A Collection of 17 Quotes By Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace was an explorer, geographer, naturalist, anthropologist, and biologist. I usually remember Alfred Wallace in terms of his relationship with Charles Darwin. That is, Alfred Wallace was to Charles Darwin much like Carl Jung was to Sigmund Freud. Or one might venture even further to say much like Nikola Tesla to Thomas Edison. Of all the things that Alfred Wallace was in his time, the thing that made the biggest impression on me was his openness of mind to the spiritual realms that are at play in our lives.

  1. There might have been a hundred or a thousand life-bearing planets, had the course of evolution of the universe been a little different, or there might have been none at all. They would probably add, that, as life and man have been produced, that shows that their production was possible; and therefore, if not now then at some other time, if not here then in some other planet of some other sun, we should be sure to have come into existence; or if not precisely the same as we are, then something a little better or a little worse.
  2. In one of my latest conversations with Darwin he expressed himself very gloomily on the future of humanity, on the ground that in our modern civilization natural selection had no play, and the fittest did not survive. Those who succeed in the race for wealth are by no means the best or the most intelligent, and it is notorious that our population is more largely renewed in each generation from the lower than from the middle and upper classes.
  3. In my solitude I have pondered much on the incomprehensible subjects of space, eternity, life and death.
  4. To expect the world to receive a new truth, or even an old truth, without challenging it, is to look for one of those miracles which do not occur.
  5. The foregoing considerations lead us to the very important conclusion, that matter is essentially force, and nothing but force; that matter, as popularly understood, does not exist, and is, in fact, philosophically inconceivable.
  6. As well might it be said that, because we are ignorant of the laws by which metals are produced and trees developed, we cannot know anything of the origin of steamships and railways.
  7. I hold with Henry George, that at the back of every great social evil will be found a great political wrong.
  8. To say that mind is a product or function of protoplasm, or of its molecular changes, is to use words to which we can attach no clear conception.
  9. Truth is born into this world only with pangs and tribulations, and every fresh truth is received unwillingly.
  10. I have since wandered among men of many races and many religions.
  11. On the spiritual theory, man consists essentially of a spiritual nature or mind intimately associated with a spiritual body or soul, both of which are developed in and by means of a material organism.
  12. Modification of form is admitted to be a matter of time.
  13. I am thankful I can see much to admire in all religions.
  14. I think I have fairly heard and fairly weighed the evidence on both sides, and I remain an utter disbeliever in almost all that you consider the most sacred truths […] I can see much to admire in all religions […] But whether there be a God and whatever be His nature; whether we have an immortal soul or not, or whatever may be our state after death, I can have no fear of having to suffer for the study of nature and the search for truth.
  15. In less than eight years “The Origin of Species” has produced conviction in the minds of a majority of the most eminent living men of science. New facts, new problems, new difficulties as they arise are accepted, solved, or removed by this theory; and its principles are illustrated by the progress and conclusions of every well established branch of human knowledge.
  16. Every species has come into existence coincident both in space and time with a pre-existing closely allied species.
  17. I spent, as you know, a year and a half in a clergyman’s family and heard almost every Tuesday the very best, most earnest and most impressive preacher it has ever been my fortune to meet with, but it produced no effect whatever on my mind.

Please share your thoughts by commenting below. Thanks!

Post Author: Chad

A Nobody Just Trying to Figure Things Out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.