Darwin and the “strongest of the species” quotation

This is old news, but hundreds of yearly posts on Twitter suggest not everyone on the planet got the memo, so I want to make another post about this quote:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

The sentences are actually from Leon Megginson (details), a professor of marketing at Louisiana State University who died in 2010. But people love to attribute it to Darwin. E.g., as show in the photograph below, which I took at the California Academy of Sciences in 2008. I photographed it because I was shocked Darwin would say something so stupid. I told them, too, but they have only removed the attribution, not the quote, apparently. It’s etched in stone, as it were. They should at least add “— Leon Megginson” so that people don’t assume it’s from Darwin.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives

 

About Colin Purrington

PhD in evolutionary biology • twitterinstagram

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2 Responses to Darwin and the “strongest of the species” quotation

  1. Sam says:

    FYI, here is a refutation in shareable graphic form, in case it might be useful.

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