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The Origin of Species

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  61,333 Ratings  ·  1,474 Reviews
The publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1859 marked a dramatic turning point in scientific thought. The volume had taken Darwin more than twenty years to publish, in part because he envisioned the storm of controversy it was certain to unleash. Indeed, selling out its first edition on its first day, The Origin of Species revolutionized science, philosophy, and ...more
Hardcover, 703 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Castle Books (first published November 24th 1859)
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Patrick Cited from Wikipedia:

"Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle…more
Cited from Wikipedia:

"Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. For the sixth edition of 1872, the short title was changed to The Origin of Species."(less)
Nullifidian That depends on which Darwin you're discussing. There's no reason to believe that the young Darwin who boarded HMS Beagle was anything other than an…moreThat depends on which Darwin you're discussing. There's no reason to believe that the young Darwin who boarded HMS Beagle was anything other than an ordinary Anglican. He fell away from his youthful faith, although historians and biographers argue whether this was a gradual process or a sudden wrench caused by the loss of his favorite daughter, Annie, in 1851. They all agree that by the time he wrote most of his major works, starting with "On the Origin of Species", he didn't believe in God. But this is complicated by the fact that in the very late brief "Autobiography", he affirms a kind of vague Deism. But he may have felt like he had to endorse something for the sake of upholding the traditional standards expected of a Victorian gentleman and head of the family, despite the fact that he never intended it to be published.(less)

Community Reviews

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Sep 14, 2007 Pam rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with an open mind
Shelves: purchase
such a freakin' genius! and the sadest part is, that his "science" literally killed him. if you've read a lot in Darwin (as I have) you come to understand that as a religious man, his studies seriously conflicted with his beliefs. I hate it when I hear someone say that Darwin says, "we come from monkeys." because that is not the case.

his theory is on EVOLUTION, not monkeys. all he wanted people to understand was adaptation and survival of the fittest is really a simple concept, and daily life- p
Oct 14, 2012 Manny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Creationists
Dear Carol,

Thank you for your mail, and of course I remember meeting you on the flight last month! It was a very interesting discussion and I'm still thinking about it. The semester has now started here at Creationist U and I am working hard, but I found time to read the book you recommended. And I'm glad I did, because it was really a lot better than I thought it would be.

I guess I was expecting Darwin to be like Richard Dawkins, but he was respectful of religious ideas. And it was great that h
Jul 02, 2014 Thabit rated it really liked it
قد يكون هذا الكتاب هو أعظم كتاب انتجته البشرية. داروين غير كل شيء في مسار البشرية من نظرة البشر لأنفسهم حتى نظرة البشر تجاه الكون والطبيعة

من اكبر المغالطات التي تواجهها اليوم عملية التطور اعتبارها بأنها نظرية. مصطلح نظرية دارون أو نظرية التطور كانت صالحة قبل قرن ولكن اليوم عملية التطور هي حقيقة علمية مدعومة بأدلة لا تعد ولا تحصى ولكن البشر يخافون من أن يتم اعتبارهم كسائر المخلوقات الأرضية المتصلة ببعض إذ إننا نحب الشعور بالامتياز والتفوق على الغير ونوهم أنفسنا بأننا موجودين على سطح الأرض لغاية أ
Stephen M
Jan 12, 2013 Stephen M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbook, philosophy
Edits for NR because I love him that much.

"This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection. Variations neither useful not injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic.

"We shall best understand the probable course of natural selection by taking the case of a country undergoing some physical change, for instance, of climate. The
Jan 22, 2016 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2014
“One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species


It is amazing to think that this mild, scientific book published a little less than 155 years ago caused (and is still causing) such a complete storm. I'm surprised at how adapted we have become (or at least the segment of those people on the planet who don't reject Darwin's theory of natural selection as counter to their
Apr 12, 2016 Ahmed rated it really liked it

لا اعتقد أنه يوجد من العلماء من أحدث أثرًا في حياة البشر ومعتقداتهم وثوابتهم كما فعل داروين، وفي دراسته تلك يقدم لنا خلاصة تجاربه ودراساته، ولم أجد في الكتاب ما يؤصل فيه للفكرة الشائعة عنه بأن الإنسان في الأصل قرد، بل كان الكتاب بالكامل يناقش نظرياته وتجاربه.

والملاحظ تواضع داروين كباحث المثير للإعجاب، ولا سيما برجل غيّر مجرى التاريخ، ورغم ريادة الكتاب إلا إنه في تناول أي قارئ، فلا تجد في ثناياه التعقيد والصعوبة، فكل ما يحتاجه هو نوع متأني من القراءة لاستيعاب معلوماته.ورغم امتلاكنا كلنا قشور لما
I swear I cannot figure what all the fuss is about. This is a science book. It was sometimes a bit tough to read because of the depth into detail. If I were an anthropologist I'm sure I would more appreciate that detail, but as a layman it did at times seem too thick.

If I were lost in an uncivilized world and had only two books, I would want a Webster's dictionary and this Origin of Species. The dictionary to learn word definitions and this book to learn about the flora and fauna around me. For
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Decry or applaud it, there's no question this work has had a profound effect not just on science, but the culture at large. What I wouldn't read this book for is the science, or in an effort to either defend or refute the argument for evolution. The core of Darwin's argument certainly is still what was taught in my Catholic high school biology class (taught by a nun). In a nutshell, the theory is that given there are wide-ranging subtle Variations among organisms, the Malthusian Struggle for Exi ...more
Oct 27, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Are you an Evangelical Christian? Or, perhaps you are a student participating in one of nation's modern and progressive science classes, learning about the Origins of Man, but confused by the lack of scientifically observable studies missing from your text books. Fortunately for you, Darwin spent decades of his life documenting the observable changes in various species, hypothesizing about these changes and drawing some interesting conclusions about his life's work.

[ أنا لا أرى أي سبب وجيه في أن تُسبب الآراء التي قد تم تقديمها في هذا الكتاب أي صدمة للمشاعر الدينية الخاصة بأي فرد.
وقد قام كاتب مرموق ولاهوتي بمكاتبتي بخصوص أنه قد تعلّم بالتدريج أن يرى أن التصور الراقي الخاص بالألوهية هو على نفس الدرجة تماماً من الإيمان بأنه قد قام بخلق العدد القليل من الأشكال الحية الأصلية القادرة على التطور الذاتي إلى أشكال أخرى وضرورية ]

[ إن هناك شيئاً من الفخامة في هذا المنظور للحياة، في أنه قد تمّ نفخها بواسطة الخالق بداخل العدد القليل من الأشكال أو في شكل واحد ]


هذا الك
Vane J.
Jul 20, 2015 Vane J. rated it liked it
This is not exactly what I would call "fun reading," but it's worth it. At times, it was hard getting through this book, mainly because it's dense and sometimes Darwin tended to drag and not get to the point, but I'm glad I finally read it. However, I think I should have read this at another point of my life - I mean, it was exasperating to read something I had just studied at a biology course I was taking. I still don't regret reading this. If you're considering on whether picking this book or ...more
My science education left a lot to be desired. I was never taught the Theory of Natural Selection in school but only heard it mentioned when some adults scoffed at it. Thankfully, my natural talents steered me away from a career in Biology or Genetics, so this lack of knowledge didn’t affect my career prospects. It just affected my understanding of the world.

I learned years later the basics of the theory but this just piqued my interest about reading the actual book. I always have problems with
Saoirse Sterling
You can read my full review of On the Origin of Species on my site XLeptodactylous.

A beautiful, exceptional book that is still highly relevant today, yet absolutely confounding and infuriating because at the end the bugger still thinks The Creator made it all. Insane, but still absolutely delightful, written so wonderfully in that flowing Victorian prose that cannot be faulted without being too scientific as a lot of inaccessible scientific written word is these days.
Cora Judd
May 24, 2009 Cora Judd rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a delightful surprise in one of those innumerable books they "ought to" read.
Richard Dawkins' narration of this book is excellent -- I enjoyed it immensely, however, without my semester of physical anthropology, the essential points would have required much more mental attention.

Dawkins inserts clarifying information throughout the book and while Darwin's writing is wonderfully clear, I think more of Dawkins' notes and updates would have been an enhancement.

I was surprised to see how diverse Darwin's background research was and how elegantly he wrote. He anticipated cou
Jun 20, 2010 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, classics
Having finished Origin, I am taking the liberty of adding a few comments at the top of what I posted when I first added it to my "currently-reading shelf."

To the would-be classics reader who is a bit daunted at the notion of tackling a fourteen chapter science book written in 19th Century technical terms I offer the suggestion that the back half of Origin is purely optional and can be let go. The first six chapters are the most enjoyable. Four is the big one, where Darwin presents the big pitch
Apr 14, 2012 Pollopicu rated it it was ok
What in the world made me want to read this Goliath of a science book? My goodness! I guess if I had to search deep within myself I would have to say I wanted to read anything Darwin, just to see what all the fuss was about, but mostly because of the reviews I read on Goodreads. I thought The Origin of Species would turn me into the science-loving person I always thought lurked inside me.
The main reason I finished it is because any science book that has had this much publicity deserves to be rea
3.0 to 3.5 stars. Not anything like what I would call a "fun" read, but I am really happy that I finally read this book given the tremendous influence it has had on the history on modern scientific thinking. The book itself, while dry, is fairly accessible and is not bogged down with overly complex scientific jargon. I would read a couple of chapters a day in between my "pleasure" reading and it made the book much easier to absorb. Definitely worth reading.
Rosa Ramôa
Apr 02, 2015 Rosa Ramôa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
O Homem não veio do macaco...Entre o homem e o macaco há apenas um antepassado comum
A adaptação e sobrevivência do mais apto!!!
Aparentemente um conceito simples!
Jan 24, 2009 Kendall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scientists, creationists, intelligent desginers, everybody else
Recommended to Kendall by: My mother, who thought it was from the devil
Finally re-read after decades of good intentions. For a recondite classic it is full of surprises, mostly pleasant; its supposed impenetrability largely confined to parts we already knew were directed at specialists—I admit to slogging through the section on barnacles, for example. But Origins is highly readable, pleasurable even, almost in the way of an Edmund Wilson essay. Darwin proceeds deliberately through the mountain of evidence he collected over twenty years as he constructs a virtually ...more
Apr 27, 2008 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With my brand new shiny degree in geology/paleontology, this was the first book I read after commencement. I give it 5 stars for the importance of its text, not for its readability.
Cassandra Kay Silva
Mar 31, 2011 Cassandra Kay Silva rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
It took me awhile to drag myself into reading this one. People have always commented that it was so dull and that it was convoluted and hard to follow and I have always believed in evolution and found modern books very accessible on the subject so I thought why bother? Then again I have a thing for classics, and as my list of books on evolution grew I started to chide myself that I still had not even read from Darwin's own hand. So I bent to the grain and pulled it out. This book was nothing lik ...more
Hussain Ali
Apr 13, 2015 Hussain Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: العلوم
أصل الأنواع
نظرية النشوء والارتقاء
تشالز داروين

قبل الحديث عن تجربتي مع هذا الكتاب ينبغي علي الإشارة بعض الأمور الضرورية. التعرف على قوانين وسنن الطبيعة يمر بمراحل عدة أولها ملاحظة شيء ما، ومن بعد الملاحظة توضع فرضية مبنية على أسس علمية لتفسير الظاهرة الملاحظة، وعند اختبار هذه الفرضية عن طريق العديد من العلماء وتوصلهم إلى نفس النتيجة تصبح نظرية علمية مقبولة في الوسط العلمي، فمفهوم النظرية العلمية يختلف عن المفهوم الدارج للنظرية في المجالات الأخرى والتي غالبًا تعادل الفرضية العلمية، ومن المشين -وليس
Ben Batchelder
Jan 09, 2016 Ben Batchelder rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” promises a lot. A back cover blurb says, “Next to the Bible no work has been quite as influential....” I’m not a scientist, but with a build up like that I had to give it a try after enjoying “The Voyage of the Beagle” (reviewed 9/5/13).

It is a slog of a read, yet Darwin’s enthusiasm for his subject, the excitement he conveys in outlining the work of his lifetime and popularizing a scientific movement, are palpable. Ironically, Darwin was not a scientist
Clif Hostetler
Sep 25, 2013 Clif Hostetler rated it liked it
Shelves: science
My book group selected this book for discussion probably because of the historic impact it has had on the field of science. However, I found it to be very worthy of respect from a literary viewpoint. Charles Darwin's writing comes across as a methodical thinker and patient explainer to many recalcitrant readers who are determined not to believe a word he says. He had me convinced after only a couple dozen pages, but he kept doing what seemed to me to be piling on observation after observation, e ...more
Feb 03, 2010 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Where importance of its content is concerned, five stars aren't enough. It would have to be included on any short list of 'classics of science'. I have docked a star to reflect the fact that it's not always easy reading - there's that verbose quality to its style that characterizes most writing from the Victorian era.

That said, I should point out that "The Origin of Species" is completely understandable to any general reader willing to give it a careful reading. You don't have to be a biologist
Yazeed AlMogren
كتاب مليء بالمعلومات المتخصصة والدقيقة ولكن في اعتقادي أن الشخص العادي الغير متخصص لن يستطيع فهم أغلب مافي الكتاب ولن يستفيد منه
Sep 05, 2015 Eva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine if you will that this year a scientist came forward with concrete evidence that there is an afterlife which does not involve God and that he wrote a book about it. No doubt we would all run out and buy it. We would be skeptical at first but in view of the extraordinary amount of evidence we would finally have to admit that this is the truth. In the years to come further studies would be made to support this idea to the extent that we would no longer even remember what it was like before ...more
Grant Holyoak
Aug 10, 2010 Grant Holyoak rated it it was amazing
My favorite quote in relation to this book, and one that I feel serves as a review in and of itself, is: "Every educated person owes it to themselves to read The Origin of Species." After reading it, I whole-heartedly agree with the statement. Only when one reads Darwin's perspective on such topics as breeding, domestic speciation, migration, instinct, etc. does one come to fully realize how much this book ushered in a new age of modern thought. The Theory of Evolution is so pervasive in the min ...more
Jul 25, 2007 Anouk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Darwin's The Origin of Species is the best eye-opener for people who want to understand the theory of evolution. With the current paradigm of creationism and its argument against evolution, it is the best book to refer too. Darwin's theory is very strong and realistic and can be easily related to today's universe.
May 03, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, kindle

Viewed now the Apollo moon program was even more astounding than the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. The Apollo guidance computer had less computing power than average modern family car. This is how we should view Darwin's 'Origin Of The Species'. It is an absolute triumph of empirical evidence based science. By the most constant and careful observation of the natural world Darwin not only worked out the theory of evolution he also quite correctly realised that all life forms on th
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Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist, eminent as a collector and geologist, who proposed and provided scientific evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors through the process he called natural selection. The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and the general public in his lifetime, while his theory of natural selec ...more
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“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” 419 likes
“One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.” 62 likes
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