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The Origin of Species [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin is a seminal work of scientific literature, considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Darwin's book introduced the theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution.

This edition includes the added chapter ...
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The Origin of Species

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Overview

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin is a seminal work of scientific literature, considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Darwin's book introduced the theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution.

This edition includes the added chapter "Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection" which was added by Darwin to the 6th edition which is considered the definitive edition.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014905565
  • Publisher: Cricket House Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 380
  • File size: 5 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 90 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(53)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 90 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Origin of Species

    Most people are at least familiar with the theory of natural selection, but that is not to say that they are familiar with what Darwin actually said in Origin and how he said it. Thus I agree with the reviewers who say this is essential reading.

    Although Darwin says it is "one long argument", it is in fact two: that the diversity of life shares a common ancestry, and second that this divergence came about primarily as a result of natural selection. One other reviewer said it was hard to keep focussed on the argument, if this is the case I recommend you start with Darwin's intro, chapters 3, 4, 6 and 14. This gives the basic argument. You might then go back and fill in.

    There are a number of re-editions of Origin out there, especially given the recent 150th anniversary of its publication, so why choose this one?

    Above all it is an ideal student edition (and I include here anyone who reads critically): it is cheap, has abundant margins for notes, and is as lightweight a paperback as you will find for a 400 page book. The type is large and accessible, and the introduction by George Levine is, at 20 pages, short enough to hold one's interest while with enough content to warrant its inclusion. Also, given all the recent re-editions available there are few that provide the 1859 text of the first edition. This one does.

    This is important if you want to know how Darwin originally presented his ideas. Later editions (there were six in total, the last published in 1876) included clarifications and answers to specific later objections. As a result the first edition reads better and is a more straightforward argument. If you are a Darwin scholar you will probably want to engage with these later editions - the sixth is widely available, for the others you can find them in specialist libraries (the University of Oklahoma has the lot!), or now also in beautifully scanned editions through the Darwin online website.

    This is not the place to go into the detail of what gets added to the later editions, but if this book gets you hooked you might want to take your Darwin studies further. Perhaps the most notable and certainly the most famous addition is the insertion from the second edition onwards of the words "by the Creator" into the poetic last paragraph of the book (There is grandeur in this view of life... ) This is interesting stuff: was Darwin seeking to clarify that he saw evolution as God's mechanism for creating the awesome diversity of life that we see around us? Or, was this a judicious attempt to allay theological concerns that distracted his readers from the science? The jury is still out on this. Darwin certainly wrote to his friend and confidante Joseph Hooker that he later regretted "truckling to public opinion", but he did not remove the insertion from later editions. In his autobiography, written towards the end of his life, he confided that while he had gradually lost his faith in a personal God, he recognized that others had found natural selection quite compatible with religious belief, most notably the Anglican theologian Charles Kingsley and the American botanist and Presbyterian, Asa Gray.

    There is so much in this book that it will keep you coming back. You might also want to take this further: Although Darwin only hinted at human evolution in Origin, he addressed that hot potato explicitly in Descent of Man.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    You don't have to believe

    It's not a matter of opinion. Evolution occurs. Denying it won't make it go away. Start here to understand the basics.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Beautiful Book

    I'm a devout Catholic with a strong interest in biology and genetics so I must say that this is one of the greatest and influential books of all time. Thanks to Darwin's well-thought out theory, we have been allowed to advance our understanding of life and find cures for human diseases that would have been impossible to discover with out this knowledge. Biology is useless without evolution. I believe everyone should read this book regardless of their faith. I'm a believer but I certainly don't believe in a God that gave us a beautiful and wonderous world for us to not explore and learn about. I also don't think Darwin would like us to still be fighting over this.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Origin of Species

    You'd have to be into these kinda things I guess

    2 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    important and valuable

    *I'm rating this book on how important I think it is....not how much I enjoyed it

    It has taken me all of the summer thus far to complete The Origin of Species. It is a very tedious and analytical read. I found my mind wandering while I was reading this and I don't think I retained half of what I read. I do understand Darwin's main ideas though. Charles Darwin was a very insightful man who has had such a great impact on science and society as a whole. Did I enjoy this book? Not really. Do I think this is an important and valuable book? Absolutely!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    A Seminal Scientific and Cultural Work

    Aptly called the "book that shook the world," Darwin's On the Origin of Species should be required reading for all, regardless of academic background or ideological stripe. Darwin tempers his strong conviction in "evolution by means of natural selection" with tact and a keen awareness of the prevailing belief in independent creation. The first part of the book (chapters 1-5) establishes the central premises behind the theory of natural selection: 1) There is variation in the wild (analogous to domestic variation); 2) Because of scarcity, all organisms are engaged in a constant "struggle for existence"; 3) Those individuals with favorable variations - or adaptations - will be preserved while those with injurious variations will become extinct; 4) Natural selection links creatures through the gradual, cumulative process of descent, thereby invalidating independent creation. The rest of the book deals with potential objections to the theory, indicating the extent to which Darwin was on the defensive and needed to robustly undermine his opponents' arguments in order to gain credibility. Darwin's painstaking account is both cautious and forceful, presenting the first cohesive case for evolution by means of natural selection. On the Origin of Species demonstrates in an accessible manner the power of scientific inquiry and unfettered thought over orthodoxy and dogma.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A must for anyone who wishes to be knowledgeable about the world we live in.

    There is a lot of confusion still lingering, like some ineffable cloud of ignorance, around the topic of evolution and the real support and arguments made on its behalf. This book does very well to wave much of that cloud away. I had a feeling when beginning this book that it would somehow be so technical as to be overly difficult, or written in such a way as to be inaccessible. This is, I am happy to say, not the case. This book is straight forward, easy to read, well laid out, and dare I say, quite enjoyable.

    A better authority on the subject you cannot find, and to hear the arguments straight from the finch's beak (as it were), is certainly recommended. It becomes clear how such ideas originated, and after hearing the arguments the theory becomes even easier to understand and defend. I would like to point out at this point that this book contains, nor does it claim to contain, any explanation with regard to the origin of life, it merely goes about proving quite definitively how we have come to have as many species as we do currently in the world.

    I believe that this book is an essential edition to the reading pile, and library of every person who claims to have knowledge of the way things work in the world, or who wishes to. This book does not contain all the knowledge one needs to go on claiming to be intelligent, but it is a great start.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a great scientific information compilation, just too confusing.

    This book is STRICTLY for professors or science scholars whom may wish to broaden their horizons on the THEORY, not fact, of evolution. As a matter of fact, the word "evolved" is only mentioned 1 time throughout the book, being the very last word of the book. He talks more on the difficulties on his theory rather than the "facts" on his theory; he has at least 3 chapters that are strictly and solely devoted to the refuting of evolution. Unless you are a science whiz or professor, you ARE going to get lost on more than one occasion throughout this volume. The beginning chapters are fairly easy to understand, but at about chapter 5 you can get lost rather quickly because he jumps from subject to subject that are completely irrelevant. Overall, this book is a great scientific compilation of information and scrutinizingly pain-staking experiments through trial and error and is recommended for those who can distinguish between ammonites, batrachians, cirripedes, hemiptera, and the many other scientific terms he may use without looking at the glossary of terms in the back, which I must say does come in handy after the 2nd chapter.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Excellent

    As a long-time agnostic, I personally don't think humans will ever discover our origins. That being said, I love this book. It's interesting and well-written. It goes beyond being a classic - it's a work of art. On a seperate note, I snorted ginger ale out my nose when I read the April 10 review. I really, really, REALLY hope that person was joking...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    z

    EVOLUTION DOES NOT HAPPEN!!!!! IF WE HAD "EVOLVED" THEN WHY ARE THERE STILL MONKEYS!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    Not just a classic, but a masterpiece

    One of the most important works in the scientific literature, The Origin renains indispensible reading for those wishing to understand the evolution of species as well as the evolution of Reason. A perfect work? No. But cannonical texts are the sphere of religion, not of science. Still, there is much here to amaze and delight --- and to astound the reader as to the range and depth of Darwin's thinking on this subject.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    The book that changed biology, and the world.

    On the origin of the species is perhaps one of the most important books ever written, as well as being an excellent read. It is beautifully written, and easy to understand. Darwin presents his findings with eloquence, thoughtfulness and clairty. The discoveries that Darwin made pushed forward science and understanding of the natural world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    It depends upon your intent

    If you want the essentials of Darwin's twin hypotheses of descent with modification and of natural selection then you are probably better off with an abridgment of about 100 pages. Such an abridgment is most suitable for students whose time is strictly limited.

    On the other hand if you already have an understanding of Darwin's arguments then the full treatment makes for rewarding reading, particularly for those with an interest in the history and sociology of science.

    Darwin was fully aware of the revolutionary nature of his ideas and it is instructive to see how he developed his arguments based upon the perceived strengths and weaknesses in their 19th century contexts. He was preternatural in developing his arguments in the absence of known mechanisms relating modified descent with natural selection. Of course the "modern synthesis" via later understandings of population and molecular genetics provide those linkages.

    It is ironic that Mendel's work was nearly contemporaneous with that of Darwin but he wasn't rediscovered until the beginning of the 20th century--too late to be of any use to Charles Darwin.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2005

    Interesting and engrossing.........for the most part anyway

    Great Book, sometimes it was hard to read but its great for all those who want to understand Darwin's concepts in depth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2013

    Tap here if you are an athiest or believe in evolution.

    You are wrong. Charles Darwin never had any kind of a degree in science. All he had was a philosophy degree. And if we are descended from monkeys,how come they are still here? Darwins theory is a pure, undefiled, lie. My rating is a lie. I just wnt you to read this for your own good.This is one of he most Satanic books ever written, because it goes directly against the Bible. And athiests, fyi there is a God, he is more real than anything you know, and he will come soon to judge the earth. Im waening you to repent before it is too late, and God sends you to hell. Please! I beg you to consider the word of God before he judges you.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Ha!

    Im an atheist. This is so much better in my opinion. But I understand religion. There is such thing ti believe in science AND religion. So people, shut the f.ck up and go away if you were just going to ay somethung useless on this review in the first place..

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Christians BEWARE!

    Do not read this book at all! In Church, we disccussed Creation and evelotion (which I am not even going to capalize because it disscusts me). They started to talk about this book so I thought that I would llook it up on my NOOK. When it came up, I decided to rate it. 1 Star! Wish I could give it a zero. Dont read it! Read the Bible and believe in God.

    0 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Yuck LIAR!!

    All i can say to this is what another person said in there review: LIAR! LIAR! PANTS ON FIRE!! CREATION IS SO MUCH BETTER!

    0 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Liar

    This book is a total lie. See Genesis 1:1 for more info. Have a nice day.

    0 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    A brilliant mind and an outstanding writer

    Darwin leads you to inescapable conclusions by powers of deduction. He was led to his understanding of nature through careful observation and logic, in contrast to our own age dominated by anti-intellectuals. He understood patterns of inheritance without knowing the physical mechanism. I had the urge to reach across the ages to explain DNA. I was not prepared for the high quality of the writing. If you want to understand a subject, go right to the original thinkers, Darwin for biology, Einstein for physics.

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