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The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 2003
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“Next to the Bible no work has been quite as influential, in virtually every aspect of human thought, as The Origin of Species.”—Ashley Montagu
“Darwin was one of history’s towering geniuses and ranks with the greatest heroes of man’s intellectual progress.”—George Gaylord Simpson in The Meaning of Evolution
“It is clear that here is one of the most important contributions ever made to philosophic science; and it is at least behooving on scientists, in the light of the accumulation of evidence which the author has summoned in support of his theory, to reconsider the grounds on which their present doctrine of the origin of species is based.”—The New York Times
“Amazingly, 150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species, Darwin's seminal work on the theory of evolution remains the authoritative tract on the subject.”—Library Journal
About the Author
Charles Robert Darwin was born in 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. At Cambridge University he formed a friendship with J. S. Henslow, a professor of botany, and that association, along with his enthusiasm for collecting beetles, led to “a burning zeal,” as he wrote in his Autobiography, for the natural sciences. A voyage to the Southern Hemisphere on the H.M.S. Beagle between 1831 and 1836 would lay the foundation for The Origin of Species, published in 1859. His other works include The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) and Recollections of My Mind and Character, also titled Autobiography (1887). Charles Darwin’s Diary of the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle was published posthumously in 1933.
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Top Customer Reviews
This particular publication is indeed more than 500 pages, although unless you are referring to a facsimile copy, the number of pages depends on how much text per page the publisher chooses to use! This particular book also has the reportedly missing illustration in Chapter 4 which is a lithograph of a hand drawn diagram by William West. This was the ONLY illustration Charles Darwin included in his first edition of On the Origin of Species.
It is probably not general knowledge but there are 6 editions (and a corrected version of the 6th edition printed around 1876-78.) This copy is the 6th edition with the changes and corrections. I can tell by some of the edits in the book's introduction. A variorum text of the On the Origin of Species is very useful in discerning the various editions and what Darwin changed where and when.
I personally only have the first and sixth editions (plus a variorum edition) both in printed copies as well as the eBook versions for portability. This volume for the sixth edition, with all the period illustrations augment Darwin's text very nicely! Also an excellent version is "The Annotated Origin: A Facsimile of the First Edition of On the Origin of Species", 2009 annotated by James T. Costa. Unfortunately it is only in a print version and not as an eBook but I have submitted a request to Amazon to ask the publisher to make it available also as an eBook.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THIS book is a huge disappointment. Don't waste your time or money. It is pocket sized and printed in China!!Read more