The Readable Darwin

1st Edition

The Origin of Species as Edited for Modern Readers

Pechenik, Jan
eISBN-13: 9781605354279

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Additional Book Details

The Origin of Species is one of the most influential books ever written. Not only has it inspired an incredible amount of scientific research on a remarkable number of different topics, but it laid a foundation for all modern arguments about organismal diversity. It is also a sterling example of scientific thinking at its best. Darwin is very clear about his evidence, but also very clear about the things he doesnt yet understand, even those that might pose problems for his thesis.

Unfortunately, his paragraphs are often very long; the sentences are often unwieldy and difficult for modern readers to follow; and Darwin assumes that his readers know a lot more about the people and organisms he talks about than most modern readers do. Although The Origin is widely known, it is now rarely read.

This new book is the product of careful editing of Darwins sixth and final edition (published in 1872) into more readable prose, with numerous helpful drawings and photographs added. Dr. Pecheniks goal is to enable more peopleincluding high school and college studentsto read and understand this fascinating and important book, and to enjoy doing so.

Every page of Darwins book has been painstakingly rewritten: long paragraphs have been broken up, sentences have been shortened and reorganized, and weak verbs have been replaced with stronger verbs. The various people that Darwin mentions have been identified, and his terminology and the logic of some of his arguments have been clarified, all to make Darwins points clearer to todays readers while retaining the flavor of the original Origin. In addition, occasional footnotes clarify issues about which Darwin was uncertain or mistaken. This book covers the first eight of The Origins fifteen chapters, focusing on variation, the inheritance of variation, and the action of selection in bringing about major changes in the way that organisms look and behave.

Sold By Sinauer Associates, Inc.
ISBNs 1605353280, 9781605353289, 1605354279, 9781605354279
Edition 1st