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Customer Review

127 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be part of everyone's education, February 24, 2007
By 
This review is from: The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition (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. He also explains that grouping life into species is just a scientific convention and that the apparent fixed form of species can be explained by consistent conditions on earth over long periods of time (such that new variations aren't selected).

Darwin does, both to identify a regularity and to make reading smoother , reify the process of "natural selection". "Natural selection" should be understood as the complement to "artificial selection" or variation under domestication, which Darwin considers first as such selection influenced by humans was well known. There is no one doing natural selection, but rather it is process that some variations are able to survive under certain conditions which they themselves cannot be aware of in advance. It is the considerable variation that occurs which enables life in some form at all to go on for so many million of years while other forms become existence.

That Darwin was able to formulate the laws he did prior to the science of genetics is a tribute to his skills and to the science involved.

It is a work that makes me proud to be a human being and grateful to Charles Darwin. Anyone who thinks evolution is incompatible with their religious beliefs should read this book and then realize that they have misunderstood the spirit of the portions of the Bible they believe conflict with Darwin's and science's great contribution to us.

If there is a Christian God, you should feel certain He will have a special place close to Him in heaven for Charles Darwin.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 29, 2007 4:40:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2007 4:42:42 PM PST
Jon Jackson says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2007 5:44:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2009 7:29:34 AM PDT
calmly says:
ID is obvious pseudo-science, one needn't read this book to recognize that. But I was stimulated to read for myself what those who promote ID as science seem so bothered by. I'm glad I was able to share what I expressed in my review.

Posted on May 31, 2009 3:19:05 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2009 9:47:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2009 9:07:55 AM PDT
calmly says:
I present what I think of the book including why I find it relevant. Evolutionary science is well-established science: "intelligent design" creationism is not science at all. Reading "The Origin of Species" is an excellent way to understand how science proceeds.

In addition to reading this book, may I recommend visiting the Web site of the NCSE (National Center for Science Education) to learn about the importance of teaching evolutionary science [e.g. in American public schools] .

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2009 11:50:03 PM PDT
"Nobody wants to hear your position on the ideas presented. We just want to know what you think of the book. You can leave your insults at home and next time write a review that is open and non-judgemental since you don't have a conclusive piece of evidence to prove either way. "

Whoa, someone's feeling insecure in their faith haha lol!

Great review, Calmly. You should get bonus points for freaking out a Creationist.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 7:11:09 AM PDT
I have a feeling something is wrong here. Im checking on the book Origin of Species with an introduction by Ray Comfort. The links show 31 reviews in which you are one, however it doesnt seem to be the same book.
Someone at Amazon might be needing to loose their job.
Could you confirm or not that the book you purchased was the one with the Ray Comfort introduction
Thank you

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2009 12:12:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 14, 2009 2:37:38 PM PDT
calmly says:
Unreal, now I recall who Ray Comfort is. I looked at the recent reviews referring to the Ray Comfort forward. I googled and found this:
http://www.livingwaters.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=411&Itemid=1〈=en

So it's only atheists who are pro-evolutionary?? That's nonsense.

I added a warning to the top of my review.

I also called Amazon to complain (I was told by a Customer Service Rep my complaint would be forwarded by a department that handles books and reviews). I agree with you that this is a serious issue. Our pro-evolutionary reviews should not be used to help sell the copy with the Ray Comfort intro and the Amazon main product page for one with the Ray Comfort info should identify it as having that anti-evolutionary info. I wonder if those other reviewers who recently submitted warnings also contacted Amazon. I hope you do and I also will contact some friends who are also Amazon reviewers (and of course pro-evolutionary).

I don't have a copy anymore but I suspect I know what happened if you are seeing something from my review that couldn't have been in the one with the Ray Comfort introduction (but I'm curious, what would that be, I thought I reviewed Darwin's content and not the intro. I wouldn't expect the main content to differ.) If you go to my review under the edition with the Ray Comfort introduction, you will see that it says " This review is from: The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)". If you follow the link there, it will lead to the one with the Julian Huxley introduction, which, as I recall, is the one I read and reviewed. Both books are named " The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition (Paperback) so without following the link at my review it wouldn't be obvious I submitted my review for the one with the Julian Huxley introduction (assuming I did but I must have to have the link from the one with the Ray Comfort intro lead there). Amazon evidentally collects reviews of different editions that they judge to be similar, intending to be helpful, putting in the link. But I notice that I see complaints over at the one with the Ray Comfort intro about that intro: that intro is definitely not the one with the intro I read. I would have been appalled if I had purchased that edition if the intro is someone who is anti-evolutionary. My review is obviously not anti-evolutionary. besides, I recall the Julian Huxley intro being excellent.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 9:04:41 AM PDT
A customer says:
Thank you for the warning BUT PLEASE ALTER YOUR RATING- you should be rating THIS ABRIDGED AND ADULTERATED version and not the original- your stars appear to give credibility to the creationist foreword and that it's OK to leave out important parts of the original- PLEASE CHANGE YOUR RATING- the review itself is worthwhile.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2009 9:59:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2009 10:47:52 AM PDT
calmly says:
Read my previous comment. I see Amazon still hasn't acted on this, so I suggest if you haven't, you call Amazon to demand they separate out the pro-evolutionary reviews, as I did, so that they don't appear with the one with the Comfort foreword. I will not be responding to any further comments about this: people would be well to read read review contents.

P.S. If I had not elected to receive an email upon a new comment and wasn't checking recent comments to my review, this post of yours would have gone unnoticed, which is another good reason to contact Amazon if you have not done so. .

Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2009 2:52:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 24, 2009 3:05:39 PM PDT
calmly says:
10/24/09 I'm delighted to see that Amazon has acted on the complaints and my review (and that of others it seems) no longer appear for the Comfort version and that the Comfort version is now identified as "abridged".
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