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on 3 September 2016
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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on 2 December 2012
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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on 18 April 2016
This edition is perfect for me. I recently read 'Darwin - A life in Science' by Michael White and John Gribbin, which I thoroughly recommend. White and Gribbin repeatedly urge readers to read the FIRST edition of 'Origin', because Darwin's later changes made each edition worse, as he muddied the waters (mainly due to the prevailing religious climate). I bought it to READ, not look pretty on the bookshelf. Yes the cover is laminated with plastic, yellow writing and the publishers mark (Wildside) on the spine, but so what? The pages inside are clearly a facsimile, good quality print on decent paper. Actually easier on the eye than a real 1st edition with yellowed pages etc.
It's a well-made 500 page hardback, and after all the price is bog standard for a hardback like this.
It's printed in the USA so it did take 12 days to arrive.
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on 9 August 2015
Probably the biggest scientific idea since Galileo. I bought two copies 30 years ago and gave one to someone I met in the US who was unhappy with the whole idea of evolution. Sadly, I don't know if it was ever read. I think everyone should at least see a copy and wonder at how the ideas (pre-genetics) were formulated to bring us a theory of how species come into being in particular environments.
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on 9 May 2017
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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on 20 March 2013
As Evolution is one of the most corroborated theories in Science why would I not recommend the Origin of Species. When reading it now Darwin's approach to science is a bit too subjective and outdated when compared with research today. However, his motivation to understand and the practical manner in which he carried out his observations were ahead of his time. From reading this book you can very clearly see that he was a lot more than a Philosopher sitting in an armchair. Furthermore, this book is free and quite refreshing to read when comparing it with some illegible recent publications. I would recommend this to anyone who would like to understand a bit more about Evolution and Darwin whether you plan to read the whole book or just a chapter.
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on 24 April 2016
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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on 6 November 2016
Always wanted to read this but it's not exactly a page turner....I'm forcing myself!
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on 7 April 2012
I read Dawkins like I need to pass exams but it is nice to read the book that started it all. I have read in reviews that this version is incomplete - perhaps this is true, it is hard to tell without checking elsewhere, although it is definitely missing diagrams as would be expected from a community-sourced book.

It has that going-over-the-same-thing-more-than-once style (inherited by Dawkins) that occasionally annoys and occasionally helps.

I am still reading it but I have learned a thing or two and clarified other things. It definitely re-inforces the view - so obvious now - of the method by which life came to be as it is now.

He selects difficult cases, says often that he cannot understand how such an animal came to be but always says that, just because he doesn't know doesn't mean that Natural Selection isn't the cause - just that he cannot work out how it occurred and that someday, someone will.

Given the recent news that yet another strange adaptation which perplexed people (and was presumably used as a anti-evolution argument - an oxymoron of the highest order), that of the reason that some insects like the hover fly don't look much much more like wasps, which they impersonate to avoid being eaten. It transpires that, since they are a small meal, worth little effort, that they only need to be passingly like a dangerous insect to keep predators well away. Any extra 'effort' made to be more wasp-like is largely wasted and better spent on more productive (ie reproductive) efforts.

Anyway, read it if you are into science reading in general, evolution in particular or if you are studying in this area of course.
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on 28 April 2014
Darwin delayed publishing this book for years because, arguably, religious fanaticism was even more prevalent then than it is now. Eventually, with other scientists moving towards the same conclusions as his own, he released it (and predictably it met with great criticism from the establishment).
Still in this more secular age many parents would prefer that Creationism was taught in schools rather than Evolution (and presumably Alchemy instead of Chemistry and Astrology instead of Astronomy).
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