Survival Of The Fittest Quotes

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  • My grandmother lived in a universe filled with life. It was impossible for her to conceive of any creature - even the smallest insect, let alone a human being - as insignificant. In every leaf, flower, animal, and star she saw an expression of a compassionate universe, whose laws were not competition and survival of the fittest but cooperation, artistry and thrift. . . .

  • And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.

    1889 'The Gospel of Wealth', in the North American Review, Jun.
  • Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out.

    Sports   Baseball   Men  
  • In these strenuous times, we are likely to become morbid and look constantly on the dark side of life, and spend entirely too much time considering and brooding over what we can't do, rather than what we can do, and instead of growing morose and despondent over opportunities either real or imaginary that are shut from us, let us rejoice at the many unexplored fields in which there is unlimited fame and fortune to the successful explorer and upon which there is no color line; simply the survival of the fittest.

    Success   Real   Dark  
  • How do you know what's really organic? Today, there's all these impurities in the water and the air. The water for the fruits and vegetables has junk in it. If you get enough vitamins and minerals out of normal food and whole grains, and you get enough proteins and exercise (that's the key) then nature builds up a tolerance to all of these things. It's survival of the fittest. You can't have everything perfect, that's impossible, but the fit survive.

  • While the law [of competition] may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department. We accept and welcome, therefore, as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment, the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few, and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race.

    Science   Race   Hands  
    1889 'The Gospel of Wealth', in the North American Review, Jun.
  • I fully agree with all that you say on the advantages of Spencer's excellent expression of 'the survival of the fittest.' This, however, had not occurred to me till reading your letter. It is, however, a great objection to this term that it cannot be used as a substantive governing a verb; and that this is a real objection I infer from H. Spencer continually using the words, natural selection.

    Charles Darwin (2015). “Delphi Complete Works of Charles Darwin (Illustrated)”, p.10473, Delphi Classics
  • We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.

    On the Origin of Species ch. 3 (1859) See Malthus 2
  • Loyalty cannot be too liberally insisted upon. Altruism in nature remains an exception. It poses a puzzle, being in prima facie conflict with the survival of the fittest and most selfish.

  • The prevailing move in American society to a permanent war status does more than promote a set of unifying symbols that embrace a survival of the fittest ethic, promoting conformity over dissent, the strong over the weak, and fear over responsibility, it also gives rise to what David Graeber has called a "language of command" in which violence becomes the most important element of power and mediating force in shaping social relationships.

    Strong   War   Moving  
  • It's survival of the fittest. You can't have everything perfect, that's impossible, but the fit survive. The fit can handle the impurities in the air and in the water, but the poor people who are sick, it really affects them more.

    Air   People   Perfect  
  • Life is about survival of the fittest, and Jersey is producing the master race.

    Race   Survival   Jersey  
    Janet Evanovich (2010). “Four to Score”, p.201, Macmillan
  • When I played ball, I didn't play for fun. . . . It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It's a contest and everything that implies, a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest.

    Baseball   Fun   Struggle  
    Ty Cobb, Al Stump (1961). “My Life in Baseball: The True Record”, p.280, U of Nebraska Press
  • If evolution was worth its salt, it should've evolved something better than 'survival of the fittest.' I think a better idea would be 'survival of the wittiest.' At least, that way, creatures that didn't survive could've died laughing.

    "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe". Play by Jane Wagner, 1985.
  • We believe in encouraging the talented, but we believe that while survival of the fittest may be a good working description of the process of evolution, a government of humans should elevate itself to a higher order.

    1984 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address, delivered 16 July 1984, San Francisco, CA
  • The Darwinian concept of the survival of the fittest has been substituted by a philosophy of the survival of the slickest.

    Martin Luther King Jr. (1963). “Strength to Love”
  • That's what civilization sometimes did to threats, real or perceived. They walled them off. Us against them. Survival of the fittest. You die so I can live.

    David Baldacci (2012). “The Innocent”, p.9, Pan Macmillan
  • If evolution and the survival of the fittest be true at all, the destruction of prey and of human rivals must have been among the most important. . . . It is just because human bloodthirstiness is such a primitive part of us that it is so hard to eradicate, especially when a fight or a hunt is promised as part of the fun.

    Fun   Fighting   Survival  
    William James (1918). “The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 2”, p.412, Courier Corporation
  • He who puts a product upon the market as it demands, controls that market, regardless of color. It is simply a survival of the fittest.

    Color   Survival   Demand  
  • As I have discovered by examining my past, I started out as a child. Coincidentally, so did my brother. My mother did not put all her eggs in one basket, so to speak: she gave me a younger brother named Russell, who taught me what was meant by 'survival of the fittest.'

    Funny   Mother   Brother  
  • The law of the survival of the fittest led inevitably to the survival and predominance of the men who were effective in war and who loved it because they were effective.

    War   Men   Law  
    Elihu Root (1916). “Addresses on International Subjects”
  • Instead of working for the survival of the fittest, we should be working for the survival of the wittiest - then we can all die laughing.

  • Survival of the fittest can take us only so far; competition and aggression have brought us to the brink of self-destruction. What is needed now is survival of the wisest. You can participate in this shift by expanding your own awareness.

  • Well, biology today as I see it has an amiable look - quite different from the 19th-century view that the whole arrangement of nature is hostile, 'red in tooth and claw.' That came about because people misread Darwin's 'survival of the fittest.'

    Views   People   Survival  
  • This survival of the fittest implies multiplication of the fittest.

    'Principles of Biology' (1865) pt. 3, ch. 12, 164.
  • If any of my competitors were drowning, I'd stick a hose in their mouth and turn on the water. It is ridiculous to call this an industry. This is not. This is rat eat rat, dog eat dog. I'll kill 'em, and I'm going to kill 'em before they kill me. You're talking about the American way - of survival of the fittest.

    Dog   Talking   Water  
  • The Chicago mobs... They practiced their own perverted form of "survival of the fittest." Where the strong clawed their way to the top of a criminal empire. And the weak died in a hail of machine gun bullets.

    Strong   Gun   Survival  
  • It cannot but happen?that those will survive whose functions happen to be most nearly in equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces? This survival of the fittest implies multiplication of the fittest.

    'Principles of Biology' (1865) pt. 3, ch. 12, 164.
  • The survival of the fittest is going to make some man very lonesome some day.

  • I know that in the battle of ideas, Republican politicians are at a distinct disadvantage. Their fundamental philosophy - which I characterize as survival of the fittest, richest and whitest - is too callous for most Americans.

    "Trapped in a Mine" by Rep. John Yarmuth, November 10, 2010.
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