65 Natural History Quotes On Success In Life

These natural history quotes will inspire you. Natural history, the scientific study of animals or plants, especially as concerned with observation rather than experiment, and presented in popular rather than academic form.

Below you will find a collection of motivating, happy, and encouraging natural history quotes, natural history sayings, and natural history proverbs.

Best Natural History Quotes

  1. “While my interest in natural history has added very little to my sum of achievement, it has added immeasurably to my sum of enjoyment in life.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  2. “History has neither the venerableness of antiquity, nor the freshness of the modern. It does as if it would go to the beginning ofthings, which natural history might with reason assume to do; but consider the Universal History, and then tell us,–when did burdock and plantain sprout first?” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  3. “”Nothing is ever lost” means that what we are now goes all the way back through natural history. We are biological organisms and not simply computerized brains. By focusing totally on the present, thinking only about science and computers, and forgetting four billion years of life on this planet, we are losing perspective on who and what we are.” ~ Robert Neelly Bellah
  4. “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.” ~ John Adams

  5. “That’s the way to get young people. Once they see there are wonderful things to hunt for, to rediscover a species that was thought to be extinct or is extremely rare, to be the first to see a nest, to discover a new species unsuspected close to your home – these are things, I think, with a little education and excitement and the right kind of natural history would actually start a movement that makes going back to nature a profitable adventure.” ~ E. O. Wilson
  6. “Natural history is not equivalent to biology. Biology is the study of life. Natural history is the study of animals and plants-of organisms. Biology thus includes natural history, and much else besides.” ~ Marston Bates
  7. “Let us not underrate the value of a fact; it will one day flower in a truth. It is astonishing how few facts of importance are added in a century to the natural history of any animal. The natural history of man himself is still being gradually written.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  8. “I seldom go into a natural history museum without feeling as if I were attending a funeral.” ~ John Burroughs

  9. “To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or sea-side stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall. Teach him something of natural history, and you place in his hands a catalogue of those which are worth turning around. Surely our innocent pleasures are not so abundant in this life, that we can afford to despise this or any other source of them.” ~ Thomas Huxley
  10. “The study of taxonomy in its broadest sense is probably the oldest branch of biology or natural history as well as the basis for all the other branches, since the first step in obtaining any knowledge of things about us is to discriminate between them and to learn to recognize them.” ~ Richard E. Blackwelder
  11. “Biology can be divided into the study of proximate causes, the study of the physiological sciences (broadly conceived), and into the study of ultimate (evolutionary) causes, the subject of natural history.” ~ Ernst Mayr
  12. “There is no counting the unsolved problems of Natural History.” ~ J. Arthur Thomson

  13. “All interesting issues in natural history are questions of relative frequency, not single examples. Everything happens once amidst the richness of nature. But when an unanticipated phenomenon occurs again and again—finally turning into an expectation—then theories are overturned.” ~ Stephen Jay Gould
  14. “[In natural history,] great discovery often requires a map to a hidden mine filled with gems then easily gathered by conventional tools, not a shiny new space-age machine for penetrating previously inaccessible worlds.” ~ Stephen Jay Gould
  15. “Once we begin to speak of men mixing their labour with the earth, we are in a whole world of new relations between man and nature, and to separate natural history from social history becomes extremely problematic.” ~ Raymond Williams
  16. “Natural history is not about producing fables.” ~ David Attenborough

  17. “It has been generally the custom of writers on natural history to take the habits and instincts of animals as the fixed point, and to consider their structure and organization as specially adapted to be in accordance with them.” ~ Alfred Russel Wallace
  18. “Birds, it must be admitted, are the most exciting and most deserving of the vertebrates; they are perhaps the best entre into the study of natural history, and a very good wedge into conservation awareness.” ~ Roger Tory Peterson
  19. “Rumour has it that the gardens of natural history museums are used for surreptitious burial of those intermediate forms between species which might disturb the orderly classifications of the taxonomist.” ~ David Lack
  20. “A laboratory of natural history is a sanctuary where nothing profane should be tolerated. I feel less agony at improprieties in churches than in a scientific laboratory.” ~ Louis Agassiz

  21. “Other thing about [Field Museum of Natural History] which inspired was that in a group of pots you wouldn’t see a single example of this kind of pot. You would perhaps see a case with 20 different examples. So you realize that these pots could be repeated again and again, and each time there would be minor variations in them.” ~ Warren MacKenzie , Natural History quotes museum
  22. “Go to the source for ideas, go to the Metropolitan Museum, find your inspiration in nature, go to the Museum of Natural History, but never rely on something that someone else has done.” ~ Van Day Truex
  23. “We are part of nature, a product of a long evolutionary journey. To some degree, we carry the ancient oceans in our blood. … Our brains and nervous systems did not suddenly spring into existence without long antecedents in natural history. That which we most prize as integral to our humanity – our extraordinary capacity to think on complex conceptual levels – can be traced back to the nerve network of primitive invertebrates, the ganglia of a mollusk, the spinal cord of a fish, the brain of an amphibian, and the cerebral cortex of a primate.” ~ Murray Bookchin
  24. “The commonest forms of amateur natural history in the United States are probably gardening, bird watching, the maintenance of aquarium fish, and nature photography.” ~ Marston Bates

  25. “The philosophy that I have worked under most of my life is that the serious study of natural history is an activity which has far-reaching effects in every aspect of a person’s life. It ultimately makes people protective of the environment in a very committed way. It is my opinion that the study of natural history should be the primary avenue for creating environmentalists.” ~ Roger Tory Peterson
  26. “I can no more explain why I like “natural history” than why I like California canned peaches; nor why I do not care for that enormous brand of natural history which deals with invertebrates any more than why I do not care for brandied peaches. All I can say is that almost as soon as I began to read at all I began to like to read about the natural history of beasts and birds and the more formidable or interesting reptiles and fishes.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  27. “We the undersigned, intend to establish an instruction and training institution which differs from the common elementary schools principally in that it will embrace, outside of (in addition to) the general and elementary curriculum, all branches of the classical high school, which are necessary for a true Christian and scientific education, such as: Religion, the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, German, French and English languages; History, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, natural history, Introduction to Philosophy, Music, and Drawing.” ~ C. F. W. Walther
  28. “Don’t set out to teach theism from your natural history… You spoil both.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  29. “we defer therefore till this time twelve month to avail ourselves of the instruction of that place, and particularly of your kindness in the two branches of Botany and Natural history to which we wish him particularly to apply.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
  30. “what are the objects of an useful American education? classical knowlege, modern languages & chiefly French, Spanish, & Italian; Mathematics; Natural philosophy; Natural History; Civil History; Ethics.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
  31. “One dictionary that I consulted remarks that “natural history” now commonly means the study of animals and plants “in a popular and superficial way,” meaning popular and superficial to be equally damning adjectives. This is related to the current tendency in the biological sciences to label every subdivision of science with a name derived from the Greek. “Ecology” is erudite and profound; while “natural history” is popular and superficial. Though, as far as I can see, both labels apply to just about the same package of goods.” ~ Marston Bates
  32. “All over the planet, nature is being transformed into ‘un-nature’ at breakneck speed…My life is part of natural history. I long to know where that history came from and where it is going.” ~ Hiroshi Sugimoto

  33. “Yet man does recognise himself [as an animal]. But I ask you and the whole world for a generic differentia between man and ape which conforms to the principles of natural history, I certainly know of none… If I were to call man ape or vice versa, I should bring down all the theologians on my head. But perhaps I should still do it according to the rules of science.” ~ Carl Linnaeus
  34. “Alexander von Humboldt’s wide-ranging Views of Nature is a masterpiece of nineteenth-century natural history, at once science and art. Mark W. Person’s stunning new translation makes the wonders of this classic accessible to the English-language world of the present.” ~ Daniel Walker Howe
  35. “Books of natural history make the most cheerful winter reading. I read in Audubon with a thrill of delight, when the snow covers the ground, of the magnolia, and the Florida keys, and their warm sea breezes; of the fence-rail, and the cotton-tree, and the migrations of the rice-bird; of the breaking up of winter in Labrador, and the melting of the snow on the forks of the Missouri; and owe an accession of health to these reminiscences of luxuriant nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  36. “A boy is a piece of existence quite separate from all things else, and deserves separate chapters in the natural history of men.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

  37. “I like animals. I like natural history. The travel bit is not the important bit. The travel bit is what you have to do in order to go and look at animals.” ~ David Attenborough
  38. “If humans one day become extinct from a catastrophic collision, there would be no greater tragedy in the history of life in the universe. Not because we lacked the brain power to protect ourselves but because we lacked the foresight. The dominant species that replaces us in post-apocalyptic Earth just might wonder, as they gaze upon our mounted skeletons in their natural history museums, why large headed Homo sapiens fared no better than the proverbially peabrained dinosaurs.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
  39. “God preserve us from writers who regurgitate what they have learnt from books! It is people’s secrets we want to know – it is the natural history of the human heart that we have been trying to put down for a thousand years and everyone must and can leave their contribution.” ~ August Strindberg
  40. “But, as we have before been led to remark, most of Mr. Darwin’s statements elude, by their vagueness and incompleteness, the test of Natural History facts.” ~ Richard Owen

  41. “When I train, I love to take time off and fly to the Natural History Museum or an exhibition. I just love that. When you know your past, it will help you with your future… That’s why most of my friends are not fighters. Most of my friends are nerds like me. That’s why I have a hard time finding a girlfriend. I need someone to talk science with. I’m married to my work right now. But you never know. One day I could wake up and just do something different. Life is so unpredictable.” ~ Georges St-Pierre
  42. “Think what you would have been now, if instead of being fed with tales and old wives’ fables in childhood, you had been crammed with geography and natural history!” ~ Charles Lamb
  43. “Natural history is a matter of observation; it is a harvest which you gather when and where you find it growing. Birds and squirrels and flowers are not always in season, but philosophy we have always with us. It is a crop which we can grow and reap at all times and in all places and it has its own value and brings its own satisfaction.” ~ John Burroughs
  44. “To persons uninstructed in natural history, their country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall.” ~ Thomas Huxley

  45. “The young earth-solution to reconciling the order of creation with natural history makes good exegetical and theological sense. Indeed, the overwhelming consensus of theologians up through the Reformation held to this view. I myself would adopt it in a heartbeat except that nature seems to present such strong evidence against it.” ~ William A. Dembski
  46. “Careless of waste, wallowing in refuse, exterminating the enemies . . . despising age, denying human natural history, fabricating pseudotraditions, swamped in the repeated personal crises of the aging preadolescent; all are familiar images of American society. They are signs of private nightmares of incoherence and disorder in broken climaxes where technologies in pursuit of mastery create ever-worsening problems – private nightmares expanded to a social level.” ~ Paul Shepard
  47. “The knowledge of Natural-History, being Observation of Matters of Fact, is more certain than most others, and in my slender Opinion, less subject to Mistakes than Reasonings, Hypotheses, and Deductions are; … These are things we are sure of, so far as our Senses are not fallible; and which, in probability, have been ever since the Creation, and will remain to the End of the World, in the same Condition we now find them.” ~ Hans Sloane
  48. “Mathematics without natural history is sterile, but natural history without mathematics is muddled.” ~ John Maynard Smith

  49. “In order to turn natural history into a true science, one would have to devote oneself to investigations capable of telling us not the particular shape of such and such an animal, but the general procedures of nature in the animal’s production and preservation.” ~ Pierre Louis Maupertuis
  50. “To write the true natural history of the world, we should need to be able to follow it from within. It would thus appear no longer as an interlocking succession of structural types replacing one another, but as an ascension of inner sap spreading out in a forest of consolidated instincts. Right at its base, the living world is constituted by conscious clothes in flesh and bone.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  51. “I don’t claim to have any special interest in natural history, but as a boy I was made aware of the annual fluctuations in the number of game animals and the need to adjust the cull to the size of the surplus population.” ~ Prince Philip
  52. “I believe that natural history has lost much by the vague general treatment that is so common.” ~ Ernest Thompson Seton

  53. “From my earliest childhood I nourished and cherished the desire to make a creditable journey in a new country, and write such a respectable account of its natural history as should give me a niche amongst the scientific explorers of the globe I inhabit, and hand my name down as a useful contributor of original matter.” ~ Joseph Dalton Hooker
  54. “[Theodore Roosevelt] was a naturalist on the broadest grounds, uniting much technical knowledge with knowledge of the daily lives and habits of all forms of wild life. He probably knew tenfold more natural history than all the presidents who had preceded him, and, I think one is safe in saying, more human history also.” ~ John Burroughs
  55. “What I think about when I frequent the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan [Museum of Art], and I look at these artifacts that are taken out of context and how we’re forced to view them as objects, as relics, as sculpture- static. But what’s interesting is what it allows me to do in my head in terms of imagining what the possibilities are or imagining the role in which they played within a particular culture which I’m fascinated by.” ~ Nick Cave
  56. “The use of natural history is to give us aid in supernatural history: the use of the outer creation, to give us language for the beings and changes of the inward creation.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  57. “I was a reasonably good student in college … My chief interests were scientific. When I entered college, I was devoted to out-of-doors natural history, and my ambition was to be a scientific man of the Audubon, or Wilson, or Baird, or Coues type-a man like Hart Merriam, or Frank Chapman, or Hornaday, to-day.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  58. “The world of organisms, of animals and plants, is built up of individuals. I like to think, then, of natural history as the study of life at the level of the individual-of what plants and animals do, how they react to each other and their environment, how they are organized into larger groupings like populations and communities.” ~ Marston Bates
  59. “Prophetic of infidel times, and indicating the unsoundness of our general education, ‘The Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation’, has started into public favour with a fair chance of poisoning the fountains of science, and sapping the foundations of religion.” ~ David Brewster
  60. “In a cabinet of natural history, we become sensible of a certain occult recognition and sympathy in regard to the most unwieldy and eccentric forms of beast, fish, and insect.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  61. “Cameramen are among the most extraordinarily able and competent people I know. They have to have an insight into natural history that gives them a sixth sense of what the creature is going to do, so they can be ready to follow.” ~ David Attenborough
  62. “You can only get really unpopular decisions through if the electorate is convinced of the value of the environment. That’s what natural history programmes should be for.” ~ David Attenborough
  63. “The birds and I share a natural history. It is a matter of rootedness, of living inside a place for so long that the mind and imagination fuse.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams

  64. “When the views entertained in this volume on the origin of species, or when analogous views are generally admitted, we can dimly foresee that there will be a considerable revolution in natural history.” ~ Charles Darwin
  65. “In the old days… it was a basic, cardinal fact that producers didn’t have opinions. When I was producing natural history programmes, I didn’t use them as vehicles for my own opinion. They were factual programmes.” ~ David Attenborough

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