Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984; rpt. 1996), pp. 13-14:
Think of scooping up a handful of soil and leaf litter and spreading it out on a white ground cloth, in the manner of the field biologist, for close examination. This unprepossessing lump contains more order and richness of structure, and particularity of history, than the entire surfaces of all the other (lifeless) planets. It is a miniature wilderness that can take almost forever to explore.