I'm ashamed to admit I've yet to read Origin of Species... what is the style like? Just wondering if someone like me, who doesn't have a very strong background in biology, would be able to follow the text.
Darwin's text is written to be readable by the non-specialist, so you shouldn't run up against much in the way of technical jargon.
It's worth reading at some point. I probably need to give it another read some day. But I have too many other books to read :-)
The only question now, is which edition you should read........! The earlier editions are supposed to be better, he was tempted to water some of the stuff down in later editions.
The book I'm reading now ('Almost like a whale', I mentioned it above) is actually a 'revision' of the Origin intended to bring it up to date with 'new' (it was written in 1999 I think) discoveries. Also very readable.
It usually comes in a 2 volume set along with "The Descent of Man," and although it has been a while since I've read it you should find both books to be an interesting read. One doesn't need a strong biology background to enjoy and understand the book; however, you may find the writing style somewhat stiff and formal.
I'm reading it right now. I was a lover of the sciences - especially biology - in junior high school but didn't take any sciences in university so that might give you an idea of my level of interest/knowledge.
I'm finding Origin of the Species to be fine. It's quite plain language and not too dissimilar to current writing style. Well, not as dissimilar as I would have thought with it being written 150 years ago, anyway! :)
I'm about a third of the way through it. It's amazing what can be deduced with no knowledge of molecular genetics. As Dawkins says, Darwin had an encyclopedic knowledge of biology, but he leaves very little to assumption and always follows up concepts with several examples; it is highly referenced with real-world observation. There is a section on domestic pigeons toward the beginning that was a little difficult for me to follow, but don't let it stop you - it gets more engaging as you continue. You'll see that most creationist arguments are refuted within just this core text, including the infamous "complexity of the eye" quotemine the creationists are so fond of.
I've been reading about 10 different books at the same time, which is a summer thing for me.
A couple things I should have already read, but was too young to enjoy having forced on me: 'Ulysses,' by James Joyce; 'The Wasteland,' T. S. Eliot; 'In the Beauty of the Lilies,' John Updike.
I just finished reading 'How Stupid Are We,' by Rick Shenkman, which was brief, absorbing, and depressing. Then I read 'America Alone' by conservative blowhard Mark Steyn. Read this to be really terrified about the Muslim population explosion in Europe.
I met Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon at Princeton a few months ago, and I'm reading an anthology of his, 1968-1998; and a great book of poems called 'Still Life in Milford' by an undertaker called Thomas Lynch.
The big one that takes the most time is called 'A Short History of Nearly Everything,' by Bill Bryson. I actually learned about this book from the Atheist Forum at craigslist.com. It's a historical look at what we know, and how we know it, in just enough detail to be interesting but not overwhelming.
Hi everyone, what a great idea for a group.
Right now I'm reading Kids Who Think Outside The Box by Stephanie Learner, it's a really good book for those of us who are raising children who don't follow their conforming cohorts. There are a bunch of personal writings from successful people who are at the top of their fields and public figures who have shaped cultural consciousness. Among the contributors are Spike Lee, Sir Paul McCartney, PayPal founder Elon Musk, Oscar winning director Philippe Rousselot, and even Michael Bloomberg, plus many more.
I have all kinds of pages bookmarked to let my sons read them, there are so many inspirational stories directed at kids who don't always get a fair shake from peers.
I am currently reading "The New Kings of NonFiction" edited by Ira Glass as well as re-reading "Infinite Jest" one of my favorite books of all time. I know I have some other bookmarks hidden in the bookshelves somewhere but I can't recall... I'm getting old