The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection

  • by Charles Darwin
  • Narrated by Robin Field
  • 23 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 and was soon used to justify the philosophies of communists, socialists, capitalists, and even Germany’s National Socialists. But the most quoted response came from Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin’s friend and also a renowned naturalist, who exclaimed, “How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!"

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What the Critics Say

“One of the most important contributions ever made to philosophic science.” (The New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Best way to read the classic!

THE biology book, essential reading -but a but tedious. Having it read to me was perfect. The sound and extensive reasoning by Darwin really came to life.

The work is not only interesting for people interested in biology or evolution theory.

The way Darwin addresses objections that can (and still are) be raised, the way he points out difficulties and weak points in his theory and discusses those are an example of the way scientist ought to explain and defend their theories.
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- Riegholt

For aficionados only.

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.
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- Aryaman Shalizi

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-10-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.