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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People need a sacred narrative. They must have a sense of larger purpose in one form or another however intellectualized. They will find a way to keep ancestral spirits alive.

If we were to wipe out insects alone on this planet the rest of life and humanity with it would mostly disappear from the land. Within a few months.

If history and science have taught us anything it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth.

By any reasonable measure of achievement the faith of the Enlightenment thinkers in science was justified.

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.

In addition I wanted to write a Southern novel because I'm a Southerner.

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.

Even as empiricism is winning the mind transcendentalism continues to win the heart.

I've found that good dialogue tells you not only what people are saying or how they're communicating but it tells you a great deal - by dialect and tone content and circumstance - about the quality of the character.

Blind faith, no matter how passionately expressed, will not suffice. Science for its part will test relentlessly every assumption about the human condition.

Our brain is mapping the world. Often that map is distorted but it's a map with constant immediate sensory input.

Science and religion are the two most powerful forces in the world. Having them at odds... is not productive.

It's the technique I think of writing a novel that is difficult for a nonfiction writer.

Religious beliefs evolved by group-selection, tribe competing against tribe, and the illogic of religions is not a weakness but their essential strength.

Ants are the leading removers of dead creatures on the land. And the rest of life is substantially dependent upon them.

The biological evolutionary perception of life and of human qualities is radically different from that of traditional religion whether it's Southern Baptist or Islam or any religion that believes in a supernatural supervalance over humanity.

When you have seen one ant one bird one tree you have not seen them all.

So in my freshman year at the University of Alabama learning the literature on evolution what was known about it biologically just gradually transformed me by taking me out of literalism and increasingly into a more secular scientific view of the world.

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.

I had in mind a message although I hope it doesn't intrude too badly persuading Americans and especially Southerners of the critical importance of land and our vanishing natural environment and wildlife.

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