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This is an excellent edition of a classic work. All who have any interest in the history of Darwinian evolution and particularly the historical views of the evolution of man will find this fascinating reading, particularly if the context can be juxtaposed with what has been discovered since Darwins time. Of course, times have changed, our hopefully less euro-centric views have been altered and there has been considerable progress through the generations since the original publication by Darwin, and that makes the progress of human knowledge all the more fascinating, as well as the insight Darwin obviously possessed in his day.

This ones a must-read for anyone interested in the history of science.

His description of sexual selection among organisms vastly outweighs the actual topic of the descent of man and makes it almost seem redundant but the purpose is clear. Once Darwin has established sexual selection with other organisms and shows how the adaptations appear he then applies the same criteria to humans and abruptly we emerge from the picture of an ape-type hominid ancestor. Sexual selection makes it all too evident why we appear the way we do. Ideas that our attributes are based on a divine representation for a sanctified existence have lost. We are shaped by our desires.

Given that it was written in the middle of the 19th Century, it more than meets the highest scientific standards of its time. Furthermore, except perhaps for Darwins own Origin, it is arguably one of the most important works of its era.

When we find that the writings of Marx, Kant and many other giants of that Century can no longer instruct us, we shall find this one still penetratingly relevant.

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