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Old 03-10-2010, 05:38 PM   #1
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Darwin's Origin of Species

Let's read and discuss The Origin of Species.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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Just checking in. It is on my tbr list...and on my reader, not sure about my time allocation though to be able to read it.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:19 PM   #3
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it's one of the books i am planning to read yet on my list.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:20 PM   #4
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On my list. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the movie Creation.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:12 AM   #5
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On my list. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the movie Creation.
Sounds like the wrong title.

BTW there was a great multi-part series (2 parts I think) series on Darwin on PBS or History channel recently.

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Old 03-11-2010, 06:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainring View Post
On my list. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the movie Creation.
Or better yet, skip the movie entirely and read the book it was very loosely based on:

http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/cgi-bin...ion-eBook.html
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:01 AM   #7
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Love to participate - just need to read the book first. In about a week or so....
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:08 AM   #8
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It's a wonderful piece of work; perhaps the most significant book ever written. Can't remember where now (I'll try to find it for you), but available as a free download on line is the book/journal by Darwin's wife. I'm told that's fascinating, too, but haven't got around to reading it yet. Cheers. Neil
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
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Is any edition OK for this discussion? I just downloaded the 6th (and final during his lifetime) edition from Project Gutenberg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chainring View Post
... If you haven't seen it yet, check out the movie Creation.
I want to see it, although I understand that the movie contains a bit of a woo-woo factor. In his review of the movie for NewScientist, Rowan Hooper writes:

The problem with the film is the conceit of illustrating the impact of Annie's death on Darwin by having her materialise and interact with him in visions. It is unsubtle and irritating, and makes for a cartoon account of the writing of On the Origin of Species which seems to assume the audience will not be able to appreciate the anguish Darwin went through unless it is spelled out in gigantic, sentimental letters by a pretty ghost.

I put this more tactfully to Randal Keynes, Darwin's great-great-grandson, who wrote Annie's Box, an account of Darwin's family life and his relationship with Annie in particular, and who has a writing credit on this movie. "The film is based on the knowledge that Darwin lived with the memory of his daughter all his life," Keynes says. "He was a man of passion, and people have missed that... Putting the ghost in can be regarded as the film-producer's licence to tell the story."


You can find his entire review, along with my comment afterward ("A Supernatural Naturalist?"), at http://www.newscientist.com/article/...the-movie.html.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
Or better yet, skip the movie entirely and read the book it was very loosely based on:

http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/cgi-bin...ion-eBook.html
The author of that book is the aforementioned Randal Keynes.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 03-11-2010 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vector View Post
Let's read and discuss The Origin of Species.
I have it it Calibre, ready to go in my new replacement 600 later today or tomorrow, when it gets here ..... Isn't Waiting Fun ?

Anyway who else wants to read this one ?
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:18 AM   #11
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***I just downloaded the 6th (and final during his lifetime) edition from Project Gutenberg***

Perhaps someone else here could confirm this, Tom, but I believe that after the first edition, Darwin was pressured into adding some strangely out of place words at the start of the book: on the lines that evolution is "guided by the Creator".

This line, I believe, appears in all editions from the second onwards and is oft-quoted by the religiously-minded who feel strongly enough to go along with the theory of evolution only up to a point. Neil
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
***I just downloaded the 6th (and final during his lifetime) edition from Project Gutenberg***

Perhaps someone else here could confirm this, Tom, but I believe that after the first edition, Darwin was pressured into adding some strangely out of place words at the start of the book: on the lines that evolution is "guided by the Creator".

This line, I believe, appears in all editions from the second onwards and is oft-quoted by the religiously-minded who feel strongly enough to go along with the theory of evolution only up to a point. Neil
That's what the Wikipedia article says.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:39 AM   #13
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***In the second edition, Darwin added an epigraph from Joseph Butler affirming that God could work through scientific laws as much as through miracles, in a nod to the religious concerns of his oldest friends. The Introduction establishes Darwin's credentials as a naturalist and author, then refers to John Herschel's letter suggesting that the origin of species "would be found to be a natural in contradistinction to a miraculous process"

Thanks for this, Tom. I didn't want to say so in my earlier post because it might have devalued the point if it might be viewed as coming from a biased source, but I heard about this addition in a Richard Dawkins lecture. Best wishes. Neil
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:35 AM   #14
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Personally, I'm not very interested in reading it. After all, although I understand his theory is mostly still valid today, there has to be areas where today's science has progressed beyond it. I think I'd rather read a good explanation of the current state of evolution theory, understandable to a 21st century laywoman. Unless the book is interesting from a litterary point of view?

When I got my CyBook I downloaded The Origin of Species, and then I decided I'd rather read his relation of the Beagle's voyage. That was interesting for a while, but I had some difficulties staying interested and when I had technical problems with the Cybook, it got dropped.

Just my opinion, for what it's worth.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:50 AM   #15
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Personally, I'm not very interested in reading it. After all, although I understand his theory is mostly still valid today, there has to be areas where today's science has progressed beyond it. I think I'd rather read a good explanation of the current state of evolution theory, understandable to a 21st century laywoman. Unless the book is interesting from a litterary point of view?
If the point is to educate one-self about theories of evolution in general, I would read something modern. I see it more as a scientific historical work (aimed at laymen) that had a great impact in its time - and is also supposed to be quite well written.
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