42 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Good for historians, but not for modern learning,
This review is from: The Origin of Species (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) (Paperback)
After reading the excelent "Darwin: a Life in Science" by Michael White & John Gribbin I decided to read Origin of Species to see what all the fuss is about. I was disappointed. Most Darwin biographies cover the important parts of Species and I found I already knew the main topics, but ploughed on through Darwin's verbose and lengthy text trying to find anything else of interest. There are a few gems but they are very hard to uncover, the style being somewhat archaic with Darwin taking an age to get to his point. He provides numerous examples to support his case for evolution, but he relies too heavily on the reader having as much understanding of technical terms as he, and fails to provide evidential details siting lack of space many times (perhaps because the printing of photographs was too difficult at the time - a single graph is all we are given). I certainly agree with the historical perspective that this book was never intended by Darwin to be his main treatise on evolution; that this was a rush job to gain recognition before Wallace, and was to be followed by a much greater volume giving in detail his research. Where the book really comes to life is when Darwin explains how his ideas are in direct competition with those of Creatonists, and when he shoots down their ideas with his evolutionary logic.
For those wishing to learn the details of evolutionary theory I would suggest they avoid this book and instead read a modern guide - it will be based on Darwin's ideas so you won't be missing anything. Anyone else who wants to know how the science started should give it a go, but be prepared for lots of page skipping and speed reading.
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Initial post: 18 May 2010 08:24:45 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 May 2010 08:28:53 BDT
I think your review is hilarious, imagine giving three stars to one of the most important books ever written, and then criticizing Darwins writing style as being " Archaic "......priceless......you are a very funny man Kooky.....and the statement " perhaps printing Photographs was to difficult at the time " .....the book was published in 1859 for gods sake......and i thought the Scots were a clever and thoughtful race.....seems i was wrong
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