E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson

Edward Osborne Wilson (born June 10, 1929), usually cited as E. O. Wilson, is an American biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity, island biogeography), theorist (consilience, biophilia), naturalist (conservationist) and author. His biological specialty is myrmecology, the study of ants, on which he is considered to be the world's leading expert.

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It's obvious that the key problem facing humanity in the coming century is how to bring a better quality of life - for 8 billion or more people - without wrecking the environment entirely in the attempt.

The education of women is the best way to save the environment.

Religious belief itself is an adaptation that has evolved because we're hard-wired to form tribalistic religions.

I tend to believe that religious dogma is a consequence of evolution.

The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.

Old beliefs die hard, even when demonstrably false.

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.

Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth, next to humans.

Secular humanists can sit around and talk about their love of humanity, but it doesn't stack up against a two-millennium-old funeral high mass.

America in particular imposes an horrendous burden on the world. We have this wonderful standard of living, but it comes at enormous cost.

The essence of humanity's spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another. Is there a way to erase the dilemma, to resolve the contradictions between the transcendentalist and the empiricist world views?

Competing is intense among humans and within a group selfish individuals always win. But in contests between groups groups of altruists always beat groups of selfish individuals.

Individual versus group selection results in a mix of altruism and selfishness of virtue and sin among the members of a society.

True character arises from a deeper well than religion.

Political ideology can corrupt the mind and science.

Sometimes a concept is baffling, not because it is profound, but because it is wrong.

There doesn't seem to be any other way of creating the next green revolution without GMOs.

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.

The variety of genes on the planet in viruses exceeds or is likely to exceed that in all of the rest of life combined.

Ideas emerge when a part of the real or imagined world is studied for its own sake.

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