Originally published in 1859, Darwin's revolutionary idea is revisited in this spirited and profoundly enthralling reading by Professor Richard Dawkins, who in reading Darwin's material aloud manages to rediscover old ideas and unearth some dramatic subtleties in his prose. Dawkins offers a well-pronounced, pitch-perfect delivery and smartly never attempts to turn the reading into a performance from Darwin's point of view. Instead, Dawkins delivers the material from his own context as a modern-day interpreter of the classical work. Dawkins also splendidly adapts this abridgment, leaving out sections of Darwin's original theories that have been discredited by modern science. Dawkins says he believes his alterations are what Darwin himself would have wished for the recording, and the final result is an absolutely astounding glimpse into life as we know it. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
On the Origin of Species (Large Print Edition)by Charles Darwin
A struggle for existence inevitably follows from the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase. Every being, which during its natural lifetime produces several eggs or seeds, must suffer destruction during some period of its life, and during some season or occasional year, otherwise, on the principle of geometrical increase, its numbers would quickly become so inordinately great that no country could support the product. Hence, as more individuals are produced than can possibly survive, there must in every case be a struggle for existence, either one individual with another of the same species, or with the individuals of distinct species, or with the physical conditions of life. It is the doctrine of Malthus applied with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms; for in this case there can be no artificial increase of food, and no prudential restraint from marriage. Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them.
As a milestone not only in the history of science but also in cultural history, On the Origin of Species belongs in every library, high school and above. Nature writer Quammen (The Reluctant Mr. Darwin) offers a gloriously illustrated and richly annotated volume, which testifies to the book's enduring legacy. Throughout the text, relevant sidebars from other of Darwin's writings, including his Autobiography, field notes from the HMS Beagle, and his myriad letters, are presented for their insight. Illustrations include historical images, such as sketches, woodcuts, and portraits of people and places, but also included are contemporary photographs of the flora and fauna that Darwin described. Between the contextual additions and the edifying illustrations, there is no comparable volume. For all libraries.
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- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Large Print
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- 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.81(d)
Meet the Author
Dame Gillian Beer is Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature. Her Darwin's Plots (1983; second edition 2000) was followed by Open Fields: Science in Cultural Encounter (1996). More recently she has been working on Carroll's Alice books in the context of nineteenth-century intellectual controversies and a new collection of her essays on literature and science is scheduled for 2008.
- Date of Birth:
- February 12, 1809
- Date of Death:
- April 19, 1882
- Place of Birth:
- Shrewsbury, England
- Place of Death:
- London, England
- B.A. in Theology, Christ¿s College, Cambridge University, 1831
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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A must read, but not for the casual person interested in natural science to refute his fundalmentalist grandmother. Rather it's more strongly supports the matriach if compared to our knowledge of modern science. His idea of "the problem of speciation" p.44 is one of intrigue demonstrating that Darwin 'was ahead of his time.' Truly today's idea of what 'speciation' has come to mean blurs any concrete definition, this in spite of the father of evolution predicting a debasing of scientific credibility if 'speciation' were left without being consicely defined. Are Darwin's finches in the Galapagos Islands a newly evolved species? If you fall on the side of yes, then we have millions of newly formed modern species. If one considers that the island finch species interbreed whenever el ninos flow that way, the evidence must be reconsidered. I found especially interesting, getting to read the forefather's formulation of 1)natural selection, 2) random mutation, and 3) genetic adaptation. You can see how evolution, in the micro sense, strongly supports today's state of life and living relationships, as well as rampant sub-speication, but not in the macro where supposedly new specie creation has been observed. Missing from the theory is any support of evolution being an abiogenisis in any manner, thus the book's title, "The Orgin of Species" leaves one wondering, just what caused that 1st spontaneous generation of life? It makes for a wonderful story and should be included in every avid scientist's library.
First of all, to the anonymous person, do a little research and look up the fish called Tiktaalik. Scientists have found fossils of this ancient fish that link it to amphibians. Its skull has spiracles on the top of it which suggest some sort of primitive lung. As for your rant on principle such as irreducible complexity, that too has been refuted. Perhaps you can look up the Dover Area School district case and Kenneth Miller's testimony against irreducible complexity and the bacterial flagellum. Also, Darwin never said humans evolved from Apes. That myth is actually from queen Victoria who misread this very book and deduced that to be so. And as you can imagine, in that time, for royalty to compare with a beast like a chimpanzee did not go over so well and she disregarded this book. Although the theory of evolution is a theory, gravity and other scientific presumptions such as Cell Theory are also theories but nobody in their right mind would deny that gravity exists now would they? Even if something were to fall up would you still deduce that gravity is false?
Love this book! 5 stars!
The Open Road Media ebook edition is missing an illustration from the original paper edition that is used in the explanation of divergence of characteristics over generations.
This story has very good information about the different spieces this story has different ( readings ) so this would be a good book this book helps future scientists learn more about he different specimens on earth it will do very well in helping you learn more things about specimens it will help young readers learn more about different specimens in conclusion this a good book there should be more thank you author!
The holy bible is more close to what we find about the creation of the world than evalution