Read Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated by Steve Jones Online


Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species is probably the best-known, least-read book. One of the most important achievements of the past millennium, it did for biology what Galileo did for astronomy: made it into a single science rather than a collection of unrelated facts. Important though Origin remains, its examples and intricate Victorian prose are now a century and a haCharles Darwin's The Origin of Species is probably the best-known, least-read book. One of the most important achievements of the past millennium, it did for biology what Galileo did for astronomy: made it into a single science rather than a collection of unrelated facts. Important though Origin remains, its examples and intricate Victorian prose are now a century and a half old. They are ripe for renewal and reaffirmation. Writing as "Darwin's ghost," eminent geneticist Steve Jones updates this seminal work—and restates evolution's case for the 21st century.Jones is a writer of engaging wit and dazzling erudition and has been called "the British Carl Sagan." Using modern examples—the AIDS virus, the puzzles of sexual selection, the physiology and psychology of pets, and the unparalleled genetic success of our own species—he shows the power and immediacy of Darwin's great argument and makes us appreciate how it makes life make sense. Eye-opening and entertaining, filled with astonishing facts, amusing anecdotes, and the very latest research, Darwin's Ghost is contemporary science writing at its very best....

Title : Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345422774
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated Reviews

  • Nikki
    2018-12-19 18:27

    I really like the idea of Darwin's Ghost, taking and updating Darwin's groundbreaking research, and often showing how relevant it still is, how little of it has actually been disproved. Often people who criticise Darwin haven't actually read On the Origin of Species, and so they have an inaccurate understanding of what he actually said. Steve Jones goes through all of this in quite a lot of detail, giving modern examples and correcting things where Darwin didn't quite get it right.That thoroughness does make the book pretty hard going, though. The topic doesn't have to be -- I've read another explanation of the early transmission and spread of HIV, for example, which wasn't boring at all (though it had other faults) -- but Jones' writing ends up feeling rather stodgy. I'm completely fascinated by the subject, and reasonably knowledgeable about it, so if I thought that... I don't know what other readers would make of it.The main effect seems to have been to make me really want to read On the Origin of Species; I'm told that Darwin's prose is quite readable and even interesting, and comparing it to the view of it I got from this book will be interesting.

  • Katie
    2019-01-06 02:28

    Such an interesting premise, to take the Origin of Species and update it chapter by chapter with what we know now about evolution. I found Jones' prose a bit awkward, though, and really, really wanted at least some line drawings to further illustrate some of the examples he used (e.g., the land-based predecessor of the whale) -- I was headed to the web quite often to try to picture what he was describing. He gave so many great examples and a good tour through the themes, but I had a tough time with the writing style. I loved having Darwin's conclusions at the end, and really did understand them better having been through the rest of the book.A few favorite lines:"[T]he new insight that biology gives into our history releases us from the narcissism of a creature that is one of a kind. It shows that humans are part of creation, because we evolved."And from Darwin himself:"There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."and "To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings... they seem to me to become ennobled."

  • Meirav Rath
    2018-12-25 18:17

    Damn wonderful book, honestly. I started reading it a little before the strike ended and was immediately glad for the little treasure box ofchances to refresh last year's ecology and taxonomy material. You'll find everything in Jones' book; ecology, evolution, genetics, microbiology, bacteriology, history, poetry, logic. Jones' style is wonderfully readable and elegantly addictive but most of all, it's simple and informative with a healthy dash of good, sharp humor. With very, very little mindless judgment to anyone (not even the 'monster' of creationism as so many american scientists are rediculously buzzing about) every argument for and against evolution is well represented, dealt with and explained in deep but not boring details. There wasnt a dull moment in this book and it managed to keep my attention without lapsing into petty anecdotes or meaningless detail scattering. A great, highly recommended book alltogether.

  • Wanda Brenni
    2019-01-12 20:09

    I found this a fascinating book that took my mind to whole new realms. More than anything, it was the concept of time. I still can't grasp the evoluntary calendar with those beginning that made us: a 100 million years ago (the Archaeopteryx) and then that birds came from the family of dinosaurs to more or less their present state 65 million years ago and that: "Some of the first evidence of our own ancestors is a line of two million year old footprints left as two upright primates strolled across an Alrican plain coasted with soft volcanic dust, topped, and looked to the East." Or that: "the emperor of the eye is much the same in mannals and insects, although these groups shared an ancester a billion years ago."

  • Erin Pickett
    2018-12-26 21:26

    a fantastic way to take the fog out of reading about and understanding Darwin's theories of evolution. a modern take on brilliant (and proven) concepts, using parallels that you can visualize and absorb.

  • J.
    2019-01-01 01:12

    A tremendous slog. The prose is mind numbing. Writing like this us why people won't read scientific books. Somebody needs to slap the editors for not clarifying the text.

  • SJ Loria
    2019-01-09 23:31

    How quickly science evolves. This book was first published in 1999 so I'm reading it 16 years later. It's an update on Darwin's Origin of Species, and what's interesting is that the author follow's Darwin's organizational structure and divides each chapter into the first section, a modern update, and the second, excerpts from the original chapter. It's interesting to see Darwin's writing style, because, let's admit it, very few of us are actually going to sit down and read Origin of Species today. I've labored through sections, and long story short, people don't write like that anymore. There are different medias that allow you to make your point, the monopoly of the written word has passed, and we seem to place an emphasis on briefly making your point (160 characters or less) and exchanging ideas in rapid fire. In Darwin's time, it was different. There was more of an emphasis on writing through responses to any imaginable objection to your main point. If you made a point, you were expected to devote the next several pages to defending that point before moving to the next. Literature from his era reflects the same kind of writing. Enough about the evolution of writing. Is this book worth reading? You will learn a lot about evolution and animals. That's fun. But if you're in the market for that kind of book I happen to find Evolution, Triumph of an Idea by Zimmer to be a much more interesting introduction to the idea of evolution than this book. There may be some bias since I read the book first, but Triumph is more up to date and I think has a more engaging writing style. That being said, there is still plenty of learning you can soak up from this book. Since I've rambled enough I'm going to just make a list of cool facts from this book: AIDS - AIDS is an example of evolution in hyper speed. Testicles are "convenient bags" but not all mammals take advantage of the approach. Whales and hippos have testicles inside their bodies. The amount of ejaculate produced is related to how familiar you are with a partner. Naked mole rats have a crazy, stress filled colony structure due to bullying of males. They are bullied so much by mature males and females that they do not reach puberty, and these "eunuch" males do all the busy work in the colony. They also resemble the human male sexual organ, according to some (disclaimer, the author of this book sticks to the science, not the speculative asethetics, of the naked mole rat). The amount of gravity in the atmosphere influences the size of animals on earth. More oxygen to burn, bigger animals (like dinosaurs). Cooperation and social group size influenced our evolution and the size of our brains. Superior genes can get quashed by environment, a beneficial environment can buoey crap genes. It's not really nature vs. nurture, and nature + nurture. Quotes If two individuals - viruses or whales - can blend their genes to make young with elements from each, they belong to the same species. If they cannot, they are distinct. Whales are hippos may not resemble each other nowadays, but retain some hints of kinship...both are hairless, neither can sweat and their males each keep their testicles inside the body rather than in a convenient bag. 25 Animals, as they become domestic, enter an uncertain domain between the real and the artificial....In the Middle Ages pigs were tried and hanged for murder, and only forty years ago a female rhinoceros was elected, by a large majority, to the Sao Paulo City Council. In an equivalent confusion today, a third of all dog owners are happy to identify their pet as closer to their heart than is anyone else in their household. 28 Darwin noted with disapproval how the people of Tierra del Fuego would devour their old women rather than their dogs in times of shortage. 34 Elephant keepers have the most dangerous job of all - more so than the police, with one keeper in six hundred killed each year. 49 It pays a male [mammal] who mates with a female for the first time to make a lot of sperm to flood out an earlier donation. As a result, ejaculates with a new partner are several times larger than those produced for a familiar mate. 103 Evolution often faces the mountaineer's dilemma. Few peaks are a straight slog upwards to the summit. Instead, a climber has to lose some of his hard-won gains by crossing a valley before he can reach the next high point. 159 For most of the time, natural selection must act as a policeman rather than as an architect. 177 Evolution favors teamwork, not through goodwill but because of increased efficiency in multiplying DNA. 207 [Naked Mole Rats] In spite of the dangers of childbirth, the queen (and her favored males) live for many years. So do the workers, if they are kept alone, in a zoo. In the colony, most die young. Their lives are full of stress - not just because of the snakes and the digging, but because they are bullied by the queen and her partners. So intense is the social pressure that the hormones needed for sexual development are shut down. An animal removed from the community at once becomes mature, with a puberty that lasts a week. 212 Five hundred million years ago the air had twenty times as much carbon dioxide as it contains now. This led to a natural 'greenhouse effect' which was reversed two hundred million years later when the level of the gas dropped. Oxygen, too, has swung between extremes. Twice as much of the gas as today allowed the growth of enormous plants, of spiders the size of a book, and of scorpions a foot long. A later bust led to the development of aerial reptiles such as Quetzalcoatuls, with wings forty feet across. Oxygen's abundance allowed many animals to burn energy at a rate great enough to persuade them into the air. In today's attenuated atmosphere, nothing so large could carry the burden of gravity. 306 The world is divided by politics, but it is united by genes; and our variation under nature is more confined than that of any comparable creature. 414 Social life, too, needs gray matter to tell who is who and how to treat the neighbors. Comparative anatomy hints at the past. The bigger the group, the more complex the society. The size of the brain fits that of the community, with a relationship much better than anything to do with what a particular species eats. Society, not shopping, swelled our heads. 422

  • Monthly Book Group
    2018-12-30 19:28

    This is an updating of the "The Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin published in 1859. The book has a particularly gripping beginning in its sections on the AIDS virus, and on the domestication of animals. The most moving section was that in which he examined how the relics of different species vanish over time, just as the relics of the First World War were already disappearing. This brought into perspective the insignificance of human life “sub specie aeternitatis”.However, the structure of the book was disappointing. There were lots of holes, and great leaps between subjects. Although it started strongly, it soon became disjointed. The details were indeed striking, but were often not related to the conclusions. The book lacked the rigour of the scientific approach. We noted with amusement one reviewer’s conclusion that, of the books that rewrote great books, this was the best – surely damning it with faint praise given the paucity of books in that category. Some wondered if following Darwin’s original had acted as a straitjacket, which explained some of the structural weaknesses, given the difference of contemporary interests and issues from the nineteenth century. On the other hand, it was clear from the muddled and repetitive introduction that Jones could not write in a logical sequence. Perhaps it was his awareness of this weakness that had attracted him to following a predetermined structure. But, while Jones seemed incapable of developing an argument, the sections of the original quoted showed that Darwin was much more effective.The author’s smart, glib persona was all-pervasive, and – suitable as it might be for television - was not attractive in this context. The egotism displayed in the introduction - "To rewrite 'The Origin of the Species' is more than most biologists would dare" - hit the wrong note right at the outset. There was a lot of flag-waving in the book, and enjoying showing how clever he was. Jones was famous a populariser of science, but he seemed to be an attention-seeker, a showman...This is an extract from a review at Our reviews are also to be found at

  • David
    2018-12-18 23:35

    In this book, the author (Steve Jones, a leading evolutionary biologist) attempts a re-do of Drawin's Origin of the Species, featuring, in the place of Darwin's material, a summary of some of the more recent evidence of evolutionary biology.Some of this is very interesting. My favorite is the material on the HIV virus in the Introduction. Jones explains in fascinating detail how HIV has morphed into several different branches, now known as HIV 1-A, 1-B, 1-C 1-D, 1-D, and HIV-2 (with several branches of HIV-2 as well). The HIV-1 strains appear most often in European and other first-world homosexuals; the HIV-2 strains appear most often in African heterosexuals. Several promising antiviral treatments have foundered on the deft ability of the virus to quickly morph into another variant form that is largely resistant to the earlier treatment. Also compounding the medical challenges is the indisputable fact that HIV evolves within a single host, so that medications that initially are effective later are ineffective.In other chapters, Jones gives a survey of many other recent discoveries, ranging from the Antarctic perch whose stomach enzymes have evolved into a blood antifreeze, to the evolution of the eye, which has independently evolved roughly 50 times, as evidenced by the fact that humans and many other mammals have a blind spot, where nerves merge before heading to the rear of the eye, and yet other animals have a much better design that avoids the blind spot.If the book has a weakness, is that the author's attempt to include so many details becomes a bit tedious. It's too bad that it doesn't conclude with the same fascination as it begins with.

  • Septia Kholimatussa'diah
    2018-12-31 00:17

    The Origin of Species (TOoS) karya Darwin mungkin salah satu buku legendaris yang "paling kontroversial, paling dikomentari, namun sekaligus paling sedikit dibaca" (ini saya yang menobatkan sih). Buku ini, dari judulnya saja, "Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species UPDATED" seharusnya saya sudah bisa menebak (bahwa buku ini) adalah "perpanjangan modern" (nggak tau deh istilah ini tepat atau nggak) dari The Origin of Species-nya Darwin yang asli. Ide ditulisnya buku ini bagus, menulis ulang ToOs Darwin dengan penambahan contoh-contoh yang lebih modern dan masa kini, seperti evolusi virus HIV misalnya. Tapi...berhubung saya sudah dua atau tiga kali menamatkan TOoS yg asli, membaca buku ini jadi terasa agak membosankan :(Bahasanya nyantai sekali, yang sebenarnya bagus sih, untuk buku-buku sains yang bisa mengemas tema-tema sulit nan berat menjadi bahasa yang mudah dipahami, tapi sepertinya ekspektasi saya yang terlalu tinggi, haha. Saya berharap mendapatkan sesuatu yang lain dan sama sekali baru dari buku ini - yang memang saya dapatkan, namun tidak seberapa, karena itulah saya kecewa. Awalnya mau ngasih bintang dua, tapi, berhubung isinya lumayan kaya jadi bintang tiga deh.Mungkin buku ini akan lebih saya rekomendasikan bagi mereka yang belum pernah membaca The Origin of Species yang asli (namun sok-sok-an keukeuh kalo Darwin bilang manusia berevolusi dari kera). Bahasanya ringan, bisa dibaca sambil tidur-tiduran atau piknik di pantai, tanpa mengurangi pesan utama Darwin menyoal "menurun dengan modifikasi".

  • Travelin
    2019-01-01 22:34

    I have long notes filled with disgust for this book. But Steve Jones, a Welshman, seems to have interlided (this is not a word, but I think it should be) any long-lasting science with aphorisms and mock-pessimism.To be brief, Darwin seems to have oversimplified and missed a great deal. That's partly because he was writing before (modern) genetics. Even though Steve Jones is/was a professor of genetics, my edition of Almost Like a Whale is already outdated, having been written before the Human Genome was completely sequenced and, apparently, before epigenetics was better understood. Thus, for example, a bird made extinct by its proximity to Cape Canavaral is described as having the exact same DNA as another species (the word "species" itself seems to be a bit of a mystery to both Darwin and Jones), the same DNA despite the fact that the birds had different physical features. The DNA sequence of both birds had been completed before the Human Genome? Really? And will the theories of adaptation or species be the same if epigenetics is necessary to explain real change?Most importantly, Mr. Jones says more or less outright that Darwin's science is out-of-date, but that Darwin's moral position, a sort of invisible hand of reproduction (ahem), based on Malthus but never applied to people in his "Origin of Species", is still grim, inevitable gospel.

  • Neil Cake
    2019-01-04 19:20

    Evolution, says author Steve Jones at the beginning of his further reading section, attracts the best science writers. I hope he's not including himself in that pantheon because his writing in this update of, and expansion on Darwin's "Origin of Species" is devoid of enthusiasm and almost entirely lacking in humour. I'm not saying it isn't well researched, or informative, or well reasoned, or even exhaustive in its coverage of the subject... but it's a real slog. Yeah, yeah, I get that it's science writing, but this ain't no textbook. And evolution is a fascinating subject. Somehow in this book, Jones has contrived to produce something far less than fascinating. It goes on and on and on, labouring each point to the extreme, such that my attention soon started to wane, and I'd find I was missing an important connection somewhere.So I'm probably being a bit harsh, giving this two stars, because I can't fault its factual content, just the writing itself. I appreciate this is a big subject that's tough to tackle, but I felt it could have been done much better, and in the end I couldn't wait to finish it.

  • Reds_reads
    2019-01-13 20:23

    This book aims to update Darwin's original and follows the same format - it uses the original chapter titles and structures and Darwin's final summary. The interest for me lay in the details - how evolution created or destroyed particular species or structures or details of the fossil record, rather than the explanation of the theory itself (probably as it is not new to me). This is the area in which this book cannot hope to compete with the original - the ideas are no longer new to readers and lack impact.On the plus side, it explained very well what the state of scientific knowledge was in Darwin's time and so underlined how incredible it was that Darwin was able to create his theory and that subsequent discoveries have not weakened, but rather strengthened, the case for the theory.On the negative side, there were a few occasions where the prose seemed less clear than it should and also times where creationists were accused of lazy thinking only to be followed by a lazy statement of his own.

  • Tina Ambury
    2019-01-16 18:23

    I have read the original Origin, The Beagle and The Descent of Man, plus a number of Darwin biographies as Darwin is my all time scientific hero. This book was on my wishlist for Christmas 2014. It sat on my shelf almost a year before I made a determined effort to read it and yet has still taken me 6 months to read. I've read 16 other books so far this year, including Milton's Paradise Lost, in itself a difficult read. Why?The subject matter is fascinating and the early sections citing HIV as a microcosm of evolution particularly interesting, especially as my Black Swan version was published in 2001. The juxtaposition of what Darwin postulated and what we then (1999) knew is a thought provoking tool.Sadly, as another review said, the writing is difficult to stay with and, whilst there are many striking observations throughout, these are interspersed between larger dull blocks of prose.I am glad I read it and wouldn't dissuade other readers but, be warned, it will at times be a hard slog.

  • PaperTigerMaddy
    2019-01-03 18:20

    Officially the most pretentious book I have ever tried to read in my life. Assuming it's been done with sincerity, I can only surmise that the author's head was so far up his butt at the time that he was watching his own RNA evolving as he wrote this. Many times the reader is treated not to explanation, but to dogmatic and strident statements proclaiming 'Darwin's unassailable rightness'; clearly, he's so amazingly Right about everything that he doesn't need to be explained in plain sentence structure to us lesser mortals.I love science. I love blodge. What do not like is elitist, overly written and convoluted crap. It barely seems credible to suggest, but in Steve Jones the gods may have raised a biologist who writes with such smug self-satisfaction that some day he may even grow to challenge our dear old chum, that king of over-inflated buttheads, Richard Dawkins himself. DNF about 50 pages in, somewhere after the point that the author was extolling about why Moby Dick has HIV. (Comedic license, please.)

  • Aurélien Thomas
    2018-12-26 02:34

    Walking in another author's footsteps is a very shaky approach and, as much as I wanted to like this book I ended up being very disappointed. First, using the structure and even whole extracts of Darwin's book mixed with his own words, Steve Jones leaves us with the unpleasant feeling of reading here a poor cut-and-paste between two authors having completely different style of writing. Such lack of balance is a killer for the coherence of the whole -try to imagine Darwin struggling to explain his theory to you while, Steve Jones is constantly cutting him! It is, above all, a real pain to go through as Steve Jones, unfortunataly is quite a bad writer. He's not engaging. I found him dry at times and, worst for a book that could serve as an introduction to such a topic he is very confusing. Besides, is the added chapter about human evolution (Darwin didn't deal with the subject in 'The Origin of Species') really necessary?Sadly then, as far as I am concerned Jones lost his gamble.

  • Rachel
    2019-01-18 00:18

    This was a difficult read, hard going at times, but at other times it was insightful and fascinating. The book is a re-write of the Origin of Species, and I think sometimes Steve Jones writes as though he too is a Victorian Scientist. This is supposed to be suitable for the general public yet his language is often waffly and drawn out, making sentences far longer than they need to be. If I hadn't read his other book (In the Blood) I would have thought this was the way Steve Jones writes, but it isn't. The fact that he has though I think spoiled this book, the message was sometimes lost with the hundreds of examples and sometimes confused by the repetition between chapters. Overall though I'm glad I perservered with the book and finally got it finished.

  • Jack Dixon
    2019-01-05 19:34

    Darwin's Ghost was Darwin's own book updated with new findings and proof of the findings. Evolution is one of many of Darwin's theories, and through his bookOrigin Of Species , Darwin explained evolution and our journey from single cell organisms, to apes, and finally to the humans we our today. In the updated version,Darwin's Ghost , Steve Jones explains the different stages of evolution and counter theories, as well as the evolution of the theory, on the theory of evolution. He has also covered the progress of what we've learned from it as well as what the author has learned. Overall this is a great informational book and will probably use its information for next trimester's bio class.

  • Ram Vasudeva
    2018-12-28 01:11

    This book provides an exception account of the natural world. Like Darwin's original account, this is written is brilliant clarity. It is an important text for evolutionary biology students as well as anyone who is interested to hear Prof. Jones's account. The book follows the original scheme that Darwin had set in the Origin. You can feel the raw power of natural selection within these pages and I could not keep it down until forced to do so. Yet there is so much to be known in the natural world which is truly exciting when combined with what is already known. Prof. Jones sets the scene very well. A truly gripping read and Highly recommended read.

  • Heather Browning
    2018-12-29 02:18

    This was an extremely thorough reworking of the Origin of Species for a modern audience, compiling new evidence to support Darwin's original claims. Although I appreciate what was attempted here, and the amount of material brought together was amazing, overall I found it almost overwhelming, so dense with detail. Also, as someone quite familiar with evolutionary biology, I didn't find anything really new or surprising here. I would recommend it for someone with an interest in evolution who perhaps hasn't had much exposure to this sort of material in the past. I think it would be perfect for students approaching these topics for the first time.

  • Ashley
    2018-12-24 21:18

    #NCOwn in hardback.FS: "Two of the worst of all lines of English poetry, written in 1799 by John Hookham Frere: The feather'd race with pinions skim the air - Not so the mackerel, and still less the bear!"LS: "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law or gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being involved."

  • Gordon Gatiss
    2019-01-05 18:11

    The author attempts to re-write the original Darwin book in his own words. It is a brave narrative. I enjoyed much of the book as I find the whole subject of evolution amazing. Jones’s style of writing is good in the sense that he explains things well, however his writing did not excite me, and I found the book a challenge to finish. Overall, a reasonable book to read if you have not read Darwin, or understood the evolutionary journey. In my view a solid book that explains all the stops on the way.

  • Pancha
    2019-01-04 21:21

    As the subtitle states, this is an update of Darwin's classic book on evolution. Jones follows the chapter structure of Origins, and often includes Darwin's orignal chapter summations. Overall, very interesting to see how far science has come, where it hasn't advanced much at all, what Darwin predicted correctly, and where his imagination failed. A solid read for those interested in evolutionary science, but possibly not the most engaging read to those whose interest is of a more passing nature.

  • Mag
    2018-12-20 20:33

    A look at The Origin of Speciesfrom the vantage point of modern science. Lots of interesting facts, even if some, but not many, slightly dated already- the book was published 10 years ago. All in all, a huge affirmation of Darwin’s work and his achievements.One complaint. Even though the book is interesting, the style is sometimes convoluted. It doesn’t have the organization, clarity and reading ease of Dawkins’ books. 3.5/5

  • Sarah
    2019-01-12 02:34

    Enjoyed this book, even if it is from 2000. Still relevant, and not a problem if you've kept up with more recent developments and know what is no longer true. Admittedly, I was having problems at the start of the book; I found the style of writing hard and it seemed like this was going to be a very boring book. But it livened up and I enjoyed the strange bits of trivia that were put n. I had no idea that Apollo Smintheus was the god of mice, but i do now!

  • Alexandra Barron
    2019-01-17 00:23

    Great book. An updated version of the Origin of Species based on new science (sort of, the book is a little old now). Jones treats this work with reverence and respect, and does Darwin justice. He keeps that same direct, matter of fact, style of writing that makes the Origin of Species such a striking work of scientific literature. He uses modern examples of research and new scientific knowledge to support and flesh out Darwin's original statements and ideas, from HIV to moths to genetics.

  • Betty
    2018-12-22 18:16

    I "read" this on audiobook -- I'm not sure I'd have had the patience to get all the way through it if I'd read it on paper. However, I was surprised to learn how long the idea of evolution, in some form or another, had been around before Darwin and how many permutations it had gone through. An interesting book, but you have to be ready for a lot of detail!

  • Feisty Harriet
    2019-01-06 22:31

    The first book I read about Darwin and his theories, updating the idea of evolution and moderate and rapid change due to both natural selection and sexual selection using modern examples likes the spread and diversification of viruses and other modern experiments. Read almost a decade ago, this one has stuck with me, for sure.

  • Bea Alden
    2019-01-05 02:18

    An update of the science of Darwin's Origin of Species. Not boring! As The Observer wrote: "A thumping good read!" or The Sunday Times (of London): A richly readable introduction to the science that The Origin of Species invented. Jones is a star writer who makes the old bones throw off their dust and dance the boogie."

  • Lee
    2018-12-20 01:09

    An excellent book to read as an introduction before taking on the long and hard-to-understand Origin of Species. It is very interesting, but I found my thought trailing off a couple of times. Reading scientific books does that. But this book was good, a modern and shortened version. Still worth looking into.