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Charles Darwin - The Origin of Species | Review
on 4 January 2014
Okay, let me explain my rating - the Origin of Species is a monumental step forward in human understanding, a revolutionary set of new ideas which changed the way that humankind looked at the world forever. So why did it only earn a five out of ten?
The answer is simple - it's extremely difficult to read, due to a mixture of complex scientific terminology and the wandering writing style of the author. It's difficult to focus on the words that you're reading - I read most of the (lengthy) paragraphs multiple times before I could figure out their meaning, and I was still left baffled in places.
With most 'big' influential books like this, I tend to recommend reading them just for the monumental importance of the manuscript - here, however, the key principles are so ingrained in the public consciousness that it's not really necessary unless you plan on becoming an evolutionary biologist.
It's certainly true that out of the material that I could understand, I was already familiar with most of it - this isn't like Hawking's A Brief History of Time, where every sentence opens your eyes. Nor is it Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, which frames all of the unconscious arguments you've ever had in to a bite-sized form. This is The Origin of Species - don't forget it.