Evolution - Quotes from Science Fiction
21.02.2012, 14:36

Evolution - Quotes from Science Fiction

A lot of quotations carefully collected from a very big amount of books and divided by categories.

Have fun reading it, this is really interesting and breathtaking!

Possibly the remote ancestors of human beings were apes, though no evolutionist has made clear to me reasons for doubting the equally plausible theory that apes have either ascended, or descended, from humans.

- Charles Fort, Wild Talents (1932)

There is no reason whatever to believe that the order of nature has any greater bias in favour of man than it had in favour of the ichthyosaur or the pterodactyl. In spite of all my disposition to a brave-looking optimism, I perceive that now the universe is bored with him, is turning a hard face to him, and I see him being carried less and less intelligently and more and more rapidly, suffering as every ill-adapted creature must suffer in gross and detail, along the stream of fate to degradation, suffering and death.

- H. G.Wells, The Fate of Homo Sapiens (1939)

Easy times for individuals are bad times for the race. Adversity is a strainer which refuses to pass the ill equipped.

- Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon (1942)

[The Doctrine of Futility:] Sentient life on the Earth, and particularly the forecasting and introspective self-consciousness of mankind, is an evolutionary blunder or, at best, a futility, inevitably destined to be corrected by the deliberate action of its own products so soon as they should reach an intellectual maturity sufficient to enable them to recognize both their own abortion, and their power to terminate it. Sooner or later, it was argued, mankind must reach a maturity of thought 113 Evolution which would recognize the vanity of the procession of life and death and, by its own deliberate and orderly extinction, restore the Harmony of the Universe, which had been momentarily disturbed by the flicker of sentient life on the planet on which we live.

- S. FowlerWright, ''Original Sin'' (1946)

All life is a continuum in time. Son to father, the germ worldline runs back unbroken to the primordial ocean. For you life bowed to sex and death. For you it gasped sharp air with feeble lungs. For you it bore the pain of gravity in bones too weak to bear it. Ten thousand of your hairy fathers, each in his turn, won through this test of pain and terror to make you a man. [. . .] Two billion years beat against you like surf,Walter Cordice. The twenty thousand fists of your hairy fathers thunder on you as a door. Open the way or be shattered.

- Richard McKenna, ''Mine OwnWays'' (1960)

Fishes leave the water, but not as fishes. They must have the potential to change. You have lost that potential. There is your stop, your limit . . . that word you do not like. As humans, you cannot make the next step, which is co-operative intelligence. [. . .] Like the flying fish, you may glimpse, for a moment, something more, but you will have to fall back, each time.

- John T. Phillifent, ''Flying Fish'' (1964)

Species evolve to meet the environment. An intelligent species changes the environment to suit itself. As soon as a species becomes intelligent, it should stop evolving.

- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye (1974)

This is the third stage of human social evolution. First we had the legs race. Then we had the arms race. Now we're going to have the brain race. And if we're lucky, the final stage will be the human race.

- John Brunner, The Shockwave Rider (1975)

Evolution works pretty slow, is all. Couple of hundred million years to develop a thinking ape, and you want a smart one in a lousy few thousand years?

- Spider Robinson, ''God Is an Iron'' (1979)

In another thousand years we'll be machines, or gods.

- Bruce Sterling, ''Swarm'' (1982)

The infinite fullness of time brings about everything, he thought: even intelligent lobsters, even a divine octopus.

- Robert Silverberg, ''Homefaring'' (1983)

He stared gloomily at the gold-framed portraits of the great visionaries of space. [. . .] He could detect a common strangeness in their eyes, particularly in the eyes of the two Americans.Was it simply craziness, as he sometimes thought in his most cynical moods? Or was he able to glimpse a subtle manifestation of some weird, unbalanced force that he had often suspected of being human evolution in action?

- Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, ''Red Star,Winter Orbit'' (1983)

We are only the beginning of humanity, the larval stage, the species preparing for its discovery of what intelligence is for.We will survive and develop, each crest a little higher than the one before.

- George Turner, Drowning Towers (1987)

Extremes of any sort are a liability, in terms of evolution. Extreme intellect may be as bad for us as extreme physical size was for the dinosaurs.

- Joan Slonczewski, TheWall around Eden (1989)

The course of Evolution does not conform to the batrachian sluggishness of your intellect.

- William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine (1991)

Storms of Cataclysm lashed the Cretaceous earth, vast fires raged, and cometary grit sifted through the roiling atmosphere, to blight and kill the wilting foliage, till the mighty Dinosauria, adapted to a world now shattered, fell in massed extinction, and the leaping machineries of Evolution were loosed in chaos, to re-populate the stricken Earth with strange new orders of being.

- William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine (1991)

I'll tell you about rage. It is what you have all forgotten, or never learned. It is the motor of evolution, and evolution's end, too.

- Paul J. McAuley, ''Recording Angel'' (1995)

We fondly imagine that evolution drives toward higher intelligence. But eagles would think evolution favored flight, elephants would naturally prefer the importance of great strength, sharks would feel that swimming was the ultimate desirable trait, and eminent Victorians would be quite convinced that evolution preferred Victorians.

- Gregory Benford, Eater (2000)

Reverse Darwinism - survival of the most idiotic.

- Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor, Jurassic Park III (film, 2001)

Forty thousand years of evolution and we've barely even tapped the vastness of human potential.

- David Koepp, Spider-Man (film, 2002)

Mutation. It is the key to our evolution. It is how we have evolved from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.

- Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and David Hayter, X2: X-Men United (film, 2003)

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