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The Origin of Species Paperback – 15 Feb 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 298 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450595847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450595841
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,082,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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 an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Jim Endersby's major 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 very readable introduction to this classic text and a level of scholarly apparatus unmatched by any other edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Many people assume that Darwin's initial account of natural selection is so out of date that it is to be avoided in favour of more recent text books of evolutionary theory.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.
At the end of chapter six Darwin noted that the theory of natural selection could not account for structures or behaviors found in one species that exist solely for the benefit of another unrelated species. In setting out the theoretical terms for the refutation of the theory in this way, he anticipated Karl Popper, that analytical non-nonsense philosopher of science, by more than a century.
I recommend you read this book with an attentive curious analytical mind. You will find yourself walking in the footsteps of an intellectual giant.
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Format: Paperback
I ordered two versions of The Origin of Species. This version is the best of two. However, reader should be notice, this version is the first edition. As you may know, Darwin published six editions in total and final one is the most comprehesive one. However, as editor of this version said, the final edition had too many replies to the questioning from peers, which made the last edition much longer than the initial edition. I think the key ideas in different editions should be similar and I prefer this concise edition-the first edition.
I highly recommend this print by Wordsworth, given that it is the cheapest one with very high quality of print.
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Format: Paperback
A well-written, well-argued treatise on the volatile subject of the evolution of new species by natural selection. At the time, this flew in the face of accepted theories, and especially upset current theological doctrine, Archbishop Ussher would be particularly upset!.
Darwin agonised for years over the publication of his book, and it was only at the urging of his friends (that he was about to be upstaged by Wallace) that he finally published. The delay was of his own making - torn between the evidence of his notes and correspondence with Wallace, and the furore that would inevitably result. The furore was bound to happen anyway, surrounded as he was by small-minded bigots, so he should have published earlier. But ... this might have deprived us of the brilliant arguments he puts forth in support of each section in the book.
He obviously knew what he was up against, so he tried to present his case as lucidly as possible - and here's the unusual aspect of the work - in layman's language! This was almost unheard of in a Victorian Scientific treatise - they were meant to be read by Scientists, not the hoy-poloy! He tries to counter every conceivable objection to each statement, as nicely (in both senses of the word) as possible, without any of the fervour and tunnel vision that one expects from a convert to a new ideal. He takes us by the hand and gently walks us through the evidence in support of his theory, helping us to realise that, yes, he is talking sense, no matter what our pre-conceptions of life might be.
Discover for yourself that evolution is not 'survival of the fittest', but 'survival of the most fit' - that is, fitted for that particular ecological niche - fittest being a Victorian word that has taken a different modern meaning.
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Format: Paperback
DO NOT GET THIS VERSION - It's not even worth the joke of showing it to others.

Due to some unintentional error by Amazon, most of the positive reviews are for a completely different book with the same title.

Ray Comfort (A Creationist) has written a 50 page introduction (16% of the book) to *celebrate* the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species and has added it to the beginning of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" which, and I quote,

"...reveals the dangerous fruit of evolution, Hitler's undeniable connections to the theory, Darwin's racism, and his disdain for women. It counters the claim that creationists are "anti-science" by citing numerous scientists who believed that God created the universe - scientists such as Einstein, Newton, Copernicus, Bacon, Faraday, Pasteur, and Kepler." His ONLY intention is to denigrate the work of Charles Darwin while providing no evidence of his own.

DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK if you want one representing the facts about evolution and a scientific, rational and factual introduction. This introduction is for creationists that believe the world is only a few thousand years old, wilfully ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

The positive review shown here are for a completely different version ISBN-10: 0451529065 and ISBN-13: The Origin of Species or click on the links in the positive reviews.
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