The Origin of Species by Charles DarwinDarwins theory of natural selection issued a profound challenge to orthodox thought and belief: no being or species has been specifically created; all are locked into a pitiless struggle for existence, with extinction looming for those not fitted for the task.
Yet The Origin of Species (1859) is also a humane and inspirational vision of ecological interrelatedness, revealing the complex mutual interdependencies between animal and plant life, climate and physical environment, and - by implication - within the human world.
Written for the general reader, in a style which combines the rigour of science with the subtlety of literature, The Origin of Species remains one of the founding documents of the modern age.
Mathematical Challenges to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
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On the Origin of Species or, more completely, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life ,  published on 24 November , is a work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Darwin included evidence that he had gathered on the Beagle expedition in the s and his subsequent findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation. Various evolutionary ideas had already been proposed to explain new findings in biology. There was growing support for such ideas among dissident anatomists and the general public, but during the first half of the 19th century the English scientific establishment was closely tied to the Church of England , while science was part of natural theology. Ideas about the transmutation of species were controversial as they conflicted with the beliefs that species were unchanging parts of a designed hierarchy and that humans were unique, unrelated to other animals.
When on board H. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species—that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers.
the life you are meant to live
The man who struggled with his own ideas
Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, c. Naturalist, son of a physician, and grandson of Dr. Erasmus Darwin, and of Josiah Wedgwood, the famous potter, was born and was at school at Shrewsbury. In he went to Edinburgh to study medicine, but was more taken up with marine zoology than with the regular curriculum. After two years he proceeded to Cambridge, where he graduated in , continuing, however, his independent studies in natural history.
This, certainly the most important biological book ever written, has received detailed bibliographical treatment in Morse Peckham's variorum edition, The first edition also has a full bibliographic description in H. Horblit One hundred books famous in science, , Grolier Club. Peckham considers all editions and issues published in England of which he was aware, from the first of up to the thirty-ninth thousand of His work includes consideration of paper, type and bindings, as well as giving summaries of John Murray's accounts for each printing.