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Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated (1999)

by Steve Jones

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8321325,140 (3.66)24
A modern geneticist revisits Darwin's classic work to offer contemporary examples and modern research that confirm the book's conclusions on evolution.
  1. 10
    The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (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.
  2. 10
    The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin (Booksloth)
  3. 00
    The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins (gward101)

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» See also 24 mentions

English (12)  Dutch (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
brings Darwin to date and with such varied sentence structures - style
  wanderland | Jul 26, 2019 |
This book is a decent update on the Origin of Species, taking the original format, the same chapter headings, and then evaluating the state of the science in the current world. It would be an easier way to introduce students to Darwin, since it is much more modern in writing style, and not burdened with the long-winded Victorian style that would set most modern youngsters groaning in despair. ( )
  Devil_llama | May 10, 2011 |
Absolutley fabulous book covering everything about how we know evolution is what actually happened; just brilliant, took me forever and a day to read it but it was never a slow read, just thick and dense with fascinating facts and explanations. Highly recommended. ( )
  nocto | Dec 13, 2010 |
A look at Origin of Species from the vantage point of modern science. Lots of interesting facts, even if some, but not many, slightly dated already- the book was published 10 years ago. All in all, a huge affirmation of Darwin’s work and his achievements.
One complaint. Even though the book is very interesting, the style is sometimes convoluted. It doesn’t have the reading ease of Dawkins' books.

An interesting quote:

Too often, the notion of progress is used as a code word for perfection, the chain of being in a different guise. The term should be employed with caution. Some see an arrow of time in biology, as in physics, but in the opposite direction- a relentless tendency to improve, just as a universe has a built-in trend towards chaos and disorder. That is too optimistic. Some lineages get more complicated, some simpler, and much of life has to struggle to stay in the same place. If everyone is evolving, nobody can afford to stop, and there may be constant change with no overall advance at all. ( )
1 vote Niecierpek | Mar 30, 2010 |
When I was reading Darwin's Origin of Species, I often asked myself if a particular fact or hypothesis were still accepted by scientists today. I'm not talking of evolution by natural selection, but of some fun stuff you can read in Darwin's masterpiece, such as the effects of use and disuse on variation. The title of Jones's book refers to what is probably the wildest speculation you can read in the Origins, where Darwin recounts what he heard about a bear behaving (almost) like a whale.

If (many) professional biologists don't read the Origins, ordinary people who read it are left to themselves in deciding which of Darwin's views have been abandoned by science. Jones bridges this gap, brings more examples and adds the relevant science. It is not a review of the current state of evolutionary biology but a useful, much needed companion to Darwin's book. ( )
  lepas | Feb 8, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steve Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bordwin, GabrielleCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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But with regard to the material world, we can at least go so far as this - we can perceive that events are brought about not by insulated interpositions of Divine power, exerted in each particular case, but by the establishment of generl laws.
W. WHERWELL, Bridgewater Treatise
To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works, divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both.
BACON, Advancement of Learning
To Alex and Anna Trench
First words
Two of the worst of all lines of English poetry, written in 1799 by John Hookham Frere:
'The feather'd race with pinions skim te air -
Not so the mackerek, and still less the bear!'
However poor that verse, it has a moral. The lines come from Frere's somewhat neglected work 'The Progress of Man; Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin'. Birds, Bears and fish carry a political message. Things are as they are and it is folly to change them. The French Revolution disturbed the God-given order: to proclaim the rights of man was as absurd as to suggest that mankind - or even bears - might fly.

(An historical sketch of the progress of opinion on the origin of species)
According to a 1991 opinion poll, a hundred million Americans believe that 'God created man pretty much in his present form at one time during the last tn thusand years'.

Man has a strange relationship with his domestic animals. The Victorian explorer William Burchell found himself unable to eat zebra when he was near starvation in Africa, because of its resemblance to his favourite mare.

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A modern geneticist revisits Darwin's classic work to offer contemporary examples and modern research that confirm the book's conclusions on evolution.

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