Top Natural History Quotes

Browse top 30 famous quotes and sayings about Natural History by most favorite authors.

Favorite Natural History Quotes

1. "Racial history is therefore natural history and the mysticism of the soul at one and the same time; but the history of the religion of the blood, conversely, is the great world story of the rise and downfall of peoples, their heroes and thinkers, their inventors and artists."
Author: Alfred Rosenberg
2. "It has been generally the custom of writers on natural history to take the habits and instincts of animals as the fixed point, and to consider their structure and organization as specially adapted to be in accordance with them."
Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
3. "In all works on Natural History, we constantly find details of the marvellous adaptation of animals to their food, their habits, and the localities in which they are found."
Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
4. "As we parted at the Natural History Museum in London, I asked Richard Fortey how science ensures that when one person goes there's someone ready to take his place.He chuckled rather heartily at my naiveté. 'I'm afraid it's not as if we have substitutes sitting on the bench somewhere waiting to be called in to play. When a specialist retires or, even more unfortunately, dies, that can bring a stop to things in that field, sometimes for a very long while.'And I suppose that's why you value someone who spends forty-two years studying a single species of plant, even if it doesn't produce anything terribly new?''Precisely,' he said, 'precisely.' And he really seemed to mean it."
Author: Bill Bryson
5. "To those who have chosen the profession of medicine, a knowledge of chemistry, and of some branches of natural history, and, indeed, of several other departments of science, affords useful assistance."
Author: Charles Babbage
6. "When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, nearly in the same way as when we look at any great mechanical invention as the summing up of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting, I speak from experience, will the study of natural history become!"
Author: Charles Darwin
7. "Think what you would have been now, if instead of being fed with tales and old wives' fables in childhood, you had been crammed with geography and natural history!"
Author: Charles Lamb
8. "For the best part of my childhood I visited the local library three or four times a week, hunching in the stacks on a foam rubber stool and devouring children's fiction, classics, salacious thrillers, horror and sci-fi, books about cinema and origami and natural history, to the point where my parents encouraged me to read a little less."
Author: David Nicholls
9. "The young man never seemed to know what idleness was," marveled Cutler, "and every leisure moment would find the last novel, some English classic or some abstruse book on natural history in his hands."
Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin
10. "Soccer moms are the enemy of natural history and the full development of a child."
Author: E.O. Wilson
11. "The Natural History Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays. Elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus; extraordinary animals! Rubens rendered them marvelously. I had a feeling of happiness as soon as I entered the place and the further I went the stronger it grew. I felt my whole being rise above commonplaces and trivialities and the petty worries of my daily life. What an immense variety of animals and species of different shapes and functions!"
Author: Eugène Delacroix
12. "The French, I think, in general, are strangely prolix in their natural history."
Author: Gilbert White
13. "In the last eight weeks I had experienced two of the three best times of my adult life, assuming all visits to the Museum of Natural History were treated as one event. They had both been with Rosie. Was there a correlation? It was critical to find out."
Author: Graeme Simsion
14. "For over a century, an evolving microcosm of Anthropology's turbulent history has hidden behind the staid façade of the American Museum of Natural History. From an insider's perspective, the well-known ethnologist Stan Freed engagingly introduces us to an amazing cast of explorers, eccentrics, idealists, pranksters and forbidding intellectual - an unlikely mix that played a key role in establishing the science of Anthropology as we know it today."
Author: Ian Tattersall
15. "The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences - the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain."
Author: John Adams
16. "I seldom go into a natural history museum without feeling as if I were attending a funeral."
Author: John Burroughs
17. "Thomas Wollaston, in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History, complained that Darwin did no seem to know what a species actually was. The British Quarterly, deliberately sitting up trouble, speculated that a time might come when a monkey could propose marriage to a genteel British lady. Perhaps cruelest of all was a cartoon in Punch magazine, depicting a gorilla with a sign on its neck. Deliberately evoking the anti-slavery tract of Darwin's Wedgwood forbears, the sign read:"Am I a Man and a Brother?"
Author: Jonathan Clements
18. "Who will bear witness to these small islands and oases of wildness as land is divided and sold to become strip malls, housing developments,and parking lots? What happens to the natural history here? We must bear witness."
Author: Joni L. James
19. "We had a great friendship, good sex, a shared passion for the dinosaur room at the Museum of Natural History and Haagen-Daz French Vanilla ice cream. But love is more than the sum of its parts, isn't it?"
Author: Lisa Unger
20. "My guess is that the Jonathan would be as out of place in England or Kazakhstan, the native ground of its ancestors, as I would be in Russia, the native ground of my own. The arrow of natural history won't be reversed: by now the Jonathan's as much an American as I am."
Author: Michael Pollan
21. "We are part of nature, a product of a long evolutionary journey. To some degree, we carry the ancient oceans in our blood. … Our brains and nervous systems did not suddenly spring into existence without long antecedents in natural history. That which we most prize as integral to our humanity - our extraordinary capacity to think on complex conceptual levels - can be traced back to the nerve network of primitive invertebrates, the ganglia of a mollusk, the spinal cord of a fish, the brain of an amphibian, and the cerebral cortex of a primate."
Author: Murray Bookchin
22. "If humans one day become extinct from a catastrophic collision, there would be no greater tragedy in the history of life in the universe. Not because we lacked the brain power to protect ourselves but because we lacked the foresight. The dominant species that replaces us in post-apocalyptic Earth just might wonder, as they gaze upon our mounted skeletons in their natural history museums, why large-headed Homo sapiens fared no better than the proverbially pea-brained dinosaurs."
Author: Neil DeGrasse Tyson
23. "I was never surprised that they did not have a phoenix on display. There is only one phoenix at a time, of course, and while the Natural History Museum was filled with dead things, the phoenix is always alive."
Author: Neil Gaiman
24. "I wished I could visit a Museum of Unnatural History, but, even so, I was glad there wasn't one. Werewolves were wonderful because they could be anything, I knew. If someone actually caught a werewolf, or a dragon, if they tamed a manticore or stabled a unicorn, put them in bottles, dissected them, then they could only be one thing, and they would no longer live in the shadowy places between the things I knew and the world of the impossible, which was, I was certain, the only place that mattered."
Author: Neil Gaiman
25. "Dr. Kertesz mentioned to me a case known to him of a farmer who had developed prosopagnosia and in consequence could no longer distinguish (the faces of) his cows, and of another such patient, an attendant in a Natural History Museum, who mistook his own reflection for the diorama of an ape"
Author: Oliver Sacks
26. "But, for now, I retreated back down the little hidden staircase into the familiar world of the basement of the Natural History Museum, and to the embrace of the trilobites."
Author: Richard Fortey
27. "But, as we have before been led to remark, most of Mr. Darwin's statements elude, by their vagueness and incompleteness, the test of Natural History facts."
Author: Richard Owen
28. "The phaenomena afforded by trades, are a part of the history of nature, and therefore may both challenge the naturalist's curiosity and add to his knowledge, Nor will it suffice to justify learned men in the neglect and contempt of this part of natural history, that the men, from whom it must be learned, are illiterate mechanicks... is indeed childish, and too unworthy of a philosopher, to be worthy of an honest answer."
Author: Robert Boyle
29. "The birds and I share a natural history. It is a matter of rootedness, of living inside a place for so long that the mind and imagination fuse."
Author: Terry Tempest Williams
30. "Great travel writing consists of equal parts curiosity, vulnerability and vocabulary. It is not a terrain for know-it-alls or the indecisive. The best of the genre can simply be an elegant natural history essay, a nicely writ sports piece, or a well-turned profile of a bar band and its music. A well-grounded sense of place is the challenge for the writer. We observe, we calculate, we inquire, we look for a link between what we already know and what we're about to learn. The finest travel writing describes what's going on when nobody's looking."
Author: Tom Miller

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