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On the Origin of Species (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 13 Nov 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Revised edition edition (13 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199219222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199219223
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'[This] anniversary edition of the Origin of Species is one of the best editions available and a highly recommended book, especially for students and newcomers in Darwin's world.' Newsletter, International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group

'There is no way to understand Darwin unless one reads his own writings: the Origin of Species is an excellent starting point to read Darwin and I will argue that this Cambridge anniversary edition is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to read the book, especially if he knows absolutely nothing about it. Science and Education Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Jim Endersby's major new scholarly edition debunks some of the myths that surround Darwin's book, and expores how it was originally written, published and read. Endersby provides a new, up-to-date and very readable introduction to this classic text and a level of scholarly apparatus unmatched by any other edition. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Rossen on 29 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Charles Darwin rushed his Origin to press when he became aware that he would be pre-empted with the theory of natural selection by Alfred Russell Wallace. In the course of the following few years he reviewed the manuscript thorougly at least twice. The Third edition, with the introduction written by Jilian Huseley, is generally the standard.
Many people assume that Darwin's initial account of natural selection is so out of date that it is to be avoided in favour of more recent text books of evolutionary theory. While it is true that huge gains have been made in the one and a half centuries since the first publication of "The Origin", there is nothing in this work which is wrong. Darwin was too good a scientist and too cautious.
Some claim that Darwin admitted of the possibility of Lamarkian mechanisms. They have not read the original. Darwin knew nothing of the molecular basis of genetics, but knew that natural selection did not need a Lamarkian mechanism. He simply did not rule it out, although he found it improbable. Everything that is stated in this great classic is as true today as it was at the time of first publication.
It is also said that Charles Darwin was a lesser intellectual when compared to most other great names of science; that he was a plodder, a naturalist, a sort of gentleman stamp collector who pressed flowers into his books and barely a scientist in the contemporary sense. This is nonsense. Darwin was one of the giants of rigorous systematic thinking; the kind of rigorous thinking and critical attitude that asks the right questions and provides the capacity to answer them. Let me buttress this claim with one example.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lancashire Lass on 2 Dec. 2009
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
After spending many hours travelling and listening, gripped by the audiobooks `Remarkable Creatures' by Tracy Chevalier and narrated by Sarah Le Fevre then `Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species' by Sean Carroll (Author) and narrated by Jim Bond, I was eager to pop this (Origin) audiobook into my car's CD player and hit the road; how wrong and disappointed could I have been in my haste to listen to THIS audiobook.

In principle, the `Origin of Species' should make fascinating listening: I read sections of it as a biology undergrad at Uni in the early 80s. I thought an easy way to do a complete `read' would be to listen to the audiobook in half-hour or so `nuggets' twice a-day in my car.

From the moment the narrator set off his voice and reading manner grated on my nerves. It is a `dead' reading by a narrator who sounds to be a rather bored caricature of Kenneth Williams (of `Carry On' films fame): his voice is grating, irritating and gives an overall impression that he cannot really be bothered expending the breath to read aloud this seminal work. Just to increase ones irritation level to bursting point, any passages in French are grossly over-enunciated to the point that is seems the utterance each and every syllable has caused excruciating agony to the narrator: for sure, this recording was a truly excruciating experience for this listener - giving birth to a bag of razor blades would be less painful.

At first, I gave the CD the benefit of the doubt by thinking that perhaps David Case would read only the introduction and perhaps another narrator would read the main body of the book, but no, this was not to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 23 May 2010
Format: MP3 CD
This is a quick review of the book not a dissertation on Darwin or any other subject loosely related. At first I did not know what to expect. I already read " The Voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin's Journal of Researches". I figured the book would be similar. However I found "Origin" to be more complex and detailed.

Taking in account that recent pieces of knowledge were not available to Charles Darwin this book could have been written last week. Having to look from the outside without the knowledge of DNA or Plate Tectonics, he pretty much nailed how the environment and crossbreeding would have an effect on natural selection. Speaking of natural selection, I thought his was going to be some great insight to a new concept. All it means is that species are not being mucked around by man (artificial selection).

If you picked up Time magazine today you would find all the things that Charles said would be near impossible to find or do. Yet he predicted that it is doable in theory. With an imperfect geological record many things he was not able to find at the writing of this book have been found (according to the possibilities described in the book.)
The only draw back to the book was his constant apologizing. If he had more time and space he could prove this and that. Or it looks like this but who can say at this time. Or the same evidence can be interpreted 180 degrees different.

In the end it is worth reading and you will never look at life the same way again.

The Voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin's Journal of Researches (Penguin Classics)
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