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On the Origin of Species Paperback – December 17, 2011
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Darwin refers in this version to a diagram in chapter IV, to illustrate "The Probable Effects of the Process of Natural Selection Through Divergence of Character and Extinction, On the Descendants of a Common Ancestor." This diagram is absent in this version, and this absence is what started me on the road to identifying this version as a fraud. I began to search for other editions of "Origins" to see if they included the diagram. And that search found not only that most versions did contain the diagram, but that the full text of this work ran to over 550 pages - twice as many as are included in this version.
I should also have known better than to have procured a free version. You truly do get what you pay for.
Be aware, as you look for a reliable version of the work, that there are many fraudulent versions out there. I won't go into detail on this, as this review concerns this specific version. But I can say that I've purchased a version that I am satisfied is a faithful rendering of the complete content. The ISBN number is 978-0-451-52906-0. It's the 150th anniversary edition, with an introduction by Julian Huxley. Still, don't take my word for it, and do your own due diligence. There is another "150th anniversary" version with an introduction by Ray Comfort, who is a Christian prothselitizer. So be careful.
Hopefully this will prevent you from having to start reading the work again from the beginning, as I've had to do. But I'm glad to have figured it out and separated fact from fiction.
This edition of "On the Origin of Species" is invaluable to anyone who has been suffering without Darwin's most important work, or getting by with only a stripped-down version. The text is the first edition of the six editions Darwin oversaw in his lifetime. It's the version scientists now regard as the most powerful and passionate statement of Darwin's views. But besides the full (unabridged) "Origin," this large-format book is replete with other materials. The word "sumptuous" comes to mind. There are hundreds of amazing illustrations, maps and diagrams, many in full color. Also included are scores of substantial excerpts from other works by Darwin and correspondence between him and his contemporaries. This makes the book a treasure to have, because it is so incredibly rich in contextual materials.
For instance, pictures of T.H. Huxley are included along with Huxley's letter to Darwin, where Huxley asserted his (not altogether unconditional) support for Darwin's argument and added that he was sharpening his claws and beak in readiness - that is, to help defend Darwin from his opponents. I was also delighted with the many beautiful photographs taken in the Galapagos Islands and of life forms found there, to say nothing of the pictures of Darwin, his family, colleagues and adversaries that are interspersed throughout the book, and Darwin's own drawings, the pictures of Darwin's home near Downe, his desk, models and a detailed diagram of the H.M.S. Beagle, and so on. There is also a chronology of Darwin's life to 1864.Read more ›
Darwin spent over 20 years researching his ideas, preparing his arguments, and writing this book. He did a great job! "On the Origin" is surprisingly easy to understand. Just look at the beginning. Instead of trying to leap directly into his basic idea and premise, Darwin chooses to gradually lead the reader up to the basic idea of evolution by first point out how humans have caused evolution to occur in our domesticated animals (something very easy for all humans to see even in the 1850s). Darwin then goes on to point out some of the evidence that he and others had seen at that time that indicated that evolution had occurred. His leap in understanding the basic premise of evolution is amazing especially when you consider that he did not understand or have access to information about the basics of genetic passing of traits within species.
We owe it to the younger generations to awaken an appreciation of the wonders of the natural world. The genius of Darwin, and the importance of his work, are too often underestimated. This volume is ideal for the whole family, particularly the children. It can not fail to inspire the reader to a greater understanding of the inter-relatedness of life on this planet, and hopefully create a desire to care a little more for our fellow creatures.
The concepts are easy to understand, and clearly explained in Darwin's own words. Indeed, his clear prose and careful reasoning make the book an excellent example for budding scientists of how science writing should be done. The illustrations and extra information really bring the man and his insights to life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
disappointed! It said Illustrated, but only 1 color page. a few drawing which no used! the 8 color images is missing....Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
For obvious reasons the book is written in a style that is a little difficult for a modern reader to read easily. Read morePublished 11 days ago by P Hines
I think this Charles guy has a future!
Seriously, not only are Darwin's ideas good and his reasoning solid, he was a terrific science writer. Read more
I LOVE this illustrated edition of Darwin's Origin of Species. It is so cool! I have a couple of science degrees, one in Biological Sciences, and would definitely recommend this as... Read morePublished 1 month ago by S
The title alone should insult a man of average intelligence. And to think they teach this in school and call it education. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gregory Hillman
This is a terrific version of one of the best books ever. I'm glad that this is the version that my daughter gets to read and learn from.Published 2 months ago by R. Ojers
Darwin theory is outdated. He used a magnifying glass to view life and we have sophisticated microscopes today. Intelligent design is by far a better explanation.Published 2 months ago by Rick Viduka