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On the Origin of Species (1859)

by Charles Darwin, Charles W. Eliot (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,512104404 (4.12)1 / 381
On December 27, 1831, the young naturalist Charles Darwin left Plymouth Harbor aboard the HMS Beagle. For the next five years, he conducted research on plants and animals from around the globe, amassing a body of evidence that would culminate in one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind-the theory of evolution. Darwin presented his stunning insights in a landmark book that forever altered the way human beings view themselves and the world they live in. In The Origin of Species, Darwin convincingly demonstrates the fact of evolution: that existing animals and plants cannot have appeared separately but must have slowly transformed from ancestral creatures. Most important, the book fully explains the mechanism that effects such a transformation: natural selection, the idea that made evolution scientifically intelligible for the first time. One of the few revolutionary works of science that is readily accessible to the nonscientist, The Origin of Species not only launched the science of modern biology but has also influenced virtually all subsequent literary, philosophical, and religious thinking.… (more)
  1. 90
    The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins (IslandDave)
  2. 30
    The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal by Jared M. Diamond (WiJiWiJi, WiJiWiJi)
  3. 30
    The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould (Anneli)
  4. 30
    Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea by Carl Zimmer (yapete)
  5. 30
    The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean B. Carroll (Othemts)
  6. 41
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (themulhern)
    themulhern: The books are similar in structure and not nearly as dry as most other science or history.
  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 / 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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» See also 381 mentions

English (94)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
Como algo tan corto puede ser tan disruptivo y genial. ( )
  Alvaritogn | Jul 1, 2022 |
105
  Mike_AF | Apr 3, 2022 |
I had not realised that the theory was presented with such a breadth of evidence and in such an accessible way. Very surprised that such a central work of science was so readable. ( )
  brakketh | Mar 1, 2022 |
لا يمكن وصفه بأقل من العبقري والثوري، ونقطة تحول جذرية في علم الأحياء.
ملأت الاكتشفات الأحفورية الحديثة وعلم الجينات الحلقات المفقودة في النظرية الداروينية، وأكدت انحدار الأنواع الحية من أصل مشترك ودور الانتقاء الطبيعي في تطور الكائنات. ( )
  TonyDib | Jan 28, 2022 |
81
  revirier | Dec 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (101 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Darwin, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles W.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Appleman, PhilipIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beer, GillianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burrow, J. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bynum, WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carroll, JosephEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ghiselin, Michael T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grassé, Pierre-PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hellemans, LudoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huxley, JulianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landacre, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayr, ErnstIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peckham, MorseEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quammen, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rook, RuudTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simpson, George GaylordForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallace, JeffIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Introduction
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.
Introduction
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.
Quotations
"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.)
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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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On December 27, 1831, the young naturalist Charles Darwin left Plymouth Harbor aboard the HMS Beagle. For the next five years, he conducted research on plants and animals from around the globe, amassing a body of evidence that would culminate in one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind-the theory of evolution. Darwin presented his stunning insights in a landmark book that forever altered the way human beings view themselves and the world they live in. In The Origin of Species, Darwin convincingly demonstrates the fact of evolution: that existing animals and plants cannot have appeared separately but must have slowly transformed from ancestral creatures. Most important, the book fully explains the mechanism that effects such a transformation: natural selection, the idea that made evolution scientifically intelligible for the first time. One of the few revolutionary works of science that is readily accessible to the nonscientist, The Origin of Species not only launched the science of modern biology but has also influenced virtually all subsequent literary, philosophical, and religious thinking.

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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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