Customer Reviews for

The Origin of Species

Average Rating 4
( 100 )
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(59)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

The first Origin is the best Origin

Darwin's Origin of Species needs no critical review in a forum like this. However, students of Darwinian evolutionary thought should take notice of this $6 clothbound hard cover edition. This is, as far as I can tell, the original 1859 first edition of the Origin. It is...
Darwin's Origin of Species needs no critical review in a forum like this. However, students of Darwinian evolutionary thought should take notice of this $6 clothbound hard cover edition. This is, as far as I can tell, the original 1859 first edition of the Origin. It is also a handy size, perfect for reading in bed, on a plane or on the beach. Why would you want a copy of the 1st edition rather than the author's own later revised editions? Because the 1st is the most honest, naive, and straightforward statement of Darwin's ideas, undiluted by later defensive responses to the heavy criticism of his contemporaries. The 1st edition contains the passage about the bear as ancestor to the whale, which he removed from all later editions because it was a point of scorn and ridicule from the scientific community of the day. Obviously he was wrong in detail (whales evolved from a carnivorous common ancestor with cows, not bears), but as the fossils of Pakistan show, he was precisely right in the broad idea of macroevolutionary change, which was really his point anyway. Another notable difference between the 1st and later editions of The Origin is the term 'survival of the fittest.' Darwin didn't coin the phrase, nor did he use it in the 1st edition, though he added it to later editions. In fact, it was invented by Herbert Spencer in reference to his atrocious ideas of Social Darwinism. And like a weak pawn on a chessboard, the phrase has been the subject of repeated attacks by creationsists for many years (the implication being that it is a circular argument). Though Spencer's arguments may have been circular, Darwin's never are. Nevertheless, the book probably reads better without the reference. There are several nice new omnibus editions of Darwin's important works edited by great modern scientists. I don't know whether those editors chose the 1st edition or not. In any case those are large expensive copies of the book, possibly better suited for library shelves than for sitting down and reading. If you want a copy to read, this Barnes & Noble edition is a great one, especially considering that a mass market paperback costs about 3 dollars more than this edition!

posted by Anonymous on October 4, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

Truth

Charles darwin has even disproved his own theory. I dont understand how you beleive in this. But it is a well written book.

posted by Anonymous on February 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    Truth

    Charles darwin has even disproved his own theory. I dont understand how you beleive in this. But it is a well written book.

    2 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Kassi to Avalon, if you get the chance.

    Avalon, if you ever get the chance to read this, I'm so, so sorry. You deserved more, not wt you got. You are a really amazing person from who I knew, and the best friend. I'm sorry that things wrren't going well, and I hope that wherever you are is better.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2009

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    Posted November 30, 2010

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    Posted May 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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