It is now fully recognized that the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859 brought about a revolution in man's attitude toward life and his own place in the universe. This work is rightly regarded as one of the most important books ever published, and a knowledge of it should be part of the intellectual equipment of every educated person. The book remains surprisingly modern in its assertions and is also remarkably accessible to the layman, much more so than recent treatises necessarily encumbered with technical language and professional jargon.
This first edition had a freshness and uncompromising directness that were considerably weakened in later editions, and yet nearly all available reprints of the work are based on the greatly modified sixth edition of 1872. In the only other modern reprinting of the first edition, the pagination was changed, so that it is impossible to give page references to significant passages in the original. Clearly this facsimile reprint of the momentous first edition fills a need for scholars and general readers alike....Continua
This is a book probably very often dismissed as being too intellectual or scientific for mere mortals to understand. Yet the reality is not so; Origin is accessible and remarkably easy reading--indeed there is no other major scientific work as accessible to the lay reader, and in fact, there is no other scientific work as major as this.
The controversy surrounding this book and its implications for humanity's understanding of life on Earth is precisely because no other science publication has had a more profoundly ground-shaking effect on human complacency and ignorance.
Darwin lays out the most compelling argument for the origin of the diversity of life on our home planet that has ever been publicly recorded. It is a delight to read, and even to those familiar with the principles of Darwinian evolution, there is much here to astonish and enlighten.
Apart from one of the most compellingly composed arguments for the evolution of species, this is also a work of literature. Darwin was a master of English prose, and quite capable of soaring to poetic heights when conveying his enthusiastic insights to Nature: the most beautiful, horrific, and fascinating puzzle to face humanity ever.
Religion is perforce taken on during the course of events, and the singular target of Darwin turns out the be the idea of specific and special Creation (and, necessarily therefore, the immutability of species) that held sway among many educated people of his day. Darwin shows the failings of this idea over and over again, using water-tight arguments, breathtaking insights, and illuminating imagery. A particular highlight is his exploration and explanation of the geographical distribution of varieties and species, which he shows to be entirely and profoundly incompatible with the idea of special Creation.
It is clear, by the illuminating guide of Darwin, that species evolve and continue to do so and have always done so. Objections that were raised in his day, like the testimony of the fossil record or the complexity of the eye, were also dashed to pieces by the arguments laid out in Origin. What is truly astonishing is that arguments against the mutability of species that were thoroughly defeated by Darwin himself in his book, are still being used today, as if they still had any respectable force. The intransigent and low character of these Bible-waving Nature illiterates of today is perfectly highlighted while reading Origin which was published over a century ago.
Note: always try to read the first edition of this work. The later editions, especially the sixth, included concessions to his main argument to religious pressures brought to bear on it. Darwin famously introduced the word "God" to the end of his book, but the first edition certainly reads better without it, and contains the more unabashed, pristine, and muscular version of his argument....Continua
Reading this book I felt the same courage Darwin showed while publishing it at his times.
The reader is satisfied of all the information Darwin gives to him, and this illustrated version of the book, with incorporations from the new discoveries, help to make it everything easier and more satisfactory.
The metaphor of the tree that Darwin uses to explain his theory is so fascinating, it makes the reader feel that he's a part of the everything, a little leaf between the other living branches, the dead ones and the sprouts of the big tree of life.
Are you looking for something to read to your children before going to bed? Well, you have found the right book! :)
A perfect book for the one who wants to know about the origin of the species. Perfect understanding of origination of the species on the Planet Earth is explained by Charles Darwin. It also has a tremendous power to affect your mind and you might feel that there is nothing like god etc... Overall very nice book....Continua