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The Works of Charles Darwin, Volume 16: The Origin of Species, 1876 0th Edition

505 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814720592
ISBN-10: 0814720595
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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.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Works of Charles Darwin (Book 16)
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (February 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814720595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814720592
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (505 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,294,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

208 of 233 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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626 of 713 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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162 of 183 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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157 of 179 people found the following review helpful By Muse on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Adding to the growing chorus here -- Roy Comfort's introduction is using Darwin's seminal work as a Trojan Horse to peddle his anti-evolutionary, anti-scientific, young-earth nonsense. Be careful which version you buy.
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259 of 299 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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296 of 342 people found the following review helpful By Nontheistdavid on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ray Comfort, who famously proved god with a banana, has written the forward. This is Christian propaganda. More lies for Jesus!
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453 of 527 people found the following review helpful By A. Burke VINE VOICE on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Be warned! This version of Origin of Species has a forward by a guy named Ray Comfort, a well known "Young Earth" creationist. Mr. Comfort has absolutely no formal education in any field of science whatsoever, and he uses the introduction of this book in order to promote his religious belief that the universe is less than 10,000 years old.

Mr. Comfort gravely misunderstands, misrepresents, and plainly lies in the introduction of this book in order to make evolution look "evil."

So, please, if you want to get Darwin's work On the Origin of Species, choose a different version.
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160 of 183 people found the following review helpful By Jim on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ray Comfort is trying to deceive people with his introduction in this book. He has stooped to a new low in his anti-evolution agenda. DON'T BUY THIS BOOK! There are plenty of unadulterated copies of Darwin's book available.
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The Works of Charles Darwin, Volume 16: The Origin of Species, 1876
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