Wednesday, November 25, 2009

150 Years Ago


On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life was published 150 years ago on November 24, 1859. The publisher, John Murray, had already taken orders for 1,500 copies so the initial printing of 1,250 copies was sold out immediately.
Although much remains obscure, and will long remain obscure, I can entertain no doubt, after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgment of which I am capable, that the view which most naturalists entertain, and which I formerly entertained—namely, that each species is independently created—is erroneous. I am fully convinced that species are not immutable; but that those belonging to what are called the same genera are lineal descendants of some other and generally extinct species, in the same manner as the acknowledged varieties of any one species are descendants of that species. Furthermore, I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification.



4 comments :

  1. The publisher, John Murray, had already taken orders for 1,500 copies so the initial printing of 1,250 copies

    I guess math wasn't his strong suit.

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  2. @crf:
    "lineal" is a word...

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  3. "...the initial printing of 1,250 copies was sold out immediately."

    That fact has always impressed me because that was in the days before cell phones and Twitter.

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