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Origin of Species 150th Anniversary Edition [ABRIDGED] Paperback – Jan 9 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Bridge Logos Publishers; 150 Anv edition (Jan. 9 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882709194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882709192
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,369,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

It's hard to talk about The Origin of Species without making statements that seem overwrought and fulsome. But it's true: this is indeed one of the most important and influential books ever written, and it is one of the very few groundbreaking works of science that is truly readable.

To a certain extent it suffers from the Hamlet problem--it's full of clichés! Or what are now clichés, but which Darwin was the first to pen. Natural selection, variation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest: it's all in here.

Darwin's friend and "bulldog" T.H. Huxley said upon reading the Origin, "How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of that." Alfred Russel Wallace had thought of the same theory of evolution Darwin did, but it was Darwin who gathered the mass of supporting evidence--on domestic animals and plants, on variability, on sexual selection, on dispersal--that swept most scientists before it. It's hardly necessary to mention that the book is still controversial: Darwin's remark in his conclusion that "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history" is surely the pinnacle of British understatement. --Mary Ellen Curtin --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Review

Praise for the hardcover edition:

“The most influential book in science gets a face-lift with some amazing graphics and Quammen's erudite editing.”--Library Journal (The Best Sci-Tech books of 2008)
 
“The perfect way to become acquainted with the authentic voice of the greatest biologist of all time, in a context provided by one of the finest scientific writers of today.”--Gregory A. Petsko, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Journal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mcewin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 2 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've now gone through six of the new editions of Origin of Species that have been released in honor of the 150th anniversary of publication. My recommendations,

1) Harvard "The Annotated Origin", with annotations by James Costa.
This is *the* one to get for the Darwin scholar, and for working biologists. A facsimile of the first edition is printed on facing pages across the center divide, with marginal notes by James Costa keyed on the outside margins. So, you can read the original text without distraction if you wish, and refer to the notes as necessary. The notes are largely historical, and go a long way towards making critical changes in Morse Peckham's variorum edition accessible. As a check, I really enjoyed the annotations to Chapter 4, where CD recaps the argument for and introduces the term Natural Selection. Costa's notes show CD backing away from his forthright statement in the 3rd edition, and the unfortunate introduction of 'survival of the fittest' in the 6th.

I'm compelled to added that this edition reminds me very much of the Harper Collins Study Bible of the New Revised Standard Version, an excellent fully-annotated edition largely free from doctrinal bias. [In YHWH's 2nd edition of the Descent of Man, 'humankind' (adam) is formed from the 'ground' (adamah), and not in the image of YHWH. So there.] However, the notes in HCSB take up the bottom half of the page and the eye must skip up and down, which is a distraction from the left-to-right flow of the text. As so often in the past, Bible scholars could learn a thing or two from Darwin scholars.

2) Harvard facsimile of the first edition.
This is the same facsimile text as above, without the the marginal notations, and in paperback (Harvard publishes both).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mcewin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 15 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've now gone through six of the new editions of Origin of Species that have been released in honor of the 150th anniversary of publication. My recommendations,

1) Harvard "The Annotated Origin", with annotations by James Costa.
This is *the* one to get for the Darwin scholar, and for working biologists. A facsimile of the first edition is printed on facing pages across the center divide, with marginal notes by James Costa keyed on the outside margins. So, you can read the original text without distraction if you wish, and refer to the notes as necessary. The notes are largely historical, and go a long way towards making critical changes in Morse Peckham's variorum edition accessible. As a check, I really enjoyed the annotations to Chapter 4, where CD recaps the argument for and introduces the term Natural Selection. Costa's notes show CD backing away from his forthright statement in the 3rd edition, and the unfortunate introduction of 'survival of the fittest' in the 6th.

I'm compelled to added that this edition reminds me very much of the Harper Collins Study Bible of the New Revised Standard Version, an excellent fully-annotated edition largely free from doctrinal bias. [In YHWH's 2nd edition of the Descent of Man, 'humankind' (adam) is formed from the 'ground' (adamah), and not in the image of YHWH. So there.] However, the notes in HCSB take up the bottom half of the page and the eye must skip up and down, which is a distraction from the left-to-right flow of the text. As so often in the past, Bible scholars could learn a thing or two from Darwin scholars.

2) Harvard facsimile of the first edition.
This is the same facsimile text as above, without the the marginal notations, and in paperback (Harvard publishes both).
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. N. Owings on Dec 30 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
People tend to look at me crazy when I tell them that I've read ORIGIN OF SPECIES. And really, I think we can all see where they are coming from. Nevertheless, being curious, I thought it might be interesting read the book that started all the fuss.
I was surprised to find how readable it really was. Think about this: what we are taught in high school biology is way more than Darwin knew when he wrote this book. Accordingly, the science described in this book is quite easy to understand for anyone who has previously taken a biology class.
Probably the most interesting thing about this book were the few times that Darwin threw in a little philosophical/theological side comment. I'll leave these juicy tidbits for you to find, but look for them as they add a little "kick" to an otherwise fairly "scientific" book. Though a bit lengthy, this accountant enjoyed ORIGIN OF SPECIES.
As a sidenote: I find the funniest thing about those "Jesus fish" eating the "Darwin fish" car decals is that the base idea is that the stronger fish wins- a.k.a. surival of the fittest. The ensuing contradiction of unwittingly using one of Darwin's base tenets to attack Darwinian evolution is priceless.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mcewin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 26 2009
Format: Hardcover
A number of new editions of the Origin have appeared in this the 150th anniversary of first publications. This is a very attractive hard cover edition, as one would expect from Penguin, and might make a good gift for graduating students in biology. The cover art is not particularly apropos, but its a nice binding.

However, the publisher's puff says: "Written for the general public of the 1850s, The Origin of Species ... challenged contemporary beliefs about divine providence and the fixity of species. [Darwin] also set forth the results of his pioneering work on the interdependence of species: The Ecology of Animals and Plants.... William Bynum and Janet Brown will provide a new introduction and full scholarly references."

I would greatly welcome commentary by Ms Brown, author of the leading current biography of Darwin. However, the advertising here is misleading: the "Look Inside" teaser is for the Cambridge U edition, the editor of which is Jim Endersby. This Penguin edition has only an introduction by Mr Bynum, with no mention of Ms Brown.

Concerning the publisher's puff: Coming out in November 1859, the Origin was directed to the scientific community of the 1860s, not the general public, though the latter had ready access through circulating libraries of the day. Darwin did not set out to challenge 'Divine Providence,' but rather to present evidence for his theory of Natural Selection. He certainly did not write about "Ecology" of plants and animals: the word Ecology was not invented until 1879. I hope the publisher has not gleaned these bits from Mr Bynum's commentary, which would raise serious doubt about its value for the general reader.

In general, the best recommendation remains the paperback Harvard University Press facsimile of the first edition, newly reprinted for the 150th and 200th anniversaries. The illustrated facsimile also receives good reviews.
Amazon will want to correct the misleading advertising.
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