Given my interest in science, I'm ashamed to say that I've only just got around to reading Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life". What prompted me to read it this time was watching two episodes of "The Genius of Charles Darwin" while flying across to the U.S. It's an excellent documentary by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins can see overbearing at times but in this series, he's measured, accurate and inspiring. In the documentary, he showed one of his most prized possessions: a first edition copy of this book.
The best ideas always seem to have three common attributes:
- They appear totally obvious once someone else points them out
- They are deceptively simple
- It's hard to comprehend why someone hadn't noticed them before
The ideas described in this book are an amazing example of these qualities.
I have not the slightest doubt that in the future, this will be still regarded as a stunningly influential book and will have started the biggest change in human thinking.
Recommended! (Actually Required Reading!)