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

by Steve Jones

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7701221,557 (3.68)24
Charles Darwin's masterpiece,The Origin of Species, is probably the best-known, least-read book. Un-questionably one of the most important achievements of the millennium, its publication in 1859 caused a sensation, because it forced mankind to see itself as part of the animal world--a notion that hundreds of millions still deny. Darwin's theory of common descent did for biology what Galileo did for astronomy: made it into a single science rather than a collection of unrelated facts. Those facts, however, are now a century and a half old, as areThe Origin's illustrative examples and Victorian prose style. Writing as "Darwin's ghost," the well-known geneticist Steve Jones has drawn on our ever-expanding scientific knowledge and the brilliant logic set out inThe Originto restate evolution's case for the twenty-first century.          Jones has been called "the British Carl Sagan" because of his prominence as a popularizer of science. Using contemporary examples--the AIDS virus, the rules of the American Kennel Club, the sheep who never forget a face and the garbage that floats in the Pacific--he shows the power and imme-diacy of Darwin's great argument. Filled with anec-dotes, humor and the very latest research,Darwin's Ghostis a popular, readable and comprehensive account of the science that makes life make sense.… (more)
  1. 10
    On 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 (11)  Dutch (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Originally published in slightly different form, London : Doubleday, 1999. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
brings Darwin to date and with such varied sentence structures - style
  wanderland | Jul 26, 2019 |
in november i finished the portable darwin and really enjoyed it. little long. ( )
  mahallett | Mar 9, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steve Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bordwin, GabrielleCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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'.

(Introduction)
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.

(Chapter I)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Charles Darwin's masterpiece,The Origin of Species, is probably the best-known, least-read book. Un-questionably one of the most important achievements of the millennium, its publication in 1859 caused a sensation, because it forced mankind to see itself as part of the animal world--a notion that hundreds of millions still deny. Darwin's theory of common descent did for biology what Galileo did for astronomy: made it into a single science rather than a collection of unrelated facts. Those facts, however, are now a century and a half old, as areThe Origin's illustrative examples and Victorian prose style. Writing as "Darwin's ghost," the well-known geneticist Steve Jones has drawn on our ever-expanding scientific knowledge and the brilliant logic set out inThe Originto restate evolution's case for the twenty-first century.          Jones has been called "the British Carl Sagan" because of his prominence as a popularizer of science. Using contemporary examples--the AIDS virus, the rules of the American Kennel Club, the sheep who never forget a face and the garbage that floats in the Pacific--he shows the power and imme-diacy of Darwin's great argument. Filled with anec-dotes, humor and the very latest research,Darwin's Ghostis a popular, readable and comprehensive account of the science that makes life make sense.

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