Yesterday morning I finally finished my Kindle version of this seminal work. As I read through the last and famous paragraph I was struck by three incongruent words; "by the Creator". I reread the sentence again to check that I had not misunderstood but it still looked out of place. Later in the day I began to read a paperback version of Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". On page 32 Dawkins quotes the same paragraph but without the reference to "the Creator". It seemed highly unlikely that Richard Dawkins would have risked his academic credibility by misquoting Darwin, so I checked the quotation from other sources on the internet; none of which contained the words "by the Creator". The two sentences are shown below;
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." Dawkins and others sources.
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." Kindle Edition
I appreciate that Kindle versions are prepared by volunteers and, therefore, accept the occasional errors of grammar and spelling, but this cannot have been an error. How much more of the Kindle version that I purchased has been amended to give a Creationist spin to Darwin's Theory and how many readers have been unwittingly mislead?
(Addendum made 11th January 2012) My thanks to Michael D Farmer for the following comments which correct my misgivings; "They are different editions. The first edition does not contain "by the Creator" here. There is a Kindle edition of this (text only). Darwin was persuaded to include the addition in the second and subsequent editions (there were six in his lifetime). See the website darwin online or the Wikipedia entry."
My apologies for suggesting some Creationist conspiracy but I was unaware that Darwin made these changes and had I been aware would have opted for the earlier version.