Best 462 of Biology quotes - MyQuotes
The externalization of memory [via the use of external symbolic storage systems] has altered the actual memory architecture within which humans think, which is changing the role of biological memory, the way in which the human brain deploys its resources, and the form of modern culture.
Biomasses are a biological reality that cannot be denied as existing, but even though they exist physically, yet they have not attained the height of Homo sapiens. Humans could be termed as biomasses when they don’t fully put into use their human qualifications. Men and women that don’t bother to think. Men and women that don’t bother to notice things that are out of order. People who are indifferent about the happenings around them. Men and women that don’t respond with solution to the challenges of the era. All of these people are united by one common name BIOMASSES.
It necessarily follows that chance alone is at the source of every innovation, and of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution: this central concept of modern biology is no longer one among many other possible or even conceivable hypotheses. It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squares with observed and tested fact. And nothing warrants the supposition - or the hope - that on this score our position is ever likely to be revised. There is no scientific concept, in any of the sciences, more destructive of anthropocentrism than this one.
One of my degrees was a science degree in biology.
In 1994 Stephen Porges, who was a researcher at the University of Maryland at the time we started our investigation of HRV, and who is now at the University of North Carolina, introduced the Polyvagal theory, which built on Darwin’s observations and added another 140 years of scientific discoveries to those early insights. (Polyvagal refers to the many branches of the vagus nerve – Darwin’s “pneumogastric nerve” – which connects numerous organs, including the brain, lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines.) The Polyvagal Theory provided us with a more sophisticated understanding of the biology of safety and danger, one based on the subtle interplay between the visceral experiences of our own bodies and the voices and faces of the people around us. It explained why a kind face or a soothing tone of voice can dramatically alter the way we feel. It clarified why knowing that we are seen and heard by the important people in our lives can make us feel calm and safe, and why being ignored or dismissed can precipitate rage reactions or mental collapse. It helped us understand why focused attunement with another person can shift us out of disorganized and fearful states. In short, Porges’s theory made us look beyond the effects of fight or flight and put social relationships front and center in our understanding of trauma. It also suggested new approaches to healing that focus on strengthening the body’s system for regulating arousal.
In real life there is no such person as the average man. There are only particular men, women and children, each with his or her inborn idiosyncrasies of mind and body, and all trying (or becoming compelled) to squeeze their biological diversities into the uniformity of some cultural mold.
An example of such emergent phenomena is the origin of life from non-living chemical compounds in the oldest, lifeless oceans of the earth. Here, aided by the radiation energy received from the sun, countless chemical materials were synthesized and accumulated in such a way that they constituted, as it were, a primeval “soup.” In this primeval soup, by infinite variations of lifeless growth and decay of substances during some billions of years, the way of life was ultimately reached, with its metabolism characterized by selective assimilation and dissimilation as end stations of a sluiced and canalized flow of free chemical energy.
We biologists often use the phrase “Mother Nature” to refer to the entire system of Nature that we see around us, but it is not really an entity, and it does not have any real concern for any of its living creatures – it lives on with or without us; it is in our human psychology to impose a human-like identity upon any grand system that we encounter around us – it gives us a sense of closeness to that system and makes us feel an essential part of it. When I say, Mother Nature designed us, or programmed us, I am simply referring to the process of natural selection.
I was aware of Darwin's views fourteen years before I adopted them and I have done so solely and entirely from an independent study of the plants themselves. [Letter to W.H. Harvey]
Paradoxically, it has turned out that game theory is more readily applied to biology than to the field of economic behavior for which it was originally designed
What a mistake that had been, to create a construct [AI] that could suffer. He knew that now. Life, pain, death, they were no playthings. Biology was serious business, not for amateurs and foolish gods.
Who gave the decisive deathblow to the argument from design on the basis of biological complexity? Both philosophers and biologists are divided on this point (Oppy 1996; Dawkins 1986; Sober 2008). Some have claimed that the biological design argument did not falter until Darwin provided a proper naturalistic explanation for adaptive complexity; others maintain that David Hume had already shattered the argument to pieces by sheer logical force several decades earlier, in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (Hume 2007 ). Elliott Sober has been among the philosophers who maintain that, as Hume was not in a position to offer a serious alternative explanation of adaptive complexity, it is hardly surprising that 'intelligent people strongly favored the design hypothesis' (Sober 2000, 36). In his most recent book, however, Sober (2008) carefully develops what he thinks is the most charitable reconstruction of the design argument, and proceeds to show why it is defective for intrinsic reasons (for earlier version of this argument, see Sober 1999, 2002). Sober argues that the design argument can be rejected even without the need to consider alternative explanations for adaptive complexity (Sober 2008, 126): 'To see why the design argument is defective, there is no need to have a view as to whether Darwin’s theory of evolution is true' (Sober 2008, 154).
The biological motivation of many of our social and cultural habits and reflexes, including religion and politics, and even hate and racism, is to diminish uncertainty through imposed ruled and rigid environments
Ubiquity must never be mistaken for biology.
[On scientist Carl Friedrich Gauss] [Carl Friedrich] Gauss told his friend Rudolf Wagner, a professor of biology at Gottingen University, that he did not believe in the Bible but that he had meditated a great deal on the future of the human soul and speculated on the possibility of the soul being reincarnated on another planet. Evidently, Gauss was a Deist with a good deal of skepticism concerning religion.
When I see the President of the USA promoting the development of Space, I see an incompetent that does not understand the biological toxicity of the Space industry to over seven billion humans on planet Earth.
One feature of our own society that seems decidedly anomalous is the matter of sexual advertisement, As we have seen, it is strongly to be expected on evolutionary grounds that, where the sexes differ, it should be the males that advertise and the females that are drab. Modern western man is undoubtedly exceptional in this respect. It is of course true that some men dress flamboyantly and some women dress drably but, on average, there can be no doubt that in our society the equivalent of the peacock's tail is exhibited by the female, not by the male. Women paint their faces and glue on false eyelashes. Apart from special cases, like actors, men do not. Women seem to be interested in their own personal appearance and are encouraged in this by their magazines and journals. Men's magazines are less preoccupied with male sexual attractiveness, and a man who is unusually interested in his own dress and appearance is apt to arouse suspicion, both among men and among women. When a woman is described in conversation, it is quite likely that her sexual attractiveness, or lack of it, will be prominently mentioned. This is true, whether the speaker is a man or a woman. When a man is described, the adjectives used are much more likely to have nothing to do with sex. Faced with these facts, a biologist would be forced to suspect that he was looking at a society in which females compete for males, rather than vice versa. In the case of birds of paradise, we decided that females are drab because they do not need to compete for males. Males are bright and ostentatious because females are in demand and can afford to be choosy. The reason female birds of paradise are in demand is that eggs are a more scarce resource than sperms. What has happened in modern western man? Has the male really become the sought-after sex, the one that is in demand, the sex that can afford to be choosy? If so, why?
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Janet Yellen at the FED is equivalent to having a biology schoolteacher who has never seen blood perform brain surgery.
If you look at the evolution of the brain, the logic centers, they were growing at the same time as the creative centers were expanding. And that creates this really potent illusion that you’re not just a bag of chemicals reacting to shit. Which is what you are.
Biology will relate every human gene to the genes of other animals and bacteria, to this great chain of being.
They say blood is thicker than water. It's also more treacherous, prone to betrayal, full of shit and quite honestly, I wouldn't put much weight into it at all.
If you allow a creek to go back to being a creek, if you let the trees and the bramble get overgrown, and you let the stream overrun its banks whenever it wants to, the wetland will take care of itself. The water that trickles into the ocean will be clean and pristine if everything is just left alone to work the way it was designed to work. Earthworms have shown that they can take care of the soil in the same way that a wetland takes care of the water. Nature regenerates. It Cleans. It hides a multitude of sins.
Death is like a Black Hole. Biology is silent in a grave.
Of the contributions made during the essayist period three call for notice: Weismann deserves mention for his useful work in asking for the proof that "acquired characters" or, to speak more precisely, parental experience can really be transmitted to the offspring. The ocurrence of progressive adaptation by transmission of effects of use had seemed so natural to Darwin and his contemporaries that no proof of the physiological reality of the henomenon was thought necessary. Weismann's challenge revealed the utter inadequacy of the evidence on which the beliefs were based. They are doubtless isolated observations which may be interpreted as favouring the belief in these transmissions, but such meagre indications as exist are by general consent admitted to be too slight to be of much assistance in the attempt to understand how the more complex adaptive mechanisms arose.
If Darwinists are opposed to mentioning scientific problems with their view, you would think they would be even more opposed to mentioning intelligent design. Yet Darwinists have been discussing ID in public school science classes for years... Biology textbooks have been mentioning intelligent design since the late 1990s—but only to misrepresent and disparage it.
The more formidable the contradiction between inexhaustible life-joy and inevitable fate, the greater the longing which reveals itself in the kingdom of poetry and in the self-created world of dreams hopes to banish the dark power of reality. The gods enjoy eternal youth, and the search for the means of securing it was one of the occupations of the heroes of mythology and the sages, as it was of real adventurers in the middle ages and more recent times. . . . But the fountain of youth has not been found, and can not be found if it is sought in any particular spot on the earth. Yet it is no fable, no dream-picture; it requires no adept to find it: it streams forth inexhaustible in all living nature.
The contrast between genetic and environmental, between nature and nurture, is not a contrast between fixed and changeable. It is a fallacy of biological determinism to say that if differences are in the genes, no change can occur.
The outgroup is rocks.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Some believe what separates men from animals is our ability to reason. Others say it’s language or romantic love, or opposable thumbs. Living here in this lost world, I’ve come to believe it is more than our biology. What truly makes us human is our unending search, our abiding desire for immortality.
Fear or anxiety is a normal part of living. It’s the body’s way of telling us something isn’t right. It keeps us from harm’s way and prepares us to act quickly in the face of danger.
There has never been a better time in history to be an environmental radiation researcher.
To your biology, survival of your genes is more important than accomplishment of your dreams.
A recognized fact which goes back to the earliest times is that every living organism is not the sum of a multitude of unitary processes, but is, by virtue of interrelationships and of higher and lower levels of control, an unbroken unity. When research, in the efforts of bringing understanding, as a rule examines isolated processes and studies them, these must of necessity be removed from their context. In general, viewed biologically, this experimental separation involves a sacrifice. In fact, quantitative findings of any material and energy changes preserve their full context only through their being seen and understood as parts of a natural order.
We are at the dawn of a new era, the era of 'molecular biology' as I like to call it, and there is an urgency about the need for more intensive application of physics and chemistry, and specially of structure analysis, that is still not sufficiently appreciated.
The Earth Speaks, clearly, distinctly, and, in many of the realms of Nature, loudly, to William Jennings Bryan, but he fails to hear a single sound. The earth speaks from the remotest periods in its wonderful life history in the Archaeozoic Age, when it reveals only a few tissues of its primitive plants. Fifty million years ago it begins to speak as 'the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life.' In successive eons of time the various kinds of animals leave their remains in the rocks which compose the deeper layers of the earth, and when the rocks are laid bare by wind, frost, and storm we find wondrous lines of ascent invariably following the principles of creative evolution, whereby the simpler and more lowly forms always precede the higher and more specialized forms. The earth speaks not of a succession of distinct creations but of a continuous ascent, in which, as the millions of years roll by, increasing perfection of structure and beauty of form are found; out of the water-breathing fish arises the air-breathing amphibian; out of the land-living amphibian arises the land-living, air-breathing reptile, these two kinds of creeping things resembling each other closely. The earth speaks loudly and clearly of the ascent of the bird from one kind of reptile and of the mammal from another kind of reptile.
The history of the knowledge of the phenomena of life and of the organized world can be divided into two main periods. For a long time anatomy, and particularly the anatomy of the human body, was the a and ? of scientific knowledge. Further progress only became possible with the discovery of the microscope. A long time had yet to pass until through Schwann the cell was established as the final biological unit. It would mean bringing coals to Newcastle were I to describe here the immeasurable progress which biology in all its branches owes to the introduction of this concept of the cell. For this concept is the axis around which the whole of the modem science of life revolves.
Ludwig Von Mises
The biological equipment of a man rigidly restricts the field in which he can serve.
The uniformity of the earth's life, more astonishing than its diversity, is accountable by the high probability that we derived, originally, from some single cell, fertilized in a bolt of lightning as the earth cooled. It is from the progeny of this parent cell that we take our looks; we still share genes around, and the resemblance of the enzymes of grasses to those of whales is a family resemblance.
It's high time to rescue "intelligent design" from the politics of religion. There are too many riddles not yet answered by either biology or the Bible, and by asking them honestly, without foregone conclusions, science could take a huge leap forward.
A tissue is evidently an enduring thing. It's functional and structural conditions become modified from moment to moment. Time is really the fourth dimension of living organisms. It enters as part into the constitution of a tissue. Cell colonies, or organs, are events which progressively unfold themselves. They must be studied like history.
I had long ago stopped believing in promises. Biological imperatives, yes. Environmental factors, yes. Promises, no.
...if an organised body is not in the situation and circumstances best adapted to its sustenance and propagation, then, in conceiving an indefinite variety among the individuals of that species, we must be assured, that, on the one hand, those which depart most from the best adapted constitution, will be the most liable to perish, while, on the other hand, those organised bodies, which most approach to the best constitution for the present circumstances, will be best adapted to continue, in preserving themselves and multiplying the individuals of their race.
Under the current rules of American society, whites have no moral grounds to preserve racial majorities in any context, whether in a club, neighborhood, school, region, the nation as a whole, or even in their own families. Somewhere, deep in their bones, whites yearn for the comfort, the ease, the joy of living among their own people in societies that reflect the values of their ancestors. They answer this yearning whenever they move from Southern California to the North, from the city to the suburbs, from diversity to homogeneity. But according to today’s racial dogma, this yearning is evil. There will always be “white Meccas,” enclaves for wealthy whites who can afford them, but with no moral, legal, or practical way to preserve majorities, most whites will eventually come to the end of the road. They will find that the America for which they yearn has disappeared. At what point would it be legitimate for whites to act in their own group interests? When they become a minority? When they are no more than 30 percent of the population? Ten percent? Or must they never be allowed to take any action to ensure that the land in which they live reflects their values, their culture, their manners, their traditions, and honors the achievements of their ancestors? If whites do not cherish and defend these things, no one else will do it for them. If whites do not rekindle some sense of their collective interests they will be pushed aside by people who have a very clear sense of their interests. Eventually, whites will come to understand that to dismantle and even demonize white racial consciousness while other races cultivate racial consciousness is a fatal form of unilateral disarmament. For their very survival as a distinct people with a distinct culture, whites must recognize something all others take for granted: that race is a fundamental part of individual and group identity. Any society based on the assumption that race can be wished or legislated away ensures for itself an endless agony of pretense, conflict, and failure. For 60 years, we have wished and legislated in vain. In so doing, by opening the United States to peoples from every corner of the world, we have created agonizing problems for future generations. As surely as the Communists were mistaken in their hopes of remaking human nature, so have been the proponents of diversity and multi-culturalism. What goals might whites pursue if they had a racial identity like that of other groups? Clearly, they would end immigration; it is not in the interests of whites to be displaced by others. They would also recognize that when whites prefer to live, work, and go to school with people of their own race, that is no different from anyone else wanting to do these things. Whites—and others—should have legal means to preserve local majorities if that is their preference. That preference should not be imposed on anyone who wishes to live in a more Bohemian manner, but it is wrong to condemn whites—and only whites—for instincts science suggests are part of human nature. Another goal of whites would be to end the current propaganda about the advantages of diversity, for it only justifies their dispossession. Whites should also be free—again, like all other groups—to express pride in the accomplishments of their people.
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I confess, absurd in the highest degree...The difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection , though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered subversive of the theory.
Biology can be said to define possibilities but not determine them; it is never irrelevant but it is also not determinant.
All the more recent work on alkaptonuria has... strengthened the belief that the homogentisic acid excreted is derived from tyrosine, but why alkaptonuric individuals pass the benzene ring of their tyrosine unbroken and how and where the peculiar chemical change from tyrosine to homogentisic acid is brought about, remain unsolved problems.
Being loved is not a biological need.
Our reality depends on what our biology is up to.
The difference between bush and ladder also allows us to put a lid on a fruitless and boring debate. That debate is over what qualifies as True Language. One side lists some qualities that human language has but that no animal has yet demonstrated: reference, use of symbols displaced of in time and space from their referents, creativity, categorical speech perception, consistent ordering, hierarchical structure, infinity, recursion, and so on. The other side finds some counter-example in the animal kingdom (perhaps budgies can discriminate speech sounds, or dolphins or parrots can attend to word order when carrying out commands, or some songbird can improvise indefinitely without repeating itself), and gloats that the citadel of human uniqueness has been breached. The Human Uniqueness team relinquishes that criterion but emphasizes others or adds new ones to the list, provoking angry objections that they are moving the goalposts. To see how silly this all is, imagine a debate over whether flatworms have True Vision or houseflies have True Hands. Is an iris critical? Eyelashes? Fingernails? Who cares? This is a debate for dictionary-writers, not scientists. Plato and Diogenes were not doing biology when Plato defined man as a "featherless biped" and Diogenes refuted him with a plucked chicken.
All our sentiments - religious, romantic or any other - are born in the neurons.