The Origin of Species

The Origin of Species

This higher-education edition of "The Origin of Species" is for use in schools, colleges, and prestigious learning institutions....

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Title:The Origin of Species
Author:Charles Darwin
Rating:
ISBN:0785819118
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:703 pages

The Origin of Species Reviews

  • Pam
    Sep 14, 2007

    such a freakin' genius! and the sadest part is, that his "science" literally killed him. if you've read a lot in Darwin (as I have) you come to understand that as a religious man, his studies seriously conflicted with his beliefs. I hate it when I hear someone say that Darwin says, "we come from monkeys." because that is not the case.

    his theory is on EVOLUTION, not monkeys. all he wanted people to understand was adaptation and survival of the fittest is really a simple concept, and daily life- p

    such a freakin' genius! and the sadest part is, that his "science" literally killed him. if you've read a lot in Darwin (as I have) you come to understand that as a religious man, his studies seriously conflicted with his beliefs. I hate it when I hear someone say that Darwin says, "we come from monkeys." because that is not the case.

    his theory is on EVOLUTION, not monkeys. all he wanted people to understand was adaptation and survival of the fittest is really a simple concept, and daily life- proves just that.

    his theories don't have to impede on your beliefs in God. he was a Christian man, himself, but could still see the science before his very eyes. give it a shot if you are intrigued by species changing, growing, dying, extinction, over time...

  • Lisa (Harmonybites)
    Apr 28, 2010

    Decry or applaud it, there's no question this work has had a profound effect not just on science, but the culture at large. What I wouldn't read this book for is the science, or in an effort to either defend or refute the argument for evolution. The core of Darwin's argument certainly is still what was taught in my Catholic high school biology class (taught by a nun). In a nutshell, the theory is that given there are wide-ranging subtle

    among organisms, the Malthusian

    Decry or applaud it, there's no question this work has had a profound effect not just on science, but the culture at large. What I wouldn't read this book for is the science, or in an effort to either defend or refute the argument for evolution. The core of Darwin's argument certainly is still what was taught in my Catholic high school biology class (taught by a nun). In a nutshell, the theory is that given there are wide-ranging subtle

    among organisms, the Malthusian

    causes by means of

    of the inheritable traits that are the best

    to the environment the

    or as Darwin calls it, the "theory of descent with modification."

    But, after all, this book is now over 150 years old. Science is about explaining natural phenomenon and correcting mistakes through observation, experimentation and falsification--not dogma--and so is always a moving target. I know that. But I still raised an eyebrow when in the first chapter of the book Darwin said he believed the "most frequent cause of variability" was caused by the experiences of the parents before conception--such as cows' udders being larger in countries where they're milked because the habit of milking by itself alters in the reproductive organs what is inherited by the next generation. WTF Darwin? When Darwin first propounded his theory of evolution (a word never used in the book by the way) through natural selection, Mendel had yet to discover the basic principles of genetics in his experiments with peas and Watson and Crick had yet to unravel the structure of DNA. Nor was continental drift known and understood, so there were notable gaps in Darwin's reasoning that has since been filled. Stephen Jay Gould, one of the staunchest defenders and popularizers of evolution is famous within science particularly for where he

    from Darwin. Darwin thought changes in species were very gradual. Gould favors "punctuated equilibrium" where there are rapid changes followed by long periods of stability. That's why scientists today talk of the "theory of evolution," not of "Darwinism" as if a scientific principle is an unchanging creed and

    scripture.

    So, the book is dated and filled with lots of details I'm sure are just plain wrong and might be onerous to unlearn. That does make me reluctant to give this book top marks despite its profound impact. Someone interested in modern evolutionary science would be better off picking up a copy of a book by Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan (although by now I suppose his very readable

    is dated) or Stephen Jay Gould. So, was there no value in reading

    ? I wouldn't say that. It's surprisingly readable--or at least understandable. There are definitely dry passages that were a slog to get through, my eyes glazing over as Darwin gave example after exhaustive example to make his points. However, I couldn't help but be impressed by the knowledge of nature shown by his wide-ranging examples from every continent from ants and bees and algae to pigeons to zebras. Given the way he cited various authorities and spoke about his own experiments, I definitely felt that here was a master generalist and enthusiast on nature. Moreover Darwin does have a gift for metaphor and illustrative examples. I was particularly taken by his explanation of "inter-crossing" and the function of sex in creating biological diversity. I also was struck by how cautious and civil in tone Darwin is in his arguments, devoting an entire chapter on what he saw could be the flaws and holes in his theory--particularly the issues of transitions between species and intermediate forms. Bottom line? Arguably

    specific book had as much influence on the literature and politics of the next century as Freud or Marx, so I think there is historical value in reading this, preferably in the first edition (which is what I read) that exploded upon the world in 1859.

  • Michael
    Feb 11, 2011

    I swear I cannot figure what all the fuss is about. This is a science book. It was sometimes a bit tough to read because of the depth into detail. If I were an anthropologist I'm sure I would more appreciate that detail, but as a layman it did at times seem too thick.

    If I were lost in an uncivilized world and had only two books, I would want a Webster's dictionary and this Origin of Species. The dictionary to learn word definitions and this book to learn about the flora and fauna around me. For

    I swear I cannot figure what all the fuss is about. This is a science book. It was sometimes a bit tough to read because of the depth into detail. If I were an anthropologist I'm sure I would more appreciate that detail, but as a layman it did at times seem too thick.

    If I were lost in an uncivilized world and had only two books, I would want a Webster's dictionary and this Origin of Species. The dictionary to learn word definitions and this book to learn about the flora and fauna around me. For all those people who get upset because you think this book may contradict another one you are so fond of, just be very careful not to fall off the edge of the flat 6,ooo year old earth......mgc

  • Darwin8u
    Jun 29, 2011

    ― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    It is amazing to think that this mild, scientific book published a little less than 155 years ago caused (and is still causing) such a complete storm. I'm surprised at how adapted we have become (or at least the segment of those people on the planet who don't reject Darwin's theory of natural selection as counter to their

    ― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    It is amazing to think that this mild, scientific book published a little less than 155 years ago caused (and is still causing) such a complete storm. I'm surprised at how adapted we have become (or at least the segment of those people on the planet who don't reject Darwin's theory of natural selection as counter to their own idea of the way God makes and shakes) to Darwin's revolutionary idea(s).

    Like with many of the pantheon of scientific geniuses (Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, etc) there was a bit of random chance involved. The ground was ready for Darwin's adapted seed. There were enough scholars and scientists and rationalists around to carry his idea(s) hither and his theory thither. So while this book, and Darwin himself, were both stellar examples of scientific restraint, the force and momentum of OftS can't be under appreciated. It was just the right time and right place for a scientific revolution. Darwin and his little book walked by a labour of scientific mouldywarps who happened to find themselves on the chalk cliffs of science, pushed those sterile hybrids off, and never looked back. Evolve bitches!

  • Jo Woolfardis
    Dec 28, 2011

    On the Origin of Species is one of the most important books ever written. Although a lot of people-scientists, naturalists and the like-were coming

    On the Origin of Species is one of the most important books ever written. Although a lot of people-scientists, naturalists and the like-were coming to the same kind of conclusions, Darwin was one of the first who wrote it all down in a profound and concise manner and used his influence and friends to make it a well-known theory: the theory of evolution.

    There is only one thing you need to know before you read this, and that is that Charles Darwin was a very religious man. This is a five-star worthy book, but my ignorance of this fact caused me to be so infuriated by the end that I couldn't bring myself to rate it higher. It is written exquisitely: if you've read anything particularly science-related in this day and age you will notice how science-related it is. The words, the terms, they're all very much science-related and it can be so difficult to really understand and comprehend what you're reading because it's almost in another language.

    This is written very much in the way any Victorian novel would have been written. There is a smattering of Latin terms, but for the most part it is easy to understand if you get in the right frame of mind as you would a Classic. It can be heavy going, however, as the paragraphs are long and often repetitive, but his thoughts on pigeons are the most endearing things I've come across: this is Victorian science and it's all about pigeons.

    To go back to why I only rated it three stars: throughout at no point did Darwin mention God or the creation of the world, except perhaps in very subtle reference and the theory of evolution and instinct reigns supreme, until the very end when he concludes that God did not create the world 1859 years, but millions of years ago, instead, and that all current flora and fauna are descended from the original God-created animals. I should have expected something like this but I did not and that annoyed me more than it should have. Of course, it makes the entire thing that much more impressive, though the horrific experience Darwin must have gone through as he tried to make a religious-belief co-live with a scientific frame of mind would have been supremely agonising. It's wholly my fault for this ignorance, but I still can't bring myself to heighten it.

    It's still one of the most important books ever written and its legacy will never become diminished, but it is often repetitive and sometimes out-dated with quite a lengthy part about geology which is fairly unremarkable, but his amusing and enjoyable experiments with flowers and his views on pigeons are just a delight.

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  • Stephen M
    Mar 04, 2012

    Edits for NR because I love him that much.

    :

    "This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection. Variations neither useful not injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic.

    "We shall best understand the probable course of natural selection by taking the case of a country undergoing some physical change, for instance, of climate. The

    Edits for NR because I love him that much.

    :

    "This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection. Variations neither useful not injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic.

    "We shall best understand the probable course of natural selection by taking the case of a country undergoing some physical change, for instance, of climate. The proportional numbers of its inhabitants would almost immediately undergo a change, and some species might become extinct. We may conclude, from what we have seen of the intimate and complex manner in which the inhabitants of each country are bound together, that any change in the numerical proportions of some of the inhabitants, independently of the change of climate itself, would most seriously affect many of the others. If the country were open on its borders, new forms would certainly immigrate, and this also would seriously disturb the relations of some of the former inhabitants. Let it be remembered how powerful the influence of a single introduced tree or mammal has been shown to be. But in the case of an island, or of a country partly surrounded by barriers, into which new and better adapted forms could not freely enter, we should then have places in the economy of nature which would assuredly be better filled up, if some of the original inhabitants were in some manner modified; for, had the area been open immigration, these same places would have been seized on by intruders. In such case, ever slight modification, which in the course of ages chanced to arise, and which in any way favoured the individuals of any of the species, by better adapting them to their altered conditions, would tend to be preserved and natural selection would thus have free scope for the work of improvement.

    "We have reason to believe, as stated in the first chapter, that a change in the conditions of life, by specially acting on the reproductive systems, cause or increases variability; and in the foregoing case the conditions of life are supposed to have undergone a changes, and this would manifestly be favourable to natural selection, by giving a better chance of profitable variations occurring; and unless profitable variations do occur, natural selection can do nothing." (I DIDN'T WRITE THIS. DARWIN DID IN THIS BOOK.)

    .

  • Manny
    Sep 25, 2012

    Dear Carol,

    Thank you for your mail, and of course I remember meeting you on the flight last month! It was a very interesting discussion and I'm still thinking about it. The semester has now started here at Creationist U and I am working hard, but I found time to read the book you recommended. And I'm glad I did, because it was really a lot better than I thought it would be.

    I guess I was expecting Darwin to be like Richard Dawkins, but he was respectful of religious ideas. And it was great that h

    Dear Carol,

    Thank you for your mail, and of course I remember meeting you on the flight last month! It was a very interesting discussion and I'm still thinking about it. The semester has now started here at Creationist U and I am working hard, but I found time to read the book you recommended. And I'm glad I did, because it was really a lot better than I thought it would be.

    I guess I was expecting Darwin to be like Richard Dawkins, but he was respectful of religious ideas. And it was great that he liked Paley's

    so much... he says he almost knew it by heart! We read Paley last year in History of Creation Science, and I also thought it was a terrific book. So I could see Darwin was an open-minded person who was prepared to look at both sides of the question. Richard Dawkins could learn a lot from that!

    The way he sets up his argument is smart. He starts off talking about how stockbreeders can improve their breed - well, I'm a country boy, and I could see he knew his stuff. This is someone who's spent time down at the farm and understands how country people feel about livestock. And I liked that he'd done all that work raising pigeons. Not the kind of scientist who just hangs out at the lab all day.

    After that, he introduces his Big Idea about the survival of the fittest and he almost made evolution sound sensible. He's a good writer. And then he was honest when he explained all the problems with the theory. He really got me - I was wondering if he was going to mention any of that stuff, and a page later he came out and said just what I was thinking! Nice work, Mr. Darwin. But I did wonder what he was doing, cutting out the ground from under his own feet. He said he could explain things like the eye and how bees could evolve to make honeycombs, but even if he was real good at making his case, I wasn't buying any.

    So by the halfway mark, I figured he was done, but like ol' Dubya used to say, I misunderestimated him - he'd saved all his best stuff for last. He had some good shots! I got to admit, he made me think. Why does God put the species that look alike in the same place? Like he says, it is weird how you have a mountain range, and there's one kind of animals and plants on one side, and a different kind on the other side. God's ways are inscrutable to us, but why does He care about those mountains? And the islands, they were even worse. He says if you look at the species on a lot of islands, you don't have any mammals there, except you do have bats. Why? I could see where he was going with this one - the bats could blow in off the mainland and evolve, but other mammals couldn't do that. I admit it, I don't have an answer, except maybe God's testing our faith again. But I can see not everyone will like that. I'm still wondering about those bats! Okay Mr. Darwin, I said it already but I'll say it again, you were a smart guy.

    So how's life at MIT? And I hope you read the book I recommended to you.

    will show you that faith and science have more in common than you might think!

    Take care,

    Bob

  • Thabit
    Apr 25, 2014

    قد يكون هذا الكتاب هو أعظم كتاب انتجته البشرية. داروين غير كل شيء في مسار البشرية من نظرة البشر لأنفسهم حتى نظرة البشر تجاه الكون والطبيعة

    من اكبر المغالطات التي تواجهها اليوم عملية التطور اعتبارها بأنها نظرية. مصطلح نظرية دارون أو نظرية التطور كانت صالحة قبل قرن ولكن اليوم عملية التطور هي حقيقة علمية مدعومة بأدلة لا تعد ولا تحصى ولكن البشر يخافون من أن يتم اعتبارهم كسائر المخلوقات الأرضية المتصلة ببعض إذ إننا نحب الشعور بالامتياز والتفوق على الغير ونوهم أنفسنا بأننا موجودين على سطح الأرض لغاية أ

    قد يكون هذا الكتاب هو أعظم كتاب انتجته البشرية. داروين غير كل شيء في مسار البشرية من نظرة البشر لأنفسهم حتى نظرة البشر تجاه الكون والطبيعة

    من اكبر المغالطات التي تواجهها اليوم عملية التطور اعتبارها بأنها نظرية. مصطلح نظرية دارون أو نظرية التطور كانت صالحة قبل قرن ولكن اليوم عملية التطور هي حقيقة علمية مدعومة بأدلة لا تعد ولا تحصى ولكن البشر يخافون من أن يتم اعتبارهم كسائر المخلوقات الأرضية المتصلة ببعض إذ إننا نحب الشعور بالامتياز والتفوق على الغير ونوهم أنفسنا بأننا موجودين على سطح الأرض لغاية أعلى وأسمى كنوع من استوهام الطمأنينة

    المغالطة الكبرى الثانية الإعتقاد بأن كتاب أصل الأنواع يتفصل في كيفية تطور الإنسان "الهابليس إلى الرودلفينسيس إلى الإيريكتس إلى الهيديلبيرجينسيس إلى النيانديرثالينسيس إلى الإنسان الحالي" بل الكتاب يظهر نماذج متنوعة من الكائنات الحية ومراحل تطورها مع تضاريس الطبيعة ولا يتدخل في موضوع التطور البشري

    المغالطة الثالثة الظن بأن عملية التطور البشرية تدل على أن أصل الإنسان قرد! الإنسان في التصنيف العلمي الحديث يعتبر "من ناحية التعداد والانتشار" اكبر نوع من فصائل القردة في العالم إذ إن الإنسان بنفسه هو احد فصائل القردة مع حيوان الغاب والغوريلا و الشيمبانزي والأدلة كما ذكرت مسبقاً لا تعد ولا تحصى. الرد الكافي يكمن في الحمض النووي للشيمبانزي إذ إنه يتشابه في 98% مع الحمض النووي البشري والباقي "2%" من الحمض النووي تختلف في الخلايا الدماغية. نحن البشر نتشارك مع كل الكائنات الحية "النباتات، الأسماك، الطيور، الزواحف الخ" نسب محددة من الحمض النووي وهذا ليس إلا إثبات إلى أننا البشر أبناء الطبيعة

    أما المغالطة الأخيرة والأكبر هو الإعتقاد بأن في عملية التطور يتطور الفصيل مثلاً البشري الإيركيتيس بين ليلة وضحاها إلى الفصيل البشري الهيديلبيرجينسيس ولكن الذي لا يعرفه الغالب هو أن هذه العملية تأخذ فترة طويلة جداً تصل إلى مئات الآلاف من السنين أو أكثر ليتم إنتاج فصيل آخر متطور بحكم تضاريس الطبيعة. على سبيل المثال عندما استعمر الأوروبيون البرازيل اخذوا معهم أحد أنواع الطيور إلى احدى الجزر بالقرب من الامازون في القرن السادس عشر وعندما زار داروين بعد أربع قرون البرازيل في رحلة إستكشافية استكشف بأن هذا الفصيل من الطير قد تطور إلى أربع فصائل وكل فصيلة تعيش في بيئة محددة ومختلفة عن غيرها رغم أنهم قبل قرون كانوا من فصيل واحد ولكن التضاريس الطبيعية ساهمت في تغيير مظاهر الطيور على حسب الأجواء التي استقرت فيها بعد أن هاجرت فالفصيل الذي يعيش في بيئة قاسية يتحمل التعب أكثر من غيره والفصيل الذي يعيش في بيئة بها فاكهة صلبة يمتلك منقار اكبر وأقوى من غيره وهكذا

    نحن نعيش في القرن الواحد والعشرين وما زال الغالبية العظمى من العرب يؤمنون بأنهم من طين وصلصال وينكرون التطور بحجة التدخل الغربي لزعزعة الدين ولكن إنكار التطور في هذا القرن هو أشبه بمن يقول بأن الأرض مسطحة أو أن الشمس تدور حول الأرض! التاريخ يعلمنا بأن العلم لا يُقهر ودائماً ما يفرض نفسه على العادات والتقاليد وأساطير الأولين مهما اختلفت الأنفس

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    Sep 12, 2016

    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life = On Natural Selection, Charles Darwin

    عنوانها: بنیاد انواع؛ انتخاب طبیعی؛ تکامل؛ بنیاد انواع؛ منشا انواع؛

    عنوان: بنیاد انواع : به وسیله انتخاب طبیعی با کشمکش و نبرد برای زیستن؛ نویسنده: چارلز داروین؛ مترجم: عباس شوقی؛ تهران؛ ابن سینا، 1351، در 536 ص؛ عنوان دیگر: تکامل؛ بنیاد انواع؛ موضوع: زیست شناسی: تکامل و انتخاب طبیعی؛ قرن 19 م

    عنوان: منشا انواع ؛ نویسنده: چارلز داروین، مترجم:

    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life = On Natural Selection‭, Charles Darwin

    عنوانها: بنیاد انواع؛ انتخاب طبیعی؛ تکامل؛ بنیاد انواع؛ منشا انواع؛

    عنوان: بنیاد انواع : به وسیله انتخاب طبیعی با کشمکش و نبرد برای زیستن؛ نویسنده: چارلز داروین؛ مترجم: عباس شوقی؛ تهران؛ ابن سینا، 1351، در 536 ص؛ عنوان دیگر: تکامل؛ بنیاد انواع؛ موضوع: زیست شناسی: تکامل و انتخاب طبیعی؛ قرن 19 م

    عنوان: منشا انواع ؛ نویسنده: چارلز داروین، مترجم: نورالدین فرهیخته؛ تهران؛ شبگیر، 1359، در 618 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: ارومیه، انتشارات انزلی، 1363؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نگارستان کتاب، 1380، شابک: 9644072677؛ در 618 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1389؛ شابک: 9786005541877؛

    عنوان: انتخاب طبیعی؛ نویسنده: چارلز داروین، مترجم: مرضیه خسروی؛ تهران، روزگار نو، 1394؛ در 77 ص، شابک: 9786007339534؛

  • Ahmed
    Feb 02, 2016