I first learned of E.O. Wilson and his work in the field of evolutionary biology when I was about twenty. I read some excerpts from his books and a research paper or two. I recall being intrigued, excited and impressed with Wilson’s thoughts, words and worldview. Last night, I saw him for the first time in a long time, speaking with Charlie Rose. I was more impressed and inspired than I'd been in some time. He’s now 85 and very conscious of his mortality. Subsequently, he’s working very hard to share everything he can that he believes is of value to mankind. Hence, his new book, The Meaning of Human Existence. I’m looking forward to reading it.
In doing some digging on E.O. and trying to learn more about his new book, I stumbled upon some of his more well known quotes. I’m going to share a few as they’re all quite genius and inspirational.
You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans.
If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.
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.
Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.
— E.O. Wilson
View E.O. Wilson's TED talks here.