On the Origin of Species

  • by Charles Darwin
  • Narrated by Bill DeWees
  • 15 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Originally named On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, was first published in 1859. This scientific writing, which was considered to be the groundwork of evolutionary biology, presented the theory that species developed over a line of originations through a method of natural selection. It imparted evidence that the variety of life resulted from a common descent via a branching model of evolution. Darwin incorporated facts that he had collected on the Beagle mission in the 1830s and his succeeding findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation.

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Customer Reviews

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This is the 1859 British edition.

This is the 1859 British edition, and as such it is the second best edition. The 1860 British edition is slightly better in that it contains some insignificant, but non-substantive, corrections. However, the 1860 British edition is probably not available as an audio book. The editions of 1861, 1866, 1869, and 1872 are all inferior. In them Darwin made changes and expansions in an effort to meet the objections that arose during those times. The modifications expanded the book and clouded the argument. Since most of the objections that were raised would be regarded as silly today, Darwin's arguments against them are of interest for social history, but not for Darwin's theory.
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- Barry L. Wolfe

Reads as well as any modern popular science book

I've probably listened to and rated over 15 books about evolution over the last two years, but I was always hesitant to read the granddaddy of them all. I should not have been and am glad I did for the following reasons,

1) The book reads as well as any of the good popular science books available on audible. It is written as if his attended audience is for a 13 year old. That's how good of a writer Darwin is.

2) I had obtained a google book version, but couldn't bring myself to read it, and I had obtained a free audio version floating around the net, but this audio version is professionally read and doesn't suffer at all from the narrator.

3) The book lays out a very complicated argument in 13 basically independent chapters. Each chapter by itself is enough to convince the listener of the fact of evolution by natural selection. The author is very smooth at telling you what he's going to tell you, then tell you, and then explain to you what he has just told you.

4) The book is a guidebook on how to lay out an argument and convince others to your viewpoint. He makes sure that he fairly presents criticism that could attack his theory and refutes it masterfully.

5) My favorite reason for having read this book is that my smugness index has gone up. When I come across people who haven't read the book and deny the scientific fact of evolution I can now say that I have listened to the book and smugly add statements like "even a thirteen year old can understand evolution, haven't you even read 'On the Origin of Species'".
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- Gary "l'enfer c'est les autres"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-14-2010
  • Publisher: Hudson Audio Publishing