Book Review / October 30, 2020
Book Review - The Origin of Species

The Origin of Species

By: Charles Darwin

Book Reivew

The Ray Comfort Edition

The edition of this book that I started reading from is the one with the "Special Introduction by Ray Comfort." I picked it up for a few cents from a sale from our local library. My first comments are relevant to this specific edition.

I was bothered by how this edition was presented. I picked it up, expecting to get the Origin of Species, which I did get - sort of. The first 53 pages are the "special introduction" by Ray Comfort and the views expressed there, I would largely agree with. The reason I picked up the book was to read what I wasn't directly familiar with - Darwin's Origin of Species itself.

This is where I am disappointed with this edition. Ray Comfort's "special introduction" is at normal type size, but Darwin's Origin of Species" text is in a much smaller font size, and not easy to read. It feels like a bait and switch and a misrepresentation. It seems that it will make people mad instead of cause them to think.

Studying the Original Sources

I am working towards actually reading classic books, like Darwin's, that I know I disagree with. I came to realize that I, along with most of us, can be intellectually anemic with how we interact with concepts. A couple years ago I was interacting on social media with a group of my peers concerning Darwin and evolution. One of them had posted some strong statements about Darwin and his views, and he was being challenged by some on a couple of his points while the rest were cheering him on. I began to wonder if he had actually read Darwin directly, or if he had read other people about Darwin. So, I private messaged him and asked him about it.

He never responded to me.

I got the silent treatment about something that is very important - reading the original sources.

Most if not all of us tend towards writing to our crowd who will cheer us on. And, it is nice to get the cheers and affirmations. I want to go a little deeper than that though. I'm not trying to claim a high ground here for the sake of praise. I want to do look at the sources themselves for true intellectual honesty. I want my faith paired up with intellectual honesty about what I speak for and against.

On The Origin of Species Itself

I consider the book itself, from where I sit in my historical context, highly anti-climactical. So much has been published on top of Darwin that the book itself is underwhelming. That, and it is also very long winded. Darwin, slowly and meticulously, presents his theory, plodding through dozens of species and sharing his observations while connecting them to his theory. The large majority of the book is on his observations, and his theory is gently woven throughout them. He does make his case, but it is easy to miss it if you are not interested in all of his observations. It would be easy for anybody to lift case-making statements out of their context and make them say more or less that what Darwin likely intended.

Book Review / Oct 30
Book Review - The Origin of Species

The Origin of Species

By: Charles Darwin

Book Reivew

The Ray Comfort Edition

The edition of this book that I started reading from is the one with the "Special Introduction by Ray Comfort." I picked it up for a few cents from a sale from our local library. My first comments are relevant to this specific edition.

I was bothered by how this edition was presented. I picked it up, expecting to get the Origin of Species, which I did get - sort of. The first 53 pages are the "special introduction" by Ray Comfort and the views expressed there, I would largely agree with. The reason I picked up the book was to read what I wasn't directly familiar with - Darwin's Origin of Species itself.

This is where I am disappointed with this edition. Ray Comfort's "special introduction" is at normal type size, but Darwin's Origin of Species" text is in a much smaller font size, and not easy to read. It feels like a bait and switch and a misrepresentation. It seems that it will make people mad instead of cause them to think.

Studying the Original Sources

I am working towards actually reading classic books, like Darwin's, that I know I disagree with. I came to realize that I, along with most of us, can be intellectually anemic with how we interact with concepts. A couple years ago I was interacting on social media with a group of my peers concerning Darwin and evolution. One of them had posted some strong statements about Darwin and his views, and he was being challenged by some on a couple of his points while the rest were cheering him on. I began to wonder if he had actually read Darwin directly, or if he had read other people about Darwin. So, I private messaged him and asked him about it.

He never responded to me.

I got the silent treatment about something that is very important - reading the original sources.

Most if not all of us tend towards writing to our crowd who will cheer us on. And, it is nice to get the cheers and affirmations. I want to go a little deeper than that though. I'm not trying to claim a high ground here for the sake of praise. I want to do look at the sources themselves for true intellectual honesty. I want my faith paired up with intellectual honesty about what I speak for and against.

On The Origin of Species Itself

I consider the book itself, from where I sit in my historical context, highly anti-climactical. So much has been published on top of Darwin that the book itself is underwhelming. That, and it is also very long winded. Darwin, slowly and meticulously, presents his theory, plodding through dozens of species and sharing his observations while connecting them to his theory. The large majority of the book is on his observations, and his theory is gently woven throughout them. He does make his case, but it is easy to miss it if you are not interested in all of his observations. It would be easy for anybody to lift case-making statements out of their context and make them say more or less that what Darwin likely intended.

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