Naturalist Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old naturalist quotes, naturalist sayings, and naturalist proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


The naturalist worldview is a good way to feel grounded and feel part of something that isn't based on fairy tales. It's based on observable facts in the human and in the biological history of the planet. I think that can be a source for comfort.

Greg Graffin

The naturalists have been engaged in thinking about Nature. They have not attended to the fact that they were thinking. The moment one attends to this it is obvious that one's own thinking cannot be merely a natural event, and that therefore something other than Nature exists.

C. S. Lewis

If naturalists go to heaven (about which there is considerable ecclesiastical doubt), I hope that I will be furnished with a troop of kakapo to amuse me in the evening instead of television.     

Gerald Durrell

Happy indeed is the naturalist: to him the seasons come round like old friends; to him the birds sing: as he walks along, the flowers stretch out from the hedges, or look up from the ground, and as each year fades away, he looks back on a fresh store of happy memories.

John Lubbock

A fossil is so powerful. It's moving. This is my ancestor. The naturalist is moved by the fossil... not the cross.

Greg Graffin

Naturalistic atheism debunks itself. It has no power to explain even some of the most basic principles of the universe and existence. It cannot even explain how its own claims can be reasonably believed.

Lewis N.

The ordinary naturalist is not sufficiently aware that when dogmatizing on what species are, he is grappling with the whole question of the organic world & its connection with the time past & with Man; that it involves the question of Man & his relation to the brutes, of instinct, intelligence & reason, of Creation, transmutation & progressive improvement or development. Each set of geological questions & of ethnological & zool. & botan. are parts of the great problem which is always assuming a new aspect.     

Charles Lyell

From the naturalistic point of view, all men are equal. There are only two exceptions to this rule of naturalistic equality: geniuses and idiots.     

Mikhail Bakunin

The naturalist is a civilized hunter. He goes alone into the field or woodland and closes his mind to everything but that time and place, so that life around him presses in on all the senses and small details grow in significance. He begins the scanning search for which cognition was engineered. His mind becomes unfocused, it focuses on everything, no longer directed toward any ordinary task or social pleasantry.     

E. O. Wilson

Either everything in man can be traced as a development from below, or something must come from above. There is no avoiding that dilemma: you must be either a naturalist or a supernaturalist.     

T. S. Eliot

Delight itself, however, is a weak term to express the feelings of a naturalist.     

Charles Darwin

The naturalists of yore esteemed the ocean to be a treasury of wonders, and sought therein for monstrosities and organisms contrary to the law of nature, such as they interpreted it.     

Edward Forbes

To a naturalist nothing is indifferent; the humble moss that creeps upon the stone is equally interesting as the lofty pine which so beautifully adorns the valley or the mountain: but to a naturalist who is reading in the face of the rocks the annals of a former world, the mossy covering which obstructs his view, and renders indistinguishable the different species of stone, is no less than a serious subject of regret.     

James Hutton

Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing.

George Wald

Truth as such is not a particularly important concept in naturalistic philosophy.     

Phillip E. Johnson

To be a naturalist is better than to be a king.     

William Beebe

As a naturalist you will never suffer from that awful modern disease called boredomâ€"so go out and greet the natural world with curiosity and delight, and enjoy it.      

Gerald Malcolm Durrell

Darwinism is not merely a support for naturalistic philosophy: it is a product of naturalistic philosophy.     

Phillip E. Johnson

Naturalism teaches one of the most important things in this world. There is only this life, so live wonderfully and meaningfully.     

Greg Graffin

It is essential to naturalist doctrine that literature, to be good, must, finally, be the author's experience worked out literally.     

Gore Vidal

If life can emerge just from naturalistic circumstances, then God is out of a job.     

Lee Strobel

No naturalist has devoted more painstaking attention to the structure of the barnacles than Mr. Darwin.

Richard Owen

Man cannot afford to be a naturalist, to look at nature directly, but only with the side of his eye. He must see through and beyond her.     

Henry Thoreau

Evolutionary naturalism takes the inherent limitations of science and turns them into a devastating philosophical weapon: because science is our only real way of knowing anything, what science cannot know cannot be real.     

Phillip E. Johnson

A perfectly poetic appreciation of nature contains two elements, a knowledge of facts, and a sensibility to charms. Everybody who may have to speak to some naturalists will be well aware how widely the two may be separated. He will have seen that a man may study butterflies and forget that they are beautiful, or be perfect in the "Lunar theory" without knowing what most people mean by the moon.     

Walter Bagehot

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.      

John Muir

The naturalists of our own time hold equal faith in the wonders of the sea, but seek therein rather for the links of nature's chain than for apparent exceptions.      

Edward Forbes

The happiness even of the naturalist depends in some measure upon his ignorance, which still leaves him new worlds of this kind to conquer. He may have reached the very Z of knowledge in the books, but he still feels half ignorant until he has confirmed each bright particular with his eyes.     

Robert Wilson Lynd

The modern naturalist must realize that in some of its branches his profession, while more than ever a science, has also become an art.     

Theodore Roosevelt

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