Synopses & Reviews
On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, is widely accepted as the seminal work in modern biology. Through careful observation, Charles Darwin explains how traits can be selected for within a population. This is easily observed in the artificial selection of farm animals, for instance. Darwin's theory caused an uproar that can still be heard today by refuting the Christian doctrine of created breeds, in which all species that exist now have always existed just as they are. It is the very publication of this work that gave Charles Darwin his place of prominence in the history of the theory of evolution, because while he was not the first to suggest such a mechanism, his book and its exhaustive studies made the information widely available. English scientist, naturalist, and geologist CHARLES DARWIN (1809-1882) revolutionized science, especially biology, with his theory of evolution through natural selection. As a passenger aboard the Beagle, Darwin became intrigued by the existence of different species in different geographical locations, which aided in the development of his theory. In addition to The Origin of Species, he is also remembered for The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwinand#8217;s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
. In his landmark study, Darwin theorized that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. These ideas flew in the face of long-held beliefs, and the book immediately became one of the most controversial scientific works in historyand#151;and it still remains so today. Now, for the first time, Darwinand#8217;s classic is fully and handsomely illustrated with more than 350 illustrations and photos, many of them in brilliant color. Reproductions from Darwinand#8217;s The Voyage of the Beagle
, his journal of the travels that led to his remarkable breakthrough, appear throughout, inviting readers to experience Darwinand#8217;s journey and toand#160;understand how he developed his theory of evolution. In addition, brief excerpts from his letters, diaries, and correspondence bring both Darwin the man and his
revolutionary discovery to life.and#160;A Main Selection of Scientific America.
Now in paperback, this richly illustrated edition of Charles Darwin's paradigm-shattering masterpiece brings Darwin's life and controversial theories into full view. Edited and with an introduction by award-winning science journalist David Quammen, it features more than 300 illustrations, including paintings, personal photographs, botanical and zoological studies, and newspaper engravings. Excerpts from Darwin's other works, especially The Voyage of the Beagle
, and facsimile pages from his letters and diaries invite readers to experience Darwin's journey and scientific breakthrough.
About the Author
David Quammen is an award-winning science, nature, and travel writer whose work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic, Outside, Harper's, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times Book Review. He wrote a column called Natural Acts” for Outside magazine for 15 years. He is the author of The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions (Scribner, 1996), Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind (W. W. Norton 2003), and The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution (W. W. Norton 2006). He is a Rhodes Scholar and has also garnered a Guggenheim Fellowship and won the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing. Quammen lives in Bozeman, Montana.