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The Origin of Species and The Voyage of the 'Beagle': Introduction by Richard Dawkins (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 14. Oktober 2003

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"Why does Darwin's theory matter now? Because it is the basis of modern biology and much medical research; it provides a tool with which to understand the natural world; it offers a deeper, if imperfect, understanding of our behaviour, about where we came from and where we might be going"


Easily the most influential book published in the nineteenth century, Darwin's "The Origin of Species is also that most unusual phenomenon, an altogether readable discussion of a scientific subject. On its appearance in 1859 it was immediately recognized by enthusiasts and detractors alike as a work of the greatest importance: the revolutionary theory of evolution by means of natural selection that it presented provoked a furious reaction that continues to this day.
"The Origin of Species is here published together with Darwin's earlier "Voyage of the 'Beagle'. This 1839 account of the journeys to South America and the Pacific islands that first put Darwin on the track of his remarkable theories derives an added charm from his vivid description of his travels in exotic places and his eye for the piquant detail.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Origin of Species
This is a quick review of the book not a dissertation on Darwin or any other subject loosely related. At first I did not know what to expect. I already read " The Voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin's Journal of Researches". I figured the book would be similar. However I found "Origin" to be more complex and detailed.
Taking in account that recent pieces of knowledge were not available to Charles Darwin this book could have been written last week. Having to look from the outside without the knowledge of DNA or Plate Tectonics, he pretty much nailed how the environment and crossbreeding would have an effect on natural selection. Speaking of natural selection, I thought his was going to be some great insight to a new concept. All it means is that species are not being mucked around by man (artificial selection).
If you picked up Time magazine today you would find all the things that Charles said would be near impossible to find or do. Yet he predicted that it is doable in theory. With an imperfect geological record many things he was not able to find at the writing of this book have been found (according to the possibilities described in the book.)
The only draw back to the book was his constant apologizing. If he had more time and space he could prove this and that. Or it looks like this but who can say at this time. Or the same evidence can be interpreted 180 degrees different.
In the end it is worth reading and you will never look at life the same way again.
Voyage of the Beagle
Remember this says "Journal" and that is what it is. It is his first parson adventures on and off the Beagle.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 von 5 Sternen 13 Rezensionen
41 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Intellectual Tour de Force and Classic Travel Book in One Volume 26. November 2007
Von J. Blilie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Having read on Evolution by Natural Selection (EBNS) in many books and articles previously, including Richard Dawkins' excellent works The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition--with a new Introduction by the Author, The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (Popular Science) and Dr. Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True, all highly recommended, I wanted to read Charles Darwin's own account of EBNS. Here it is: the First Edition with the later Historical Note and Glossary added. I had already read and enjoyed "The Voyage of the Beagle," and I consider it a classic of travel writing (broadly defined.)

You may be wary of the classic "The Origin of Species" as stylistically remote or overly technical. It is neither. This book (anachronisms aside) could have been written yesterday. The style (as I find amongst a fair number of 19th century writers) eschews the flowery prose we associate with the Victorian Era; and is rather: clear, concise, nicely flowing, quite modern, and eminently readable. Any technical writer could learn from Darwin's writing. Though some technical details are included, it is written such that an informed layman will have no trouble in following it. "The Origin of Species" is a logical and persuasive tour de force. I can see easily why it caused the commotion it did at the time: it's a blockbuster argument that destroyed the standing order at a stroke.

As noted, I consider "The Voyage of the Beagle" to be a classic of travel writing. No navel-gazing; but well-written stories of what he experienced in an important voyage around the world. The two books are complimentary in that the Origin completes the work begun as a young man in the Voyage. An excellent idea to place them in one volume.

In addition, you get a very fine introductory essay by Richard Dawkins, which nicely sets the historical and scientific scene for the books, especially "The Origin of Species." And you get the other features of an Everyman's Library edition, which I find immensely helpful: the author's chronology including their life events, publications, and the literary and historical context of their life and work; a selected bibliography. The book itself is beautifully designed and constructed and a joy to hold, read, and refer to. I often buy Everyman's library editions for these very reasons. My only possible reservation for this edition is that the EML editions have a somewhat smaller than standard font, which may be an issue for some readers. However, the typeface is very clear and the nearly perfect alignment of pages helps prevent visual bleed-through and the book is really quite easy on the eyes.

Highly recommended, enjoy.
17 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent version 28. April 2007
Von Steven Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is an excellent volume. Two of Charles Darwin's major works are included: "The Voyage of the Beagle" and "The Origin of Species." There is a well written and sprightly introduction by evolutionary theorist Richard Dawkins. One additional good feature is a Chronology, beginning on page xxxiv.

Dawkins sets the stage with his 20+ page introduction. He speaks eloquently of the importance of Darwin's work, and the profound nature of his theoretical perspective on evolution. He places Darwin's work in an historical context, in which we see other theorists before Darwin working on how to explain change in animal species. He concludes with the strong statement that (Page xxix): "[Darwin] also gave us by far the most plausible theory for how evolution has taken place, the theory of natural selection."

Darwin's "The Voyage of the Beagle" provides a view of his trip, as the resident naturalist, on the ship Beagle, during which time (left England in 1831 and returned in 1836) he made myriad observations that helped him work through his theory of evolution. As he notes elsewhere (page 537), the facts that he observed on this voyage "seemed to me to throw new light on the origin of species. . . ." Upon reflection, he felt that this voyage had been a wonderful developmental experience in his life. He observes (Page 516): "In conclusion, it appears to me that nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist, than a journey in distant countries. It both sharpens, and partly allays that want and craving, which. . .a man experiences although every corporeal sense be fully satisfied."

There follows his chef d'ouevre, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection." The chapter headings are key for understanding the logic of evolution, with natural selection as a key force in explaining change in species, among which chapters are "Variation under Nature," "Struggle for Existence," "Natural Selection," "On the Imperfection of the Fossil Record," and "On the Geological Succession of Organic Beings." A brief quotation at the end of this book encapsulates the basic logic (Page 913):

"These laws [of nature]. . .being Growth with Reproduction: Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the direct and indirect action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms."

Such a straightforward logic: inheritance of characteristics from generation to generation; variability in characteristics within a species; more individuals born than the carrying capacity of the land can provide for; selection of those individuals' whose characteristic best facilitate survival and subsequent reproduction. Darwin surely had errors and problems in this work. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most important scientific contributions of the last millennium.

His theory has stood up well over time; one major problem, the explanation for the transmission of characteristics from generation to generation, was solved independently by the developing understanding of genetics. When natural selection and genetics were wed in the "synthetic theory of evolution," associated with thinkers like Mayr and others, Darwin's theory reached its culmination.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Must read for any science lover 5. November 2006
Von N. Giacalone - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This collection is truly wonderful, and a must read for any up and coming evolutionist, or even if you are just looking to learn a bit more about evolutionary theory. The Origin or Species doesn't read like a text, rather it's an intellectual piece that casually discusses his theory. I found the Voyage of the Beagle to be rather interesting as well. I've read several books detailing nautical adventures, and this by far is the absolute best!
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must have in your library! 26. Dezember 2011
Von Zwykly Klijent - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Very nice printing. The book itself is a journey of discovery. The reader feels like they are there, side by side with Darwin, traveling to lands that are still new and amazing. It's fascinating to see Darwin's observational skills and his power of analytical thinking. After reading it, we never again see the world as a unexplainable. And we ourselves gain an ability to "read" nature. This book was written such a long time ago and still has a tremendous impact on the reader.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Origin is a must read 11. Januar 2014
Von Josh - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Hands down Origin of Species is a must read for anyone at all interested in evolution by natural selection. Darwin does an absolutely superb job of explaining his theory. I have read other books on evolution by Dawkins and others that don’t get close to the clarity of explanations given by Darwin. It is amazing that he addressed almost all of the current creationist’s arguments over 150 years ago. I would recommend reading this book with a computer and Google handy so that you can look up the species that he references, as this really makes the book that much more potent in its presentation. The Victorian wordiness was not a big issue for me and I think that most literate people would be able to follow the narrative without many problems.
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