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Publisher's Summary

Perhaps the most influential science book ever written, On the Origin of Species has continued to fascinate for more than a century after its initial publication. Its controversial theory that populations evolve and adapt through a process known as natural selection led to heated scientific, philosophical, and religious debate, revolutionizing every discipline in its wake. With its clear, concise, and surprisingly enjoyable prose, On the Origin of Species is both captivating and edifying.

Public Domain (P)2016 Naxos AudioBooks

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Great piece of history!

Taking into consideration the time it was written it's great to see how elegantly Darwin discusses reason over faith. (It should be read taking into consideration it's time. Also for the time spent describing fauna and flora it's sometimes a heavy reading)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • david
  • houlton, wi, United States
  • 02-14-17

Historic ... a must read

I'm not sure I could "read" this book because it goes on forever. But it was good listen. You have to make allowances because of when it was written and tough sell it must have been over the creationists. Even though you already know all the concepts, it still makes one look at nature with a new perspective and marvel at the vast diversity of life.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Not very convincing, creationism much more likely.

Everything in this book simply details the dispersion of animals after Noah's flood. Animals dispersed and adapted to their new surroundings creating different species in different areas. Its also a racist book. Darwin refers to native people as "savages". I hope someone tears down his statue.

0 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • G Douglas Whistler
  • 02-14-17

Excellently read

An excellently read edition: Wickham is clear, emotive, authoritative, & reads without (so far as I could tell, & which is nigh unheard of) a single pronunciational, grammatical-misreading, or intonal error.

On the text itself, it's worth noting that this recording is from Darwin's heavily revised 1872 edition of On the Origin of Species, which is the sixth version of the text first published in 1859: The text is therefore quite a lot longer than one might expect, & filled not only with explanation of the theory but with long sections which dispute with or refer to the work of nineteenth-century naturalists with whom the general reader is unlikely to be familiar. This makes this version somewhat more foreign to the modern reader, but also gives space for Darwin to work at a greater depth on certain matters, which is very helpful to one trying to understand the complexities of the theory as he proposed it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • PAE
  • 06-18-17

Superb narrator

I could listen to Peter Wickham all day. A fantastic and enthralling subject beautifully delivered.

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  • wamjam
  • 09-06-16

A brilliant concept, A brilliant book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would (and have) recommended this book to many. I believe this book to be the pinnacle of the progressive, scientific way of thinking. Though dated (both in content and in language used), this book holds great scientific and historical importance.

What other book might you compare On the Origin of Species to, and why?

A lot of Richard Dawkins' writing, primarily the selfish gene, is comparable to Darwins "on the origin of species". Though Dawkins has the benefit of a century of scientific development and understanding, they both approach the topic in a similar manor.

Any additional comments?

As with most scientific writing, it helps vastly to have a preliminary knowledge before jumping in. If you are completely unfamiliar with biology or evolution then some of the finer points of this book will be lost on you. We have the privilege to be able to understand much that Darwin could not (genetic theory, true inheritance etc.). Reading / listening to this with an understanding of these concepts not only makes it easier to understand what Darwin wrote, but also gives a humbling realization to the gravity of what he was writing (and at such a time). Many of his predictions have since become true, and many of his observations can now be explained thoroughly with our modern understanding of genes.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-17

A book that transformed the way we think of the world

This long book is not for everyone, but if you want to get an insight into thinking in the mid to late 1800's then I could recommend listening patiently. I thoroughly enjoyed start to finish.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful