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The Origin of Species (Classics of World Literature) Paperback – 5 Mar 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 316 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; New edition edition (5 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853267805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853267802
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

It's hard to talk about The Origin of Species without making statements that seem overwrought and fulsome. But it's true: this is indeed one of the most important and influential books ever written, and it is one of the very few groundbreaking works of science that is truly readable.

To a certain extent it suffers from the Hamlet problem--it's full of clichés! Or what are now clichés, but which Darwin was the first to pen. Natural selection, variation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest: it's all in here.

Darwin's friend and "bulldog" T. H. Huxley said upon reading the Origin, "How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of that." Alfred Russel Wallace had thought of the same theory of evolution Darwin did, but it was Darwin who gathered the mass of supporting evidence--on domestic animals and plants, on variability, on sexual selection, on dispersal--that swept most scientists before it. It's hardly necessary to mention that the book is still controversial: Darwin's remark in his conclusion that "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history" is surely the pinnacle of British understatement. --Mary Ellen Curtin, Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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"A masterful condensation." --Victorian Studies

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin Species written in the 1850s presents the theory of natural selection in an attempt to explain the complex relations between animals and plants both existing and extinct. Darwin’s theories are formed based on his voyage on the Beagle expedition, later research and correspondence with experts in various fields.

The starting chapters introduce the theory of natural selection, explaining why certain species thrive, while others decrease in number, how the members of nature are in competition with each other and why organisms tend to vary and change with time. Much of this work is based on experiments and observations seen within domestic animals and plants.

The later chapters defend the theory of natural selection against apparent inconsistencies, why geological records are incomplete, why we find species so widespread and how sterility can be inherited when the organisation is unable to reproduce and more.

The book is approachable for any audience, though the language is naturally dated. Having read the book, one can really appreciate the complex relations in the world and the individuals within it. Though the theory of natural selection is easy to accept, many thought provoking difficulties within the book really make it interesting. Well worth reading.
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Where would we be without The origin of Species?
Everyone should read this. That includes believers in all the different forms of creationism.
Darwin long ago convinced me that natural selection, and evolution are the core truths behind the diversity of flora and fauna on our wonderful planet.
Any one who doesn't accept that needs to get their head out of their arse and read this book.
It doesn't mean that God did not create the world, it explains that life evolves into the environment it is placed in.Hence polar bears in the arctic and koala bears in gum trees.
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This is a new printing of the original work by Charles Darwin. It is the book that caused so much furore amongst the people of the early 19th century and lead to outrage in society at the truly revolutionary idea of how species evolve. It is written in the style of the period, and as such is not the easiest read, but it is worth delving into the mind of a true pioneer of modern science.

Much of the book was written following Darwin's exploratory voyages in the South Seas. He observed the various physical differences between animals that he saw on the different islands and this lead him to postulate the idea that the variations might come about because creatures lived in separate environments. He then suggested that the local conditions might lead to the prevalence of certain characteristics. The book contains many descriptions of the variations of the anaimals that he observed and his thoughts on what he saw.

People that have not read this book seem to tend to believe that it contains certain anti-religious statements; in fact, this is far from the truth. However, don't take my word for it; get the book and read it for yourself.
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intensely fascinating. dated, of course, but as a foundational work of the modern era of the so-called western world, this is an absolute must-read better to understand the way "we" think nowadays . To see the origins of what we think is Science. to understand our prejudices as well as our beliefs. There are a million little pieces of history of ideas in here.
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You emerge from this marvel of a book thinking it is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. It is a crucial work, and still readable today, and if you retain your 'only the human species is sacred' view when you've read it, then you are deeply prejudiced or conditioned. Crazy religious zealotry cannot survive this reasoned and calm long view of life on earth. Blind faith needs Darwin's reasonable and utterly rational spectacles!
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Let me just start by saying, I FINALLY GOT THIS BOOK!

Over the years I have heard bits and bobs of this book. Specifically since year 10. In biology we talk about Darwin and his theory but the short stories that we are told are not very detailed.

I have wanted to buy this book for over 5 years now! I ask myself, WHY HAVENT I GOTTEN IT BEFORE! Its not science fiction, but it certainly is very detailed and entertaining. I loved reading every page of it.

If you are a science student, this book is a very good buy and read! You will be able to link a lot of theory related questions in your exams to bits of this book.

10/10. Very good purchace.
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A classic of course. From an academic perspective, it is interesting to read this and look at the flaws caused by the limited knowledge at the time of writing. Without knowledge of DNA or genetics in general, there is a lot of guesswork here. But still this is a great book, and a great starting point for someone wanting to learn more about the world of evolution.
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Although reading and understanding was tough at times, it was worth the struggle. It is shame that the diagram mentioned several times in the book was not included. It made one chapter almost unnecessary to read.
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