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The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition Kindle Edition

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Length: 500 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews 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

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.)
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Product Details

  • File Size: 1580 KB
  • Print Length: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Rep Anv edition (July 29, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 2, 2003
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002JF1N0A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,030 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

781 of 800 people found the following review helpful By Caraleisa VINE VOICE on October 26, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The original book by Charles Darwin is a classic that should be on everyone's reading list. There are ample reviews here which address it, praise it, and I am completely in agreement with them. Darwin's Origin of Species is a true masterpiece.

Unfortunately, this review is to help readers/buyers realize that there is a 'vandalized' version which has been published, and to tell you how to avoid it and get the real thing.

To explain; there is yet another edition also called "The Origin of Species, 150th Anniversary Edition", put out by Christian Fundamentalist Ray Comfort in an attempt to discredit evolutionary theory and Charles Darwin, and it has some extra 50 pages of unintelligible drivel about creationism, as well as having ABRIDGED Darwin's original text. If you want to read about creationism, find another book... if you want the facts, read ALL of what Darwin has to say, and please don't give any money to Comfort by accidentally buying his ABRIDGED version.

Note that he used the EXACT same name as the 'real' anniversary edition -- "The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition by Charles Darwin". You can easily tell which version you're getting by who wrote the introduction - go with Julian Huxley, NOT Ray Comfort, and you'll have the correct and complete version.

Also, note that Amazon reviews are mixed between the books (normally not a problem at all) - I hope they are straightening this out, but currently that's not the case. Sadly, the negative reviews of the Comfort version are bringing down the rating of the 'good/real' book.

Sorry to have to write about the 'drama', but I'm sure you want to know that you have ordered the correct book, and I know you'll love it.

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78 of 78 people found the following review helpful By John Salerno on August 13, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
My four-star rating is more for this particular product than for the work of Darwin itself. Clearly Darwin's book is the cornerstone of modern biology, and I won't even pretend to try to rate its importance using one to five stars.

However, I felt it was important to let people know that this is the *sixth* edition of the book. I ordered it thinking it was the first, although I admit I had no reason to believe that other than that it did not specify that it was any other edition. The main problem with later editions is that Darwin continually responded to his critics in subsequent editions, thus changing some aspects of his theory. He also added the obnoxious concession "by the Creator" to his beautiful final sentence in order to appease the religious critics. The sixth (final) edition even has an extra chapter in response to criticisms by Catholic biologist George Mivart (which chapter is present in this edition, thus proving it is the sixth edition).

The benefit to later editions would be that they contain minor corrections to the writing, as well as these answers to objections and criticism, but at the same time I don't feel that Darwin's answers needed to be added to the book itself. "The Origin" should simply present his theory (as the first edition does) and he could easily have answered his critics in other ways and not by editing the actual theory itself.

But to reiterate my main point, I am not reviewing the actual work of Darwin. I am posting this review to inform people of which edition they are getting with this particular book, because I wish I had known in advance.

Edit: I should add that the copy I received did not have the same cover as what is displayed here. My copy shows a bird, a wildcat, and a dolphin on the cover. The cover shown on the product page at the time of writing is of a ship. However, my copy is still the 150th Anniversary Edition (Signet Classics) with an introduction by Julian Huxley.
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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Doc Dave on November 17, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's really amazing how polarized people's opinions of this book are! Whether you accept evolution or not though, it would be foolish not to read Origin of Species if you expect to have an informed opinion on the subject. I gave it only 4 stars because it gets pretty dry in places, however I definitely recommend reading this book. Reading it two or three times would be an even better idea.
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124 of 158 people found the following review helpful By calmly on February 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book after discussing "intelligent design" with someone. It had never has occurred to me that the theory and facts of evolution wouldn't be more compelling to someone than Bible myth that wasn't intended to teach science at all.

Darwin's writing style can be awkward. He is working with a lot of facts to try to discern some laws. It isn't easy material to begin with. After a long delay of collecting evidence and formulating ideas, he was in a hurry to publish and may have skipped a useful rewrite to increase readability. He is clearly not adverse to long sentences.

Nevertheless, he does present himself clearly and in an exemplary manner for a scientist. He packs his presentation with supportive facts. He presents tentative laws to explains what he observed and then sees how well this explain the data he had collected. He points out his assumptions, raises doubts about them and responds sincerely to those doubts.

As can be seen in this book, Charles Darwin was scientific, inquiring, open, honest, and genuinely concerned about advancing human knowledge about the natural world.

It is surprising, as Darwin explains, how much can be accounted for given sufficient time (millions of years, not 5000, as scientific dating methods show), given small variations within any single generation and given conditions of scarcity. Darwin recognized that what may be hardest of us to accept is that we can not see the cumulative changes that took those millions of years to occur. He does make an effort to explain why the fossil record has gaps for which intermediate forms of life are missing.
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Topic From this Discussion has mixed the ratings of this book with a fake!!
To chime in with Kurt...

What Comfort did here was to create a work of propaganda that is downright Orwellian in its audacity.

Say, let's do that with all 'controversial' books!

Let's put out a version of "To Kill a Mockingbird" that is just about bird hunting, and not about racism... Read More
Oct 22, 2009 by Bruce Wright |  See all 12 posts
This book does not belong in the professional science category
<<Can anyone who responds to my offer show me some valid grounds for concluding that random forces generated all the existing phenomenon of astronomy?>>

You do know that evolution only has to do with the diversity of life, not the origins of the universe, the origins of our solar... Read More
Oct 31, 2009 by A. Noyd |  See all 16 posts
Ray Comfort intro???
LOL I do!
I want it just for the freaky weirdness of it... hehe.
Oct 7, 2009 by Meredith |  See all 42 posts
Is this the first edition of Origins? Be the first to reply
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