The 1700-1939 Book Club! discussion

On the Origin of Species
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Past Side Reads > On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

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message 1: by Jamie (new)

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
This is for the discussion of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. Lone suggested this and other members are interested in reading it so I put up a side read. Let us know if you are interested and then Lone can decide a date to start reading and discussing the book! Enjoy!

message 2: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments As jamie has said I suggested this book without knowing the rules for the group reads.
I would like to read the book very much and it would be great if we could find some time which suits everybody interested.
My suggestion would be late January or early February? Let me know what you think.....

message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex I'll do my very best to join in. I got about a third of the way through this thing last year before I was defeated by Darwin's enthusiastic use of commas. But...well, I'm a David Attenborough fan. I've read a ton of books that wouldn't have been written without Darwin*. He's my boy. I gotta read the original someday. I will try.

* Because it'd be Alfred Russel Wallace instead.

message 5: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments I checked the library last night and good riddance! -There is a waiting list for the latest edition they had which is an Oxford Classic 1998 but I should get it in January. :-)

message 6: by Jamie (new)

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
So are you guys planning on reading this around January/February? There is also interest in Hardy and Austen as side reads so I wanted to help organize reading schedules in case people are interested in reading this and one or both of those.

message 7: by Jamie (new)

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
Ok. I will set the book to begin January 1st and end February 15th.

message 8: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments I won't start reading the book until January but I guess that fits the time schedule?

message 9: by Jamie (new)

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
Oh if that doesn't work just let me know. I always start reading at the start date and discuss as I go. I can make it for February through March?

message 10: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments I'm fine with talking about the book before we have finished it but I don't like reading books online.

message 11: by Jamie (last edited Nov 22, 2011 09:53AM) (new)

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
Well discussing from February-March seems better than January-February. This way if people want to start in January they can wait to discuss in February and it will give you time to get your book. (plus it will work with the other two side read so we don't have them all completely overlap. If this works just let me know. I'm just trying to help organize the schedule.

message 12: by Jamie (new)

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod

message 13: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments Hi
I have not heard anything from the library yet so I have just ordered a copy of the book:

So February-March suits me just perfectly!

message 14: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments Got the book today and shall start reading tonight! :-) Please let me know how many are reading this and will join the discussion?

message 15: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments I shall write some thoughts very soon.

message 16: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments Nullifidian,
I am not sure which copy of the book you are reading but the one Im reading is the second edition and has a long intro.
One of the things which I liked in the intro is Darwin's focus on the very small things he found in the same species which are different and focus on those...instead of just does not matter these small differences. When they actually are the ones to proove how changes has been and are going on..just at a very slow pace. Sciencetist usually do not believe or didnt believe back then, that these small changes were significant.

I was prepared that Darwin's language is not dry at all and the book is read like a travel guide/discovery as I had read a part of a chapter some time back and liked his language very much.

message 17: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments I think I am reading chapter 3 now...I do not have the book with me right now.
It sounds like we have the same experience; that we, of course, know his conclusions but enjoy reading how he argues! :-)
I am a bit surprised how much he is writing to make sure his arguements stands, like he is really trying his best to convince everybody and take all areas into account (geology, biology, botanist and religion).

If I understood him correctly then one of his major arguements against God having created one of each species is just how many variations and what was it he called it..I forgot his words now...when a variation is becoming a species? He says that if God created all species once and no growth is taking place then why all the variations etc....

Also from a historical point of view, I find it interesting to try to imagine the time when his arguements and conclusion made such a big stir in the English society!
It seems so innocent and its hard to imagine that so little was known and catalogued back then, especially after having been to the Royal Botanic Garden at Kews outside London. They have the largest seed collection in the world now.

message 18: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments I got a bit sidetracked but are back reading Darwin. How is everybody else doing?

message 19: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments Great! Im catching up on different things and shall get back to you.

message 20: by Lone (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments I'm still reading and shall read more today. So far I'm enjoying it and noticing the language. I know Darwin wanted it to be readable for the common man but boy does he have long sentences.
For example in chapter three: 'Owing to this struggle for life, any variation, however slight, and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relations to the other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring.' :-)

Somehow I find it hard to comment on the subject as I feel I know what he is talking about already but its great to see how it was first presented. Then again I am no science student. What do you think?

message 21: by Lone (last edited Mar 11, 2012 07:31AM) (new) - added it

Lone | 22 comments At chapter five now and Darwin has defended why he believes that life was not made all at once but is forever changing into variations and different species. While reading I cannot help but wonder if Darwin actually understood that he had discovered 'the code of life' which is still used today.

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