Back to:

Evolutionary Psychology

Pictures of Human Evolution

Wilderness & Education

Edward O. Wilson's Biophilia Hypothesis

Last updated:
01 Jun 2004

E. O. Wilson's Biophilia Hypothesis

Quotes by Wilson about Biophilia & related topics

Recommended Links

Edward O. Wilson's Biophilia Hypothesis
 

A somewhat controversial hypothesis put forward by Edward Wilson is the idea that humans evolved as creatures deeply enmeshed with the intricacies of nature, and that we still have this affinity with nature ingrained in our genotype.

 

 

Edward O. Wilson coined the term "biophilia", referring to humans' innate affinity with nature

  • Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard University entomologist, coined the term "biophilia", referring to humans' "love of living things" - our innate affinity with nature.

  • Wilson describes biophilia as the "innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes."

The Biophilia Hypotheses - A collection of invited papers edited by Kellert & Wilson

  • The Biophilia Hypothesis - A collection of invited papers supporting & refuting the biophilia hypothesis - edited by Kellert & Wilson
 

Quotes by Wilson about Biophilia & related topics


Most children have a bug period, and I never grew out of mine.

  Edward O. Wilson, Naturalist

Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life.
  Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984, p. 22

I have argued in this book that we are human in good part because of the particular way we affiliate with other organisms.  They are the matrix in which the human mind originated and is permanently rooted, and they offer the challenge and freedom innately sought.  To the extent that each person can feel like a naturalist, the old excitement of the untrammeled world will be regained.  I offer this as a formula of reenchantment to invigorate poetry and myth: mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit.  Splendor awaits in minute proportions.
  Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984, p. 139

The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats.  This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.
  Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984, p, 121
 

Recommended Links