the beauty of the world and how it came to be, you are naturally overwhelmed with a feeling of awe, a feeling of admiration, and you almost feel a desire to worship something. I feel this. I recognize that other scientists, such as Carl Sagan, feel this. Einstein felt it. We all of us share a kind of religious reverence for the beauties of the universe, for the complexity of life, for the, uh, the sheer magnitude of the cosmos, the sheer magnitude of geological time. And it's tempting to translate that feeling of awe and worship into a desire to worship some particular thing, a person, an agent; you want to attribute it to a maker, to a creator. What science has now achieved is an emancipation from that impulse.

—Richard Dawkins, Debate with John Lennox, Oct. 3, 2007 in Birmingham, AL

It is quite true that many scientists, many physicists, maintain that the physical constants, the half dozen or so numbers that physicists have to simply assume in order to derive the rest of their understanding ... have to be assumed. You can't provide a rationale for why those numbers are there. Physicists have calculated that if any of these numbers was a little bit different, the universe as we know it wouldn't exist.

—Richard Dawkins, Debate with John Lennox, Oct. 3, 2007 in Birmingham, AL

Some physicists solve that problem [of the necessity of finely tuned physical constants] ... by invoking the anthropic principle, saying, well, here we are, we exist, we have to be in the kind of universe capable of giving rise to us. That in itself is, I think, unsatisfying, and as John Lennox rightly says, some physicists solve that by the multiverse idea—the idea that our universe is just one of many universes.

—Richard Dawkins, Debate with John Lennox, Oct. 3, 2007 in Birmingham, AL

Ignoring the truth of what is around you will make you an ostrich, not a Christian.

—Paul Pavao; Oct. 3, 2011.

At any rate, if evolution turns out to be true, then the Christian should embrace it as one dedicated to following the truth wherever it leads. This might mean reworking his interpretation of Genesis on the subject—much like Christians have had to rework their interpretation of biblical passages referring to the sun rising and setting, the earth not moving, or the earth resting on foundations.

—Paul Copan; Dec. 23, 2011 (link accessed Dec. 23, 2011).

That mankind did not start upon their development with a perfect nature, but have fought their way up from an undeveloped stage through many lower phases of development; that this development has been infinitely varied and complex, and that sin and its attendant consequences have a pathological aspect which practically is as important as the forensic aspect, are commonplaces of modern thought, resting upon the wider knowledge of our age, and hard to reconcile with the (to us) traditional theological account of these things. The Athanasian account of them leaves room for the results of modern knowledge, or at least does not rudely clash with the instincts of the modern anthropologist.

"The Theology of St. Athanasius: Fundamentals ideas of man and his redemption"; Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 2, Volume 204 (written 1892)

Maimonides arrived at this reading of Genesis, it is important to note, under no pressure to fit his theology to new scientific discoveries or evolutionary theories. But in cases where the weight of scientific evidence is overwhelmingly clear, Maimonides declared, believers should not hesitate to modify their readings of Scripture as reason and new empirical findings might demand. The rabbi’s guiding principle was that “we should accept the truth from whatever source it proceeds.” There can be no conflict between truly scientific reasoning and correct interpretations of revelation, Maimonides maintained. Yet this does not mean scientific evidence should be bent every which way to bring it into conformity with literalistic readings of Scripture. Believers should rather investigate all questions without fear or reservations and follow the evidence where ever it might lead. And if they find that something can be truly proven by scientific methods but that it seems to conflict with Scripture, this means they have misinterpreted Scripture. (Osborn, Ron. 2010. "Moses Maimonides on the Literal Meaning of Genesis." Spectrum. Retrieved from SpectrumMagazine.org. Italics in original.)

Unbelievable and Awful

I'm very sorry, but the page (http://www.richarddawkins.net/letters/ugly) addressed in this section has gone down (June 2013). I am not sure why.

I'll add to this as time goes on, but today I was so appalled to see the emails that Richard Dawkins has collected on his page, entitled "The Ugly," that I had to post one quote from it (the Ann Coulter quote). If there is any hope of Richard Dawkins some day being reached by the reality of Jesus Christ, Son of God and Lord of all, the letters from the "Christians" on that page are doing everything they can to extinguish it. (Warning! The letters are very R-rated.)

I defy any of my coreligionists to tell me they do not laugh at the idea of Dawkins burning in hell.

—Ann Coulter, Godless

I do not laugh at the idea of Dawkins burning in hell [see previous quote]. I don't even laugh at the idea of Ann Coulter burning in hell, but I have to admit it's a lot more tempting. It is my prayer that Richard Dawkins, Ann Coulter, and her "coreligionists" some day be saved by Jesus Christ.

—Me (Paul Pavao)

The Dunning-Kruger Effect
(Applies to the Creation-Evolution Controversy)

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.


One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.

—Bertrand Russell

I hope you have enjoyed these evolution quotes and that perhaps they have educated, inspired, or provoked you.

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