Jacques Monod Quotes

Enjoy the top 29 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jacques Monod.

Jacques Monod Quotes

In science there is and will remain a Platonic element which could not be taken away without ruining it. Among the infinite diversity of singular phenomena science can only look for invariants.
— Jacques Monod —

A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it.

— Jacques Monod

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.

— Jacques Monod

What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant.

— Jacques Monod

Even today a good many distinguished minds seem unable to accept or even to understand that from a source of noise natural selection alone and unaided could have drawn all the music of the biosphere. In effect natural selection operates upon the products of chance and can feed nowhere else; but it operates in a domain of very demanding conditions, and from this domain chance is barred. It is not to chance but to these conditions that evolution owes its generally progressive course, its successive conquests, and the impression it gives of a smooth and steady unfolding.

— Jacques Monod

Modern societies accepted the treasures and the power offered them by science. But they have not accepted - they have scarcely even heard - its profounder message: the defining of a new and unique source of truth, and the demand for a thorough revision of ethical premises, for a complete break with the animist tradition, the definitive abandonment of the 'old covenant', the necessity of forging a new one. Armed with all the powers, enjoying all the riches they owe to science, our societies are still trying to live by and to teach systems of values already blasted at the root by science itself.

— Jacques Monod

The fundamental biological variant is DNA. That is why Mendel's definition of the gene as the unvarying bearer of hereditary traits, its chemical identification by Avery (confirmed by Hershey), and the elucidation by Watson and Crick of the structural basis of its replicative invariance, are without any doubt the most important discoveries ever made in biology. To this must be added the theory of natural selection, whose certainty and full significance were established only by those later theories.

— Jacques Monod

One may well find oneself beginning to doubt whether all this could conceivably be the product of an enormous lottery presided over by natural selection, blindly picking the rare winners from among numbers drawn at utter random ... nevertheless although the miracle of life stands "explained" it does not strike us as any less miraculous. As Francois Mauriac wrote, What this professor says is far more incredible than what we poor Christians believe.

— Jacques Monod

Man finally knows that he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the Universe, from which he emerged by accident.

— Jacques Monod

Chance and necessity.

— Jacques Monod

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