Thursday, September 16, 2010

John Muir on Naturalists

I was watching part of the latest Ken Burns documentary “National Parks” and came across a quote that I really liked:

“The man of science, the naturalist, too often loses sight of the essential oneness of all living beings in seeking to classify them in kingdoms, orders, families, genera, species, etc., taking note of the kind and arrangement of limbs, teeth, toes, scales, hair, feathers, etc., measured and set forth in meters, centimenters, and millimeters, while the eye of the Poet, the Seer, never closes on the kindship of all God's creatures, and his heart ever beats in sympathy with great and small alike as "earth-born companions and fellow mortals" equally dependent on Heaven's eternal love.”

It also comes to mind what Nietzsche had to say on the issue:  

“I distrust all systematists and I avoid them. The will to a system represents a lack of honesty.”

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