First published in 1859, this landmark book on evolutionary biology was not the first to deal with the subject, but it went on to become a sensation—and a controversial one for many religious people who could not reconcile Darwin’s science with their faith. Darwin worked on the book for over 20 years before its publication. The radical crux of his scientific theory was the idea of natural selection, which meant that chance, not a divine Creator, played a great role in humanity's advancement and that individuals who weren't physically able to adapt with the greater populace died off.
'can we doubt ... that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind?' In the Origin of Species (1859) Darwin challenged many of the most deeply held beliefs of the Western world. His insistence on the immense length of the past and on the abundance of life-forms, present and extinct, dislodged man from his central position in creation and called into question the role of the Creator. He showed that new species are achieved by natural selection, and that absence of plan is an inherent part of the evolutionary process. Darwin's prodigious reading, experimentation, and observations on his travels fed into his great work, which draws on material from the Galapagos Islands to rural Staffordshire, from English back gardens to colonial encounters. The present edition provides a detailed and accessible discussion of his theories and adds an account of the immediate responses to the book on publication. The resistances as well as the enthusiasms of the first readers cast light on recent controversies, particularly concerning questions of design and descent. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Describes the genesis of Darwin's theories, from his university studies and five-year voyage on the Beagle to his debates with contemporaries and his garden experiments, in a history that also illuminates controversies surrounding the work's publication.
An essential new edition of the 19th-century scientific masterpiece that translates Darwin’s Victorian prose into modern English: “Most useful” (Walter Brock, Columbia University). Charles Darwin’s most famous book On the Origin of Species is without question one of the most important books ever written. Yet many students have great difficulty understanding it. While even the grandest works of Victorian English can be a challeng for modern readers, Darwin’s dense scientific prose is especially difficult to navigate. For an era in which Darwin is more talked about than read, doctoral student Daniel Duzdevich offers a clear, modern English rendering of Darwin’s first edition. Neither an abridgement nor a summary, this version might best be described as a translation for contemporary English readers. A monument to reasoned insight, the Origin illustrates the value of extensive reflection, carefully gathered evidence, and sound scientific reasoning. By removing the linguistic barriers to understanding and appreciating the Origin, this edition brings 21st-century readers into closer contact with Darwin’s revolutionary ideas.
Contemporary interest in Darwin rises from a general ideal of what Darwin’s books ought to contain: a theory of transformation of species by natural selection. However, a reader opening Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, today may be struck by the fact that this "selectionist" view does not deliver the key to many aspects of the book. Without contesting the importance of natural selection to Darwinism, much less supposing that a fully-formed "Darwinism" stepped out of Darwin’s head in 1859, this innovative volume aims to return to the text of the Origin itself. Revisiting the 'Origin of Species' focuses on Darwin as theorising on the origin of variations; showing that Darwin himself was never a pan-selectionist (in contrast to some of his followers) but was concerned with "other means of modification" (which makes him an evolutionary pluralist). Furthermore, in contrast to common textbook presentations of "Darwinism", Hoquet stresses the fact that On the Origin of Species can lend itself to several contradictory interpretations. Thus, this volume identifies where rival interpretations have taken root; to unearth the ambiguities readers of Darwin have latched onto as they have produced a myriad of Darwinian legacies, each more or less faithful enough to the originator’s thought. Emphasising the historical features, complexities and intricacies of Darwin’s argument, Revisiting the 'Origin of Species' can be used by any lay readers opening Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. This volume will also appeal to students and researchers interested in areas such as Evolution, Natural Selection, Scientific Translations and Origins of Life.
Read the Origin of Species and enjoy it. The condensed version makes Darwin very easy to understand. If you can read a novel then you can read the origin.
No book has changed our understanding of ourselves more than Darwin's Origin of Species. It caused a sensation on its first day of publication in 1859 and went on to become an international bestseller. The idea that living things gradually evolve through natural selection profoundly shocked its Victorian readers, calling into question what had been for many the unshakeable belief that there was a Creator. In this book, Janet Browne, Charles Darwin's foremost biographer, shows why Darwin's Origin of Species can fairly claim to be the greatest science book ever published. She describes the genesis of Darwin's theories, explains how they were initially received and examines why they remain so contentious today. Her book is a marvellously readable account of the work that altered forever our knowledge of what it is to be human.
The Origin of Speciessold out on the first day of its publication in 1859. It is the major book of the nineteenth century, and one of the most readable and accessible of the great revolutionary works of the scientific imagination. The Origin of Specieswas the first mature and persuasive work to explain how species change through the process of natural selection. Upon its publication, the book began to transform attitudes about society and religion, and was soon used to justify the philosophies of communists, socialists, capitalists, and even Germany's National Socialists. But the most quoted response came from Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin's friend and also a renowned naturalist, who exclaimed, "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!"
This Companion commemorates the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species and examines its main arguments. Drawing on the expertise of leading authorities in the field, it also provides the contexts - religious, social, political, literary, and philosophical - in which the Origin was written.