Biology Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 307 quotes )
Biology designed the dance. Terror timed it. Dictated the rhythm with which their bodies answered each other. As though they already knew that for each tremor of pleasure they would pay with an equal measure of pain. As though they knew that how far they went would be measured against how far they would be taken.
... we have created a man with not one brain but two. ... This new brain is intended to control the biological brain. ... The patient's biological brain is the peripheral terminal -- the only peripheral terminal -- for the new computer. ... And therefore the patient's biological brain, indeed his whole body, has become a terminal for the new computer. We have created a man who is one single, large, complex computer terminal. The patient is a read-out device for the new computer, and is helpless to control the readout as a TV screen is helpless to control the information presented on it.
Mental patterns do not originate out of inorganic nature. They originate out of society, which originates out of inorganic nature. And, as anthropologists know so well, what a mind thinks is as dominated by biological patterns as social patterns are dominated by biological patterns and as biological patterns are dominated by inorganic patterns. There is no direct scientific connection between mind and matter. As the atomic scientist, Niels Bohr, said, "We are suspended in language." Our intellectual description of nature is always culturally derived.
It seems logical to suppose that history's pattern reflects innate differences among people themselves. Of course, we're taught that it's not polite to say so in public. We see in our daily lives that some of the conquered peoples continue to form an underclass, centuries after the conquests or slave imports took place. We're told that this too is to be attributed not to any biological shortcomings but to social disadvantages and limited opportunities. Nevertheless, we have to wonder. We keep seeing all those glaring, persistent differences in peoples' status. We're assured that the seemingly transparent biological explanation for the world's inequalities as of A. D. 1500 is wrong, but we're not told what the correct explanation is. Until we have some convincing, detailed, agreed-upon explanation for the broad pattern of history, most people will continue to suspect that the racist biological explanation is correct after all. That seems to me the strongest argument for writing this book.
Men are biological. Women are biological. We pretend our minds are in control, but that’s a very tenuous control at best, and a civilized society can’t be built on uncontrolled biology. I see it in my work: intelligence betrayed by lust, by jealousy, by macho ownership; otherwise trustworthy men who can’t be trusted at all around women, or vice versa. Hell, look at Congress. Well-intentioned, progressive, admired law-makers who end up losing it all because they can’t control how they react to women! And I certainly don’t trust most women around men
Still, if history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth. The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology. Acceptance of the supernatural conveyed a great advantage throughout prehistory when the brain was evolving. Thus it is in sharp contrast to biology, which was developed as a product of the modern age and is not underwritten by genetic algorithms. The uncomfortable truth is that the two beliefs are not factually compatible. As a result those who hunger for both intellectual and religious truth will never acquire both in full measure.
Humanity is a biological species, living in a biological environment, because like all species, we are exquisitely adapted in everything: from our behavior, to our genetics, to our physiology, to that particular environment in which we live. The earth is our home. Unless we preserve the rest of life, as a sacred duty, we will be endangering ourselves by destroying the home in which we evolved, and on which we completely depend.
In Galapagos, as elsewhere, things of the mind, including intellectual ramifications from evolutionary theory, and things of the spirit, like the feeling one gets from a Queen Anne’s lace of stars in the moonless Galapagean sky, struggle toward accommodation with an elementary desire for material comfort…because so many regard this archipelago as preeminently a terrain of the mind and spirit, a locus of biological thought and psychological rejuvenation. The sheer strength of Darwin’s insight into the development of biological life gently urges a visitor to be more than usually observant here- to notice, say, that while the thirteen Galapagean finches are all roughly the same hue, it is possible to separate them according to marked differences in the shapes of their bills and feeding habits.
When I was twelve I was obsessed. Everything was sex. Latin was sex. The dictionary fell open at 'meretrix', a harlot. You could feel the mystery coming off the word like musk. 'Meretrix'! This was none of your mensa-a-table, this was a flash from a forbidden planet, and it was everywhere. History was sex, French was sex, art was sex, the Bible, poetry, penfriends, games, music, everything was sex except biology which was obviously sex but not really sex, not the one which was secret and ecstatic and wicked and a sacrament and all the things it was supposed to be but couldn't be at one and the same time - I got that in the boiler room and it turned out to be biology after all.