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Old 03-11-2010, 10:58 AM   #16
FlorenceArt
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Thanks Ea. I didn't know it was aimed at laymen, I guess that changes things a bit.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:12 AM   #17
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As Wikipedia puts it: "The book was written for non-specialist readers and attracted widespread interest upon its publication." I think you'd still need to have some interest in natural history to sustain interest
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:19 AM   #18
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I think you'd still need to have some interest in natural history to sustain interest
That shouldn't be a problem. Almost any kind of knowledge interests me, if I can understand it. Well, maybe not any kind, but natural history is fascinating I read the first two volumes of Fabre's "Entomological Memoirs" and loved his stories of bees and wasps.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:39 AM   #19
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I think one of the biggest problem for contemporary readers is the 19th century writing style. This is not a fast read, and sections can seem overly detailed where Darwin is citing either numerous examples or numerous details to support a point.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:46 AM   #20
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I think one of the biggest problem for contemporary readers is the 19th century writing style. This is not a fast read, and sections can seem overly detailed where Darwin is citing either numerous examples or numerous details to support a point.
From my experience with the Beagle book, the first will not be a problem, but the second might. Some parts of the book were very interesting, but others were rather boring to me.

Anyway, I guess I'll put it back on my TBR list and see for myself
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:27 PM   #21
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Coming after Origins pitiful performance in this month's MRBC vote; I can't help feeling this thread is demonstrating the survival of the weakest.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:20 PM   #22
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I just downloaded Hamlet53's The Voyage of the Beagle which (wow, it just opened up in ADE..neat...I thought it was just for purchased books), so count me in. On the Origin of Species has been too many times moved to the bottom on my list.

Sparrow, maybe the problem on MRBC was there were so many good ones to choose from.

So which version are we talking about? From PGB? Feedbooks and Manybooks usually have better formatting, no?
d
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:44 PM   #23
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I think one of the biggest problem for contemporary readers is the 19th century writing style. This is not a fast read, and sections can seem overly detailed where Darwin is citing either numerous examples or numerous details to support a point.
I've tried reading (a facsimile copy of the first edition of) Origin a few times, but never could get into it. Part of it is the writing style, but part of it is you (meaning someone living in the modern day and NOT some young-earther nitwit) already know that he reached the right conclusions and the long stretches of explaining how he reached his conclusions are anticlimactic. Plus, modern understanding of and evidences for evolution go far beyond what Darwin knew at the time-- reading Origin to understand evolution is like reading Galileo's observations of Jupiter's moons when you could be looking at photos from the Galileo orbiter-- interesting in a historical sense, but far short of what is known today.

I hear that this is a great new textbook (though I haven't read it yet because there are no cheap used copies in my price rage yet):

http://www.amazon.com/Tangled-Bank-I...dp/0981519474/

BTW, for more reviews of Creation:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1205717-creation/

Last edited by ardeegee; 03-11-2010 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:54 PM   #24
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I...

I hear that this is a great new textbook (though I haven't read it yet because there are no cheap used copies in my price rage yet):

http://www.amazon.com/Tangled-Bank-I...dp/0981519474/

..

By Carl Zimmer so I would expect it to be excellent.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:52 PM   #25
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I think I'd rather read a good explanation of the current state of evolution theory, understandable to a 21st century laywoman.
There is no reason why our discussion can't include the current state of evolution theory.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:58 PM   #26
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You mean like punctuated equilibrium?
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:51 PM   #27
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Yes indeed, among other things.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:32 PM   #28
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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?
Most of it is right, although not knowing the mechanism (i.e. genetics), he got some things wrong. I found it surprisingly modern, though - it was written for the general reader, not as a heavily technical book. As with many books on this topic, the examples are fascinating, learning about the different habits of animals etc.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:46 PM   #29
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I got "Darwin's Dangerious Idea" by Daniel Dennet....used pbook in the mail today. I need to read it too......aiiieeee!!! Not enough time!!
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:53 PM   #30
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I got "Darwin's Dangerious Idea" by Daniel Dennet....used pbook in the mail today. I need to read it too......aiiieeee!!! Not enough time!!
That's my favourite of Dennett's books - a joy to read.
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