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Aryaman

Menlo Park, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

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  • The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: or, The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Charles Darwin
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    The Origin of Species sold out on the first day of its publication in 1859. It is the major book of the 19th century and one of the most readable and accessible of the great revolutionary works of the scientific imagination. Though, in fact, little read, most people know what it says—at least they think they do. The Origin of Species was the first mature and persuasive work to explain how species change through the process of natural selection. Upon its publication, the book began to transform attitudes about society and religion.

    Riegholt says: "Best way to read the classic!"
    "For aficionados only."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a molecular biologist by profession, so I thought it would be fun to listen to what is widely considered THE foundational work of modern biology. While interesting for me from a historical standpoint—it's truly breathtaking how complete a conceptual framework the Origin provided more than a century and a half ago, and how thoroughly Darwin anticipated and refuted the possible objections to his theory—unless you really want to hear all of the examples Mr. Darwin deploys to buttress his theory of natural selection, I would recommend a more recent treatment of the topic. Or listen through an abridged edition of The Origin of Species, such as the one narrated by Richard Dawkins. The language is, in most places, exceptionally dry, and the narrator doesn't do the material any favors. However, it is one of the great achievements of human reason, so if you are patient and able to pay close attention to the dense language, this will ultimately be worth your time.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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