ABOUT THE BOOK The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin is arguably one of the most important works of scientific writing ever to be published. Science today recognizes that the principles of natural selection Darwin described are the primary driving forces behind the evolution of new species, and evolution itself underpins all of the biological sciences, including medicine. For a natural historian, whether a professional scientist, or an avid amateur like me, Darwin’s work is an illustration of how a single dedicated individual can look at the mind-boggling variety of life on our planet and make sense of it. Though few people have read the book, nearly everyone has read about it. Those who do venture to crack the covers of the Origin (as it’s commonly known) discover a surprisingly readable account, though one dense with details and examples. It is the sort of book that can take some effort to get all the way through, but which leaves the reader feeling it was a worthwhile effort. For me, it underlined the beauty and richness of life on Earth, and gave me many new avenues down which to let my curiosity wander. It is also a testament to the kind of meticulous research, combined with brilliant thinking, upon which the best science depends. MEET THE AUTHOR Nicole has been writing since she could make letters with a pencil, and has been making a living at it for more than ten years. She has gone back to school too many times, studying archaeology, folklore, writing and visual art. She writes fiction under several pen names, and also does printmaking, book arts, and photography. She's an avid amateur natural historian with a particular fascination for things that fly, whether it's birds, bats or insects. And if it's possible to be both a luddite, with a love for the low-tech, and a technophile, with a fascination for everything new and shiny, Nicole is both. She reads too many books, plays too many video games, and watches too much anime. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK It is difficult to overstate the importance of The Origin of Species. It has been both loved and reviled, but Darwin’s theory has stood up to repeated challenges until it has become what scientists call a “robust theory”—for a layperson, there is little difference between that and a “fact.” A robust theory is one that has “been tested and confirmed again and again.” It took Charles Darwin many years to write his masterwork, and he only really considered publishing it when it came to his attention in 1855 that a younger scientist—Alfred Russel Wallace—was working on a similar theory. Without that impetus, the book would likely have taken many more years. Wallace’s work, which he sent to Darwin in 1858 in a 20-page paper outlining an evolutionary theory similar to Darwin’s, finally provided the impetus for Darwin to set down his ideas in a form others could read. In the end, the two men claimed joint discovery of the mechanisms of evolution, though it’s Darwin whose name we remember, and Darwin’s thorough and meticulous work that gave the theory its strongest support. Darwin had actually worked out his basic theory of natural selection by 1838, but he was such a perfectionist that he didn’t publish it until nearly 20 years later. With each new edition of the Origin, Darwin added additional examples and evidence, and answered many challenges from his scientific opponents. And though today the Origin is considered to be a work only read by scientists, it was actually written for the general public, and was widely read at the time. Buy a copy to keep reading!
On the Origin of Species by the world renowned scientist Charles Darwin is a scientific must read. His theories on evolution are the basis of evolutionary biology as we know it today. Although this may seem a daunting read, rest assured that Darwin’s simple explanations and descriptions make this book easily enjoyable. He concisely clarifies each of his arguments in layman’s terms, something almost unheard of in Victorian scientific reports, and gently introduces the reader to his way of thinking. Darwin understood that his theories were going to be met with much resistance as they went completely against the theories of the time, and it was for this reason the he made certain that every point made is explained and understandable so as to make his argument as convincing as possible. In total there are six editions of On the Origins of Species, this being the first and shortest of them. Although some say this therefore lacks the revisions and edits of the later editions, it also makes for a more concise read as the later editions are bulked out mainly by the addition of answers to posed questions. Everything within this book stands true to what Darwin believed. A great read that will take you one a journey through the mind of a scientific giant. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
Classic from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, , language: English, abstract: I will here give a brief sketch of the progress of opinion on the Origin of Species. Until recently the great majority of naturalists believed that species were immutable productions, and had been separately created. This view has been ably maintained by many authors. Some few naturalists, on the other hand, have believed that species undergo modification, and that the existing forms of life are the descendants by true generation of pre existing forms. Passing over allusions to the subject in the classical writers (Aristotle, in his "Physicae Auscultationes" (lib.2, cap.8, s.2), after remarking that rain does not fall in order to make the corn grow, any more than it falls to spoil the farmer's corn when threshed out of doors, applies the same argument to organisation; and adds (as translated by Mr. Clair Grece, who first pointed out the passage to me), "So what hinders the different parts (of the body) from having this merely accidental relation in nature? as the teeth, for example, grow by necessity, the front ones sharp, adapted for dividing, and the grinders flat, and serviceable for masticating the food; since they were not made for the sake of this, but it was the result of accident. And in like manner as to other parts in which there appears to exist an adaptation to an end. Wheresoever, therefore, all things together (that is all the parts of one whole) happened like as if they were made for the sake of something, these were preserved, having been appropriately constituted by an internal spontaneity; and whatsoever things were not thus constituted, perished and still perish." We here see the principle of natural selection shadowed forth, but how little Aristotle fully comprehended the principle, is shown by his remarks on the formation of the teeth.), the first author who in modern times has treated it in a scientific spirit was Buffon. But as his opinions fluctuated greatly at different periods, and as he does not enter on the causes or means of the transformation of species, I need not here enter on details.[...]
An original, unpublished manuscript written before the Origin of Species which contains the references to journal articles and books that Darwin used in formulating his controversial ideas. This volume has been edited and annotated and includes a cross-indexing to the Origin.
Published amid a firestorm of controversy in 1859, this is a book that changed the world. Reasoned and well-documented in its arguments, it offers coherent views of natural selection, adaptation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that form the foundation of evolutionary theory.
Keen to learn but short on time? Get to grips with the essential points of Darwin’s theory of evolution in next to no time with this concise guide. 50Minutes.com provides a clear and engaging analysis of Darwin’s theory of evolution. After setting sail aboard the Beagle to carry out a scientific expedition, Charles Darwin made some surprising discoveries: using the example of finches on the Galapagos Islands, he concluded that each of the 13 species he found must have evolved from one common ancestor and adapted to best suit their environment. This led to him developing his theory of evolution and identifying natural selection as the cause, both of which are explained in his world-famous On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. In just 50 minutes you will: • Understand the context in which Darwin published his theory and the source of the many controversies surrounding it • Learn more about Darwin’s life and career and how it led him to his astounding discovery • Analyse the progression of Darwin’s work, including his travels, discoveries and the final publication of his theory after 20 years of development ABOUT 50MINUTES.COM | History & Culture 50MINUTES.COM will enable you to quickly understand the main events, people, conflicts and discoveries from world history that have shaped the world we live in today. Our publications present the key information on a wide variety of topics in a quick and accessible way that is guaranteed to save you time on your journey of discovery.