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The Origin of Species


Charles Darwin

The Origin of Species
average rating is 3 out of 5

Non-fiction, Classics, Science

R. Alex Jenkins

This is a pretty dour read from an entertainment perspective, the exact opposite of modern and punchy writing expected these days. The way Darwin paraphrases, goes back on himself, meanders and digresses, references and dilutes, can turn your head inside out. It's not particularly fun, exciting or absorbing.

Why even bother then? Because it excels in its message and is never pretentious. It doesn't try to second guess the meaning of life, explain why we are here or try to prophesize about where we're going next. This is careful and accumulated scientific research, conjecture if you like, on how we came to be.

It doesn't try to establish or refute whether we were made by God, but leaves that open to interpretation. It doesn't step over any religious boundaries. It's very good analytical guesswork that proved to be spot on many years after publication.

Darwin, just like you and I, doesn't know where the first atom of creation came from, but establishes that we all probably came from that first form of life on the planet many millions of years ago that later split into various taxonomic kingdoms, perhaps one for plants, another for animals, with continuous splits and divisions until we get down to the lowest level, species.

This book is worth reading to understand that we're all essentially the same and indefinitely stuck with what we've got on this planet. This is not worth recommending for entertainment, but definitely revealing and eye-opening for more serious and philosophical study.

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