Customer Reviews for

The Origin of Species (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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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 May 18, 2003

    I agree

    I think everyone should read this book, or at least books on evolution. Creationists are very closed minded and think that evolution cannot be and is not true. But the fact of the matter is, that most of them have never read anything but the bible, which I believe nobody can prove was actually written by God. I just think people should look at both sides of the story first.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    Darwin was way ahead of hi stime

    First of all, to Hot Mamma, NO Darwin never stated that we were decendents of apes. The theory of evolution states that humans and apes decended from a common ancestor. Hence, the cover. Now, this book is an excellent source of information and I highly recommend it to anyone with an open mind who is interested in educating themselves.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2003

    Cover is soo misleading

    Hello?! Did Darwin specifically mention that we were a mutation form the apes? His writing certainly never mentioned this. So what the heck is up with that cover? I believe that God created man in his image, and not that we are of direct descent from some gorilla. So stop using Darwin for some lame unscientific idea that is not true.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2002

    it helped me understand evolution better!

    this book written by darwin has helped me understand evolution much better than the information that came from my science teacher. im really glad this book helped me out. I dont think my science teacher is very good at his stuff.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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