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On The Origin Of Species Hardcover – September 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Chartwell Books, Inc. (September 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785824928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785824923
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 1.1 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,404,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's hard to talk about The Origin of Species without making statements that seem overwrought and fulsome. But it's true: this is indeed one of the most important and influential books ever written, and it is one of the very few groundbreaking works of science that is truly readable.

To a certain extent it suffers from the Hamlet problem--it's full of clichés! Or what are now clichés, but which Darwin was the first to pen. Natural selection, variation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest: it's all in here.

Darwin's friend and "bulldog" T.H. Huxley said upon reading the Origin, "How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of that." Alfred Russel Wallace had thought of the same theory of evolution Darwin did, but it was Darwin who gathered the mass of supporting evidence--on domestic animals and plants, on variability, on sexual selection, on dispersal--that swept most scientists before it. It's hardly necessary to mention that the book is still controversial: Darwin's remark in his conclusion that "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history" is surely the pinnacle of British understatement. --Mary Ellen Curtin --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Or it looks like this but who can say at this time.
bernie
This edition though, the "150th Anniversary Edition" is an intentional Trojan horse published exclusively to serve as a vehicle for Ray Comfort's 50 page introduction.
John Rummel
Ray Comfort is trying to deceive people with his introduction in this book.
Jim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

589 of 676 people found the following review helpful By John Rummel on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Darwin's Origin of Species is, of course, an icon of scientific writing. It is eminently readable and accessible to nonscientists and should be read by everyone. This edition though, the "150th Anniversary Edition" is an intentional Trojan horse published exclusively to serve as a vehicle for Ray Comfort's 50 page introduction. Comfort is a young-earth creationist and rejects Darwin's theory wholesale. Every reader of this review should contact Amazon and ask them to differentiate this edition of "Origin" from legitimate republications of this epic work. Comfort's 50 page intro is an embarrassing affront to scientific honesty and integrity. Anybody who has followed his antics on the internet knows not to take him seriously, but by attaching his name and his screed to Darwin's work, and then having Amazon market it as though it's a legitimate complement to this volume, is abhorrent.
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186 of 211 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Garns on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Amazon is mixing the reviews for different versions the 150th edition of Origin of Species. The version with the preface by Ray Comfort includes creationist nonsense and should be avoided. The version that includes the preface by Julian Huxley is worth owning.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By JMB1014 on May 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent versions of "On the Origin of Species," especially for non-specialist readers. Professor James T. Costa, who edited this book and prepared the excellent annotations, is a biologist himself and an insightful student of Darwin. He presents a facsimile of the first edition of Darwin's classic volume (accepted as the most passionate and unalloyed version of Darwin's original views, compared to the five versions that he oversaw subsequently) in a broad format: on each page, the text lies next to commentary and interpretation by Professor Costa. Darwin's writing is precise and clear but the lay reader often has questions - or would, if we knew what to ask - that are answered in the annotations. The result is a handsome edition with thought-provoking insights that vastly enhance the reader's interest and understanding. Each comment is keyed to the pertinent place in the text to which it refers by the use of an arrow and the comments provide a gloss, as it were, on those passages. Costa summarizes, explains and points out what is coming up, indicates where the same themes or ideas reappear, offers valuable context or present-day perspectives on what Darwin is saying, and so forth. These annotations are not necessarily just brief remarks but are often substantive, meaty, and very worthwile. They make the original text resonate in ways that no one but an expert would necessarily have anticipated. The result is a far more rewarding book than the "Origin" would be alone, and that is saying something.

To take just one small example, Costa explains what may puzzle many readers, namely, why Darwin starts out with a discussion of plants and animals under domestication.
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257 of 296 people found the following review helpful By James Arvo on July 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
There is only one other book that is so widely known, discussed, and debated, yet so rarely read: that other book is the Bible. To make my point, here is a little quiz:
1) Which name is most closely associated with the theory of evolution?
2) Which book did this person write on evolution?
3) What claims are made in that book?
4) What else is contained in that book?

With astonishing regularity, the average literate adult will respond as follows: 1) Darwin, 2) Origin of Species, 3) Humans descended from apes, and 4) I have no idea. The first two are correct, the third is absolutely false, and the fourth is an admission of complete ignorance. Considering that "Origin of Species" is over 600 pages long, and took nearly two decades to write, one would expect it to contain something more than the four simple words "Humans descended from apes," which, in fact, it neither contains nor implies. So, what DOES it contain? There is one word that best summarizes the bulk of Darwin's magnum opus: "observation".
It is a lengthy book; at times it is tedious, at times politically incorrect, and at times scientifically off-base. But, despite its numerous flaws, it is one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. Even if you are among the few who refuse to accept Darwin's ideas, you cannot deny their impact. The theory is the cornerstone--if not the very foundation--of modern biology. Whatever your preconceptions, you will likely be surprised by this work. Darwin was the consummate naturalist and scientist, as well as a refined and articulate gentleman. "Origin" is a delight and an epiphany to read. It's amazing how much Darwin got right, despite the fact that he had essentially no idea of how inheritance worked.
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151 of 172 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
This 150th anniversary version with Ray Comfort's 50+ foreword is a disgrace to science.

Comfort has a clear Christian Creationist agenda. He knows NOTHING about Evolution, yet writes as if he has actual knowledge on the matter. His assertions are laughable.

Do yourself a favor (since Amazon isn't being helpful yet), and search for the REAL 150th anniversary edition on here, or at your local book store.
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