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On the origin of species by means of natural…

On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or, The… (original 1859; edition 1859)

by Charles Darwin

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8,97475333 (4.14)1 / 303
Title:On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or, The preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life
Authors:Charles Darwin
Info:London : J. Murray, 1859.
Collections:Your library

Work details

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859)

  1. 80
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  6. 41
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  7. 20
    Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins by Ian Tattersall (John_Vaughan)
  8. 20
    Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated by Steve Jones (Noisy)
    Noisy: Things have moved on somewhat in the last one hundred and fifty years. These two books bear a re-read ahead of the bicentenary of Darwin's birth in 2009.
  9. 20
    Evolution by Douglas J. Futuyma (davidsietsma)
  10. 31
    Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade (ColumbusLee)
  11. 20
    Darwin and the Beagle by Alan Moorehead (John_Vaughan)
  12. 10
    Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin (Michael.Rimmer)
  13. 47
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (2below)
    2below: Carroll was one of many Victorian authors influenced by Darwin's work. Alice is rife with evolutionary thinking--a crazy world inhabited almost entirely by sentient animals, with a heavy focus on eating and being eaten.

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English (68)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
I marked this as 'Read' which isn't wholly true. If there was a 'Kinda, Sorta, Read' button I would have clicked that. Wow, I'm in awe of anyone who did read this cover to cover. Kudos to you, kudos to you. ( )
  Garrison0550 | May 10, 2016 |
Because it is written in an accademic fashion it was a little hard to read but still brilliant. ( )
  AngelaGustafson | Jan 25, 2016 |
It's very discursive. You can almost hear Darwin pulling up a chair to the fireplace to discuss this idea he's had. And he's thought about it a lot.

It's also very cleverly written, starting with something the reader knows about (the human breeding of pigeons) then expanding slowly from that to the new stuff, but returning to that base whenever Darwin needs a clear, easy-to-understand example.

It's a complete refutation of the 'one great man makes a giant leap for human understanding' way of looking at scientific progress, with Darwin being very careful to say where and who he has got information from and whose ideas he's building on (even if he's retested as much of the info as he can and tested his theories as best as he can). He's also a lot nicer about his fellow scientists than a look of books today are.

I like that Darwin states the parts where his theory might not explain everything, and that he uses observation to try to plug those gaps.

He might have been able to cover more detail in the book if he stopped apologising for the amount of stuff he couldn't put in.

Looking backwards from what we know now, it's amazing how close Darwin gets to being right about most of it, and a lot of his uncertainties could only have been cleared up once genes and sequencing were discovered.

There's a couple of points where he wanders down paths that turned out to be dead ends (recapitulation theory is bunk) and we've still not got a 'how' of instincts, but given the information Darwin had to work with, he's right more than he's wrong.

It's pretty much a must read for scientists, and it's reasonably accessible to non-scientists, and a fairly straight-forward read once you've got used to certain Victorian writing quirks.

Definitely worth reading. ( )
  redfiona | Dec 20, 2015 |
Though this audiobook is sometimes a difficult listen due to the Victorian penchant for long sentences, it's worth every minute of attention. Darwin's science and argumentation is pure beauty. ( )
  Leonardo.Galvao | Oct 11, 2015 |
It is only fair that I divide my review into two parts: Writing and Content:
Writing: Darwin is obviously writing from a different century. With complex syntax and extensive vocabulary, both scientific and non, his writing is dense, convoluted and so very boring. Even if one makes allowances for the difference in writing styles, I still find his writing to drag on and on. Darwin stated he wrote this work for the masses, and I grant that he gave it a valiant effort, however much he failed.
Content: Brilliant. From someone who was raised (and remains) a believer in Creationism, I have to say his work is logical, scientific, and well-thought out. He answered well many of the main arguments against his ideas. He mentioned many experiments conducted to further study his findings, and mentioned many works by contemporary naturalist that he drew on to reach his conclusion. As someone trained in the sciences, this does much to improve my thoughts about his ideas. Despite what many people say - Evolutionist and Creationist alike - Darwin's work is factual and logical, and demands serious consideration from anyone claiming to want to know the truth. While I have not reconciled my belief in a creator-God and the evidence of evolution, reading Darwin is a start for me and I recommend it as a start for anyone wishing to find the truth. ( )
  empress8411 | Jun 30, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (121 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Darwin, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Appleman, PhilipIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burrow, J. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bynum, WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carroll, JosephEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charles G. DarwinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deardoff, Kenneth R.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ghiselin, Michael T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grassé, Pierre-PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huxley, JulianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landacre, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayr, ErnstIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peckham, MorseEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quammen, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simpson, George GaylordForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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by David Quammen
On the Origin of Species is a surprising, peculiar work in many ways but among all its peculiarities my favorite is this: Seldom in the history of English prose has such a dangerous, disruptive, consequential book been so modest and affable in tone. That's because its author, Charles Darwin, was himself a modest and affable man—shy in demeanor though confident of his ideas—who meant to persuade, not to declaim or intimidate. You can hear it in his opening sentences:
When on board H.M.S. 'Beagle,' as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species—that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers.
He sounds lik a gentle uncle, clearing his throat politely, about to share a few curious observations and musings over tea.
When on board H.M.S. 'Beagle,' as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species—that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision.
"It may be difficult, but we ought to admire the savage instinctive hatred of the queen-bee, which urges her to destroy the young queens, her daughters, as soon as they are born, or to perish herself in the combat; for undoubtedly this is for the good of the community; and maternal love or maternal hatred, though the latter fortunately is most rare, is all the same to the inexorable principles of natural selection."
Multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
For the first five editions the title was “On the Origin of Species”, the sixth edition of 1872 changed the title to “The Origin of Species”.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451529065, Mass Market Paperback)

The classic that exploded into public controversy, revolutionized the course of science, and continues to transform our views of the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:55 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

This edition includes the complete text of Darwin's original and groundbreaking work on natural history, evolution, and natural selection, and features 90 black-and-white engraved illustrations available in no other edition.

(summary from another edition)

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6 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102154, 1400108640


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