Derek's Reviews > The Origin of Species / The Descent of Man

The Origin of Species / The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin
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's review
Jan 09, 2011

it was amazing
Read in January, 2011

it's weird how influential On the Origin Of Species is, at least in circles i care about, yet if you ask around very few people have actually read it. most people shrug it off saying they know what it's about so don't need to read it. strangely it's a lot like The Bible (how many people actually sit down & read it cover to cover?). so i figured it was high time i heard it straight from the horse's mouth (especially as i just recently read the Bible (the The Dead Sea Scrolls version) i figured it was only fair). you might think people don't read On the Origin of Species because it's all archaic & unreadable, when in fact it's well-written & easy to read. it reads almost like it was written yesterday. to truly appreciate it you have to consider the time in which it was written & what a leap of faith it must've been to come up with an idea like natural selection. it almost seems common sense now, given all the evidence that has been accumulated. but back in Darwin's time they didn't even have cameras. so all his evidence was either direct observation (both of animals & fossils), illustrations, or reading other's observations. reading On the Origin of Species is the closest you can get to being in the mind of a man who came to the realization of the single most profound idea on this planet, who discovered the underlying mechanism not only of why were are here, but how we (& all animals) turned out how we did & how us animals continue to propagate (often blindly) & are driven to fill every available niche on this planet—it's in our nature.

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