Quotes by: E. O. Wilson

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E. O. Wilson
Wilson in February 2003
Born Edward Osborne Wilson
(1929-06-10) June 10, 1929 (age 87)
Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Nationality American
Fields Biology
Institutions Harvard University
Duke University
Alma mater University of Alabama
Harvard University
Thesis A Monographic Revision of the Ant Genus Lasius (1955)
Doctoral advisor Frank M. Carpenter
Doctoral students Daniel Simberloff
Donald J. Farish
Corrie Moreau
Known for Popularizing sociobiology
Epic of Evolution
Character displacement
Island biogeography
Influences William Morton Wheeler[1]
Notable awards
Newcomb Cleveland Prize (1967) Leidy Award (1979) Pulitzer Prize (1979) Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (1984) Crafoord Prize (1990) Pulitzer Prize (1991) International Prize for Biology (1993) Carl Sagan Award for
 Public Understanding of Science (1994)
Kistler Prize (2000) Nierenberg Prize (2001) BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology (2010) International Cosmos Prize (2012)

The variety of genes on the planet in viruses exceeds, or is likely to exceed, that in all of the rest of life combined.
E. O. Wilson
In some ways, I had a traditional 'old South' upbringing, meaning that I spent some time in a military school, and acquired an inoculum of the military ethic that is still with me today: honor, duty, loyalty.
E. O. Wilson
We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.
E. O. Wilson
Change will come slowly, across generations, because old beliefs die hard even when demonstrably false.
E. O. Wilson
The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology.
E. O. Wilson
A very Faustian choice is upon us: whether to accept our corrosive and risky behavior as the unavoidable price of population and economic growth, or to take stock of ourselves and search for a new environmental ethic.
E. O. Wilson
The historical circumstance of interest is that the tropical rain forests have persisted over broad parts of the continents since their origins as stronghold of the flowering plants 150 million years ago.
E. O. Wilson
Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans.
E. O. Wilson
What we need is an electronic encyclopedia of life, with one page for each species. On each page is given everything known about that species.
E. O. Wilson
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.
E. O. Wilson
Well, let me tell you, ants are the dominant insects. They make up as much as a quarter of the biomass of all insects in the world. They are the principal predators. They're the cemetery workers.
E. O. Wilson
I doubt that most people with short-term thinking love the natural world enough to save it.
E. O. Wilson
To the extent that philosophical positions both confuse us and close doors to further inquiry, they are likely to be wrong.
E. O. Wilson
Ants are the leading removers of dead creatures on the land. And the rest of life is substantially dependent upon them.
E. O. Wilson
But I feel music has a very important role in ritual activity, and that being able to join in musical activity, along with dancing, could have been necessary at a very early stage of human culture.
E. O. Wilson
In addition I wanted to write a Southern novel, because I'm a Southerner.
E. O. Wilson
If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way. The moral imperative of humanism is the endeavor alone, whether successful or not, provided the effort is honorable and failure memorable.
E. O. Wilson
Even as empiricism is winning the mind, transcendentalism continues to win the heart.
E. O. Wilson
I was a senior in high school when I decided I wanted to work on ants as a career. I just fell in love with them, and have never regretted it.
E. O. Wilson
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