Should I red "The Origin of the Species"?

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Artificer

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Jan 12, 2008, 11:29:10 PM1/12/08
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I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
shows, Wikipedia and this forum. Since Darwin's book is an old book
should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?

John Wilkins

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Jan 12, 2008, 11:35:03 PM1/12/08
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Artificer <eliezer...@gmail.com> wrote:

A lot has happened in the 150 or so years since Darwin formulated his
views. Instead, try this:

Zimmer, Carl. 2001. Evolution: triumph of an idea. New York:
HarperCollinsPublishers.

--
John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Philosophy
University of Queensland - Blog: scienceblogs.com/evolvingthoughts
"He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor,
bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious."

Roger Coppock

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Jan 13, 2008, 1:06:22 AM1/13/08
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"On the Origin of Species . . . "
is more than a bit dated. Darwin didn't
have many things like biochemistry and
information theory that we have today.

Try:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1405103450/ref=sib_fs_top/104-7917732-7473518?ie=UTF8&p=S00S&checkSum=WzEsPP7GqbE9ZTCoizBNn7ReFsSVdqXJK6jI77fEIeQ%3D#reader-link

Mark VandeWettering

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Jan 13, 2008, 1:31:30 AM1/13/08
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It's hard to imagine the situation in which not reading a book is a better
choice than reading one.

Mark

chris thompson

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Jan 13, 2008, 1:38:54 AM1/13/08
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If you want to understand evolution, read a General Biology textbook.
There's a lot more to evolution than anyone dreamed, when Origin of
Species was first published. On the other hand, if you are interested
in the history of the idea, read Darwin. His prose is delightful and
to the point and his descriptions of things are spot on.

Chris

Cubist

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Jan 13, 2008, 5:33:19 AM1/13/08
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ORIGIN OF SPECIES won't help much if you're interested in the
*current* understanding of evolution, since it was written, like, 15
decades ago. But if you're interested in how mainstream science came
to accept evolution in the first place -- what sort of evidence and
arguments persuaded 19th-Century scholars that evolution was valid --
you can hardly do better than read ORIGIN OF SPECIES, simply because
that's the book which *did* the persuading.
In other words: Read ORIGIN OF SPECIES for historical reasons.

Artificer

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Jan 13, 2008, 10:44:00 AM1/13/08
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On Jan 13, 6:33 am, Cubist <Xub...@gmail.com> wrote:

>    In other words: Read ORIGIN OF SPECIES for historical reasons.

Thanks I will do that!

Gordon Hudson

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Jan 13, 2008, 10:50:00 AM1/13/08
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"Artificer" <eliezer...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:8f904b81-a767-4d3e...@1g2000hsl.googlegroups.com...

>I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
> shows, Wikipedia and this forum. Since Darwin's book is an old book
> should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?
>

I would recommend "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins as it takes
account of modern thought as well as Darwin.


Rodjk #613

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Jan 13, 2008, 11:32:51 AM1/13/08
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Steve Jones' wrote "Almost like a Whale" as an update to 'Origin'.
I thought it was very readable. In the US it was known as "Darwin's
Ghost".

Rodjk #613

R. Baldwin

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Jan 13, 2008, 1:34:11 PM1/13/08
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"Mark VandeWettering" <wett...@attbi.com> wrote in message
news:slrnfojc1u.1...@fishtank.brainwagon.org...

Have you checked out the DI bookshelf?


TT

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Jan 13, 2008, 2:36:12 PM1/13/08
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On 1/13/08 1:34 PM, in article 13okmd0...@news.supernews.com, "R.
Baldwin" <res0...@nozirevBACKWARDS.net> wrote:

There are numerous books that are excellent resources...'Species' is famous
historically as well..but it is a hard read..just a fair warning...very
detailed about his experiences and written in the prose of 1850's...I read
it for the first time in college for a class report and it was challenging
but worth it...

Daniel Kolle

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Jan 13, 2008, 2:51:56 PM1/13/08
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If you want to read it for historical reasons, go ahead. But if you do
this, keep in mind it has been 150 years since Darwin published On The
Origin of Species, and much has changed since.
As for me, I have a copy of it in my library, but I have yet
to read it.
.

Friar Broccoli

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Jan 13, 2008, 2:53:50 PM1/13/08
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On Jan 12, 11:35 pm, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:

> Artificer <eliezerfigue...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
> > shows, Wikipedia and this forum. Since Darwin's book is an old book
> > should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?
>
> A lot has happened in the 150 or so years since Darwin formulated his
> views. Instead, try this:
>
> Zimmer, Carl. 2001. Evolution: triumph of an idea. New York:
> HarperCollinsPublishers.

Thanks for the recommendation.
I just ordered the 2006 revised version via Amazon

rthe...@hotmail.com

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Jan 13, 2008, 3:43:17 PM1/13/08
to

Steve Jones wrote an updated version a couple of years ago, called
_Almost like a whale_, which may be a better choice.

Roy

John Wilkins

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Jan 13, 2008, 8:06:34 PM1/13/08
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rthe...@hotmail.com <rthe...@hotmail.com> wrote:

I found Jones annoying, not least because he edited out most of the
Origin, and his prose was nothing near as good as Darwin's.

I want a properly Annotated Origin, where each claim D makes is
reassessed in the light of the past 150 years' research. For instance,
Darwin is a bit credulous when using second hand reports, and sometimes
makes inferences on bad data, particularly when it comes to inheritance.
Also each section should do a commentary on how D modified his claims
from the 1st to the 6th edition. If anyone wants to fund my life for six
years, I'll do it.

noshellswill

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Jan 13, 2008, 9:33:25 PM1/13/08
to

BigA:

You would better spend your time reading science books. Even older
stuff. Anything by Landau And Lifshitz does not waste your effort.

nss
******

Dogmantic Pyrrhonist (AKA Al)

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Jan 13, 2008, 10:58:03 PM1/13/08
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On Jan 14, 5:36 am, TT <t...@noburn.net> wrote:
> On 1/13/08 1:34 PM, in article 13okmd0mchs1...@news.supernews.com, "R.
>
>
>
> Baldwin" <res0k...@nozirevBACKWARDS.net> wrote:
> > "Mark VandeWettering" <wetter...@attbi.com> wrote in message
> >news:slrnfojc1u.1...@fishtank.brainwagon.org...

> >> On 2008-01-13, Artificer <eliezerfigue...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >>> I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
> >>> shows, Wikipedia and this forum. Since Darwin's book is an old book
> >>> should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?
>
> >> It's hard to imagine the situation in which not reading a book is a better
> >> choice than reading one.
>
> >> Mark
>
> > Have you checked out the DI bookshelf?
>
> There are numerous books that are excellent resources...'Species' is famous
> historically as well..but it is a hard read..just a fair warning...very
> detailed about his experiences and written in the prose of 1850's...I read
> it for the first time in college for a class report and it was challenging
> but worth it...

There's been plenty for and against Darwin's prose, so I thought it'd
be handy to say that some of it is hard to get through. The first few
chapters I found were very readable and flowed nicely. Once it
starts into the supporting evidence, which is necessarily long, it
starts to loose momentum. But the first bit (I can't remember if I'm
just talking the intro, or the 1st few chapters, it was a while ago)
is incredibly clear. A good example of explaining a difficult idea.

Al

Artificer

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Jan 13, 2008, 11:34:02 PM1/13/08
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On Jan 13, 9:06 pm, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:

> I want a properly Annotated Origin, where each claim D makes is
> reassessed in the light of the past 150 years' research.

I will happily buy that kind of book. Specially if it is hardcover and
contains color graphics :)


John Wilkins

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Jan 13, 2008, 11:40:34 PM1/13/08
to
Artificer <eliezer...@gmail.com> wrote:

OK. I need about $90k/a to cover my living and oncost expenses...

Dogmantic Pyrrhonist (AKA Al)

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Jan 14, 2008, 12:46:56 AM1/14/08
to
On Jan 14, 2:40 pm, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:

> Artificer <eliezerfigue...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Jan 13, 9:06 pm, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:
>
> > > I want a properly Annotated Origin, where each claim D makes is
> > > reassessed in the light of the past 150 years' research.
>
> > I will happily buy that kind of book. Specially if it is hardcover and
> > contains color graphics :)
>
> OK. I need about $90k/a to cover my living and oncost expenses...


Don't start until you've seen a publishing contract! They be very
hard to come by at times.
Esp in Australia, land of paranoid publishers and small markets.

Al

Walter Bushell

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Jan 14, 2008, 1:35:17 AM1/14/08
to
In article
<4f82a2b0-aee0-42d4...@k2g2000hse.googlegroups.com>,
Artificer <eliezer...@gmail.com> wrote:

Sort of like an "Annotated Alice" only for historical foundation of
evolution rather than 19th century mathematics?

Walter Bushell

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Jan 14, 2008, 1:37:40 AM1/14/08
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In article <1iapnd2.187sl2q1tqlq0gN%j.wil...@uq.edu.au>,
j.wil...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:

> Artificer <eliezer...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jan 13, 9:06 pm, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:
> >
> > > I want a properly Annotated Origin, where each claim D makes is
> > > reassessed in the light of the past 150 years' research.
> >
> > I will happily buy that kind of book. Specially if it is hardcover and
> > contains color graphics :)
>
> OK. I need about $90k/a to cover my living and oncost expenses...

I think you could interest a publisher, who exist to fund projects like
that. How many years do you expect to take? It would sell to a lot of
people, methinks.

Bodega

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Jan 14, 2008, 2:39:41 AM1/14/08
to
> You would better spend your time reading science books. Even older
> stuff. Anything by Landau And Lifshitz does not waste your effort.
>
I presume a word was inadvertently left out there. "Origin of Species"
is a science book.

J. J. Lodder

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Jan 14, 2008, 5:33:42 AM1/14/08
to
Artificer <eliezer...@gmail.com> wrote:

Depends on what you want.
The Origin is still a quite readble book,
and it gives a good idea of how Darwin argued it.
(in beautiful, well written 19th century English)

If you want evolution as understood now:
get any textbook at a level appropriate for you,

Jan

Robert Carnegie

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Jan 14, 2008, 7:10:48 AM1/14/08
to
On 13 Jan, 06:31, Mark VandeWettering <wetter...@attbi.com> wrote:

> On 2008-01-13, Artificer <eliezerfigue...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
> > shows, Wikipedia and this forum.  Since Darwin's book is an old book
> > should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?
>
> It's hard to imagine the situation in which not reading a book is a better
> choice than reading one.

If you only have one or two books and they are lousy. If the book has
been loaded with poison, or rigged so that once you are reading, if
you stop it explodes... There are books that you have not read, does
that make you anxious? Or did what I just wrote, make you anxious...

John McKendry

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Jan 14, 2008, 8:50:18 AM1/14/08
to
On Mon, 14 Jan 2008 11:06:34 +1000, John Wilkins wrote:

> rthe...@hotmail.com <rthe...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On 13 Jan, 04:29, Artificer <eliezerfigue...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
>> > shows, Wikipedia and this forum. Since Darwin's book is an old book
>> > should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?
>>
>> Steve Jones wrote an updated version a couple of years ago, called
>> _Almost like a whale_, which may be a better choice.
>>
> I found Jones annoying, not least because he edited out most of the
> Origin, and his prose was nothing near as good as Darwin's.
>
> I want a properly Annotated Origin, where each claim D makes is
> reassessed in the light of the past 150 years' research. For instance,
> Darwin is a bit credulous when using second hand reports, and sometimes
> makes inferences on bad data, particularly when it comes to inheritance.
> Also each section should do a commentary on how D modified his claims
> from the 1st to the 6th edition. If anyone wants to fund my life for six
> years, I'll do it.

Hey, I've had that idea, too. Not the "I could do it" part, but the
"somebody should" part. Unfortunately the MacArthur Foundation does
not accept unsolicited nominations and you have to be a US resident
to receive one of their Fellowships. Maybe some kind of group
subsidy? Like a hundred public-spirited types pledging $75/month
on their credit cards. For six years. Didn't they used to finance
books that way?

John

slothrop

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Jan 14, 2008, 10:08:47 AM1/14/08
to
> John- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


I'd be into that!


slothrop


Puppet_Sock

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Jan 14, 2008, 1:37:18 PM1/14/08
to
On Jan 12, 11:29 pm, Artificer <eliezerfigue...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
> shows, Wikipedia and this forum.  Since Darwin's book is an old book
> should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?

You should read it. *And* you should read more recent books.

Any technical topic requires a broad study if you expect to
have any real understanding. Biology in general and evolution
in particular are complicated subjects with many details.
If you want to "get it" you need to read several books.

You could do worse than picking up some of Gould's books,
and some of Dawkins's books. You could even do worse than
picking up Asimov's _Wellspring of Life_, though keeping in
mind that it is pretty old also. At the very least, you should
get some enjoyment out of them. And if your cash supply
does not stretch, most of them are available at the library.

When I was in undergrad, I walked past the university book
store every day. And they had a sign in the window over
their display of "latest books." The sign said: The Library
of Every Civilized Person. Educated people keep reading.
For depth and understanding. For exercise of the mind.
For enjoyment.
Socks

jcon

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Jan 14, 2008, 5:28:30 PM1/14/08
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On Jan 13, 12:31 am, Mark VandeWettering <wetter...@attbi.com> wrote:

There are only so many hours in a day, and if your goal is
to learn a subject rather than satisfy a historical interest, reading
original literature is often not the best use of time.

I would never advise someone to read Newton's Principia to
learn mechanics, for example, nor Maxwell's original
papers to learn E&M.

-jc

Steven L.

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Jan 14, 2008, 6:54:19 PM1/14/08
to
Mark VandeWettering wrote:

> On 2008-01-13, Artificer <eliezer...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
>> shows, Wikipedia and this forum. Since Darwin's book is an old book
>> should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?
>
> It's hard to imagine the situation in which not reading a book is a better
> choice than reading one.

He didn't offer that as a choice.
He asked whether it was better to read that book or some other book. So
if he reads the Darwin book, then some other, perhaps more relevant or
superior book, might go unread.

Unless he reads every book on evolution that has ever been published.


--
Steven L.
Email: sdli...@earthlinkNOSPAM.net
Remove the NOSPAM before replying to me.

Message has been deleted

Emma Pease

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Jan 15, 2008, 3:43:30 PM1/15/08
to
In article <478bfcd9$0$85785$e4fe...@news.xs4all.nl>, nmp wrote:

> jcon wrote:
>
>
>> There are only so many hours in a day, and if your goal is to learn a
>> subject rather than satisfy a historical interest, reading original
>> literature is often not the best use of time.
>>
>> I would never advise someone to read Newton's Principia to learn
>> mechanics, for example, nor Maxwell's original papers to learn E&M.
>
> Some people read just because they like reading. One could do worse than
> Darwin in that case.

Depending on what one hopes to accomplish

For a feel of Darwin as a writer, reading his "The Voyage of the
Beagle" may be a good choice (it was a popular seller in its day).
You can read it online at
http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/charles_darwin/voyage_of_beagle/

For modern biological science some other far more recent book

For a historical appreciation of what Origin of Species did, read the
original (and some of the reactions).

--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht

noshellswill

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Jan 15, 2008, 9:14:52 PM1/15/08
to

BigB:

That's right, I omitted no word. Bio-evol having NO dynamic, and a
multitude of (contradictory) objects of that lacking dynamic is no
real science. That's why it's called NATURAL HISTORY. Or as I like
to humorously relate ...'... two nekked naturalists walking
hand-in-hand through green meadows ...' . Nothing useful can be done
with it.
Of-course the interested "life-science" student may always study biochem,
microbiology, anatomy or molecular biology. Lots of real science there and
a possibility of generating fundamental insights into lifes' developmental
process.

For any of those disciplines a student would be well advised to keep one
L&L copy at his workbench/computer, another beside his bed. Darwin ... if
you must, store him by-the-crapper with Freud and Marx for light
distraction during necessary moments.....

nss
******

wf3h

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Jan 15, 2008, 9:22:04 PM1/15/08
to
On Jan 15, 9:14 pm, noshellswill <noshellsw...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
> That's right, I omitted no word. Bio-evol having NO dynamic, and a
> multitude of (contradictory) objects of that lacking dynamic is no
> real science.

since the term 'dynamic' has no scientific meaning, noshell is pissing
in the wind....


>
> For any of those disciplines a student would be well advised to keep one
> L&L copy at his workbench/computer, another beside his bed. Darwin ... if
> you must, store him by-the-crapper with Freud and Marx for light
> distraction during necessary moments.....
>

you wanna worthless book? 2 of them are very popular at the moment:
the holy bible and the quran...

Bob Casanova

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Jan 16, 2008, 6:13:41 PM1/16/08
to
On Tue, 15 Jan 2008 18:22:04 -0800 (PST), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by wf3h
<wf...@vsswireless.net>:

>On Jan 15, 9:14 pm, noshellswill <noshellsw...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>> That's right, I omitted no word. Bio-evol having NO dynamic, and a
>> multitude of (contradictory) objects of that lacking dynamic is no
>> real science.
>
>since the term 'dynamic' has no scientific meaning, noshell is pissing
>in the wind....

True, but why not call him by his last name, "Mr. Swill"?

>> For any of those disciplines a student would be well advised to keep one
>> L&L copy at his workbench/computer, another beside his bed. Darwin ... if
>> you must, store him by-the-crapper with Freud and Marx for light
>> distraction during necessary moments.....

You (Mr. Swill) seem to have most of your "necessary
moments" through your keyboard.

>you wanna worthless book? 2 of them are very popular at the moment:
>the holy bible and the quran...

--

Bob C.

"Evidence confirming an observation is
evidence that the observation is wrong."
- McNameless

Dan Drake

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Jan 16, 2008, 9:17:13 PM1/16/08
to
On Mon, 14 Jan 2008 15:08:47 UTC, slothrop <slothr...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

> On Jan 14, 7:50ĸam, John McKendry <jlastn...@comcast.dot.net> wrote:
> > On Mon, 14 Jan 2008 11:06:34 +1000, John Wilkins wrote:
> > > rthea...@hotmail.com <rthea...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > >> On 13 Jan, 04:29, Artificer <eliezerfigue...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >> > I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental

> > >> > shows, Wikipedia and this forum. ĸSince Darwin's book is an old book


> > >> > should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?
> >
> > >> Steve Jones wrote an updated version a couple of years ago, called
> > >> _Almost like a whale_, which may be a better choice.
> >
> > > I found Jones annoying, not least because he edited out most of the
> > > Origin, and his prose was nothing near as good as Darwin's.
> >
> > > I want a properly Annotated Origin, where each claim D makes is
> > > reassessed in the light of the past 150 years' research. For instance,
> > > Darwin is a bit credulous when using second hand reports, and sometimes
> > > makes inferences on bad data, particularly when it comes to inheritance.
> > > Also each section should do a commentary on how D modified his claims
> > > from the 1st to the 6th edition. If anyone wants to fund my life for six
> > > years, I'll do it.
> >

> > ĸHey, I've had that idea, too. Not the "I could do it" part, but the


> > "somebody should" part. Unfortunately the MacArthur Foundation does
> > not accept unsolicited nominations and you have to be a US resident
> > to receive one of their Fellowships. Maybe some kind of group
> > subsidy? Like a hundred public-spirited types pledging $75/month
> > on their credit cards. For six years. Didn't they used to finance
> > books that way?
> >
> > John- Hide quoted text -
> >
> > - Show quoted text -
>
>
> I'd be into that!
>
>
> slothrop
>

Let me know when subscriptions are being taken.

--
Dan Drake
d...@dandrake.com
http://www.dandrake.com/
porlockjr.blogspot.com

John Wilkins

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Jan 16, 2008, 11:52:02 PM1/16/08
to
Dan Drake <d...@dandrake.com> wrote:

I have set the wheels in, well, sort of grinding motion. If anything
comes of it, I'll certainly let you all know.

UC

unread,
Jan 15, 2008, 10:04:04 PM1/15/08
to
On Jan 12, 11:29 pm, Artificer <eliezerfigue...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I have a basic knowledge of evolution. This comes from documental
> shows, Wikipedia and this forum. Since Darwin's book is an old book

> should I read it or is better if I choose newer books?

Depends on the reasons for reading it.

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