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On the Origin of Species: The Illustrated Edition

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 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 24 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 August 9, 2002

    Vituperatous Brood

    For those of us Christians who would condem this theory, open your minds to the possibilities of the descriptive power of science. For those of us scientists who would otherwise berate or belittle creationism, remember that they are your brothers and believe that 'What now is has already been, what is to be already is; and God restores what would otherwise be displaced.' (Ecclesiastes 3:15) For both, put down your weapons you vituperatous brood and seek the truth without malice or ego.

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Zach says

    This book is slow to read, but very interesting. Darwin and his theory of evolution have been so currupted by modern teaching. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the actual history and the original theory as it was first presented. Take your time and digest this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    No Diverse Library is Complete Without it

    Not holding any theory of humanity's orgin as the literal truth I found this book to be an invaluable addition to my library. For those who like to combine matter with anti-matter place this next to the bible on your bookshelf. :)
    Well worth the price and a very interesting read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2001

    Darwin from a College Student's View

    Darwin's Origin of Species is an excellent book. The ideas immersed within the text are essential to life today. But Darwin is dense and a horrible writer, so this book is a hard read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    Plague

    *grins.* Thank you.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2003

    Charles Darwin is absolutely brilliant!

    The idea of evolution is fasinating. Darwin put this in a very good way. we was a brilliant man, with an IQ of 165! who ever doesnt beleive that crock about us being created by 'god' should read this. Im an intellectual atheist who is very interested in philosophy, forensics, and history. and hotmama i will have you know that humans and chimpanzees have 98.999% of the same DNA as humans do. also, zoologist richard dawkins stated that when you get down to basic dna structure, we all originated from one common ancestor.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 5, 2010

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