- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Giant Thrift E edition (June 23, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486450066
- ISBN-13: 978-0486450063
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,330 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection (Dover Thrift Editions) Dover Giant Thrift E Edition
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About the Author
Charles Darwin: Original Thinking
Each generation of students comes to Darwin's epoch-making works, several of which are the basis of our publishing program in biology and related fields: The Essential Darwin, 2006; The Descent of Man, 2010; The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, 2006; and On the Origin of the Species, 2006.
In the Author's Own Words:
"A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there."
"I feel most deeply that this whole question of Creation is too profound for human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton! Let each man hope and believe what he can."
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
"Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system — with all these exalted powers — Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." — Charles Darwin
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At $0.99 it is wildly overpriced.
The main text is Darwin's 6th Edition.
Darwin considerably amended Origin of Species through the course of its six editions. For example he first used the expression "survival of the fittest" (coined by Herbert Spencer) in the 5th edition and he first used the term "evolution" in the 6th edition. However, he also diluted some of his arguments in an attempt to deflect criticism. Most notably he made more allowance for now discredited Lamarckian ideas of hereditable affects of use and disuse, versus pure natural selection.
It is an open argument whether the 1st edition or the 6th edition best represents his real thinking. My 2 cents would be that the differences are relatively minor in the context of the overall work. The key driving ideas are well expressed in both and either is a fine start. Just be aware that other readers of Origin of Species may have seen a slightly different text!
For me, everything he explains about descent through modification and rudimentary organs and common ancestors not only makes sense but is corroborated by the principles of Biology concerning classification and evolution.
Darwin, contrary to how creationists reacted and are still reacting towards him, does not confront the idea of "God created everything out of nothing" and dismisses it as nonsense (except maybe a little towards the end, when he writes "Do they really believe that atoms have been commanded suddenly to flash into living tissues?"). He takes more of a perplexed approach and doesn't seem to understand why they can't look at the facts.
*** A note on the free Kindle edition: it does seem abridged and does not include the chart that the author refers to on several occasions but the gist of natural selection is in here***