“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change.”
This quote by Leon Megginson, a professor of business management in Louisiana, is one of the most popular quotations on the internet. And one of the most misattributed, — most people think it’s something Charles Darwin wrote. But he didn’t.
To encourage proper attribution, I thought I’d seed the internet with three images that give Dr Megginson his credit. The hope is that these images might eventually get included in Google search results when people are searching for pre-made slides that have the quote.
The second slide is a photograph of Leon C. Megginson himself, in front of chalkboard. Nobody likes this version of the quote but I’d thought I’d include it just so that people can see the lack of facial hair.
The final image is a photograph of Charles Darwin, the man who clearly inspired Megginson.
Most of the tweets are from nutritionists, motivational speakers, and business management types.
By the way, the misattribution exists even among people who should know better. E.g., the quote is found on the wall of the Charles Darwin Foundation’s gift shop, and on the floor of the California Academy of Science.
If you need an actual quote from Darwin, there are hundreds of thousands to choose from. Just browse Darwin Online for all his books (~42 of them!), articles (~246), letters, and notebooks. There’s also the Darwin Correspondence Project.