On the Origin of Species

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9781841939896: On the Origin of Species

Published in 1859, On the Origin of the Species is the controversial classic that revolutionized natural science and altered our understanding of the world. Introduction: "When on board H.M.S. Beagle, as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts, as will be seen in the latter chapters of this volume, seemed to throw some light on the origin of species--that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision."

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In 1831, naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin joined the Beagle expedition to Tierra del Fuego. What he observed when he got to the new world would eventually lead him to formulate his theory of natural selection. Published in 1859, “On the Origin of the Species” is the controversial classic that revolutionized natural science and altered our understanding of the world.

About the Author:

Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 - 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist who established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.

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