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Monday, 8 February 2016

The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

It seems apt to post my review of THE DESCENT OF MAN on this blog, since it was written in the time period that I am writing my books about. It is important to remember what people use to think, and how much they knew considering the fact they had nowhere near the access to resources we now have.

There is no denying that a lot of the material included in this book is scientific, and that his speculations are slanted by the "way of thinking" at that time. It would be incredible to bring Darwin to modern day to see if his theories stack up...

Either way, for a FREE read, I recommend this to anyone who wants to know how we arrived at many of are thoughts in the modern age. The theory of supremacy, racial equality, survival of the fitness, etc, are all discussed here. I am sure Darwin's thoughts sparked many a war, controversy, and the need to change the status quo. Many a suffragette must have read this and felt compelled to change the view that a woman has a smaller brain! There is no denying that on the whole men are superior is stature and strength, but, since this was written, woman have risen to the challenge and proved that we can just as feisty and determined, skillful and intellectual, and, unfortunately, as cold-blooded and ruthless as males are stereotyped to be!

Human beings are by are nature not the same. We are diverse and unique and capable of anything we set our minds to... like I always say, "if it had been down to me, we'd still be in caves!" I have never been a risk-taker when it came to the physical. However, I certainly do not lack courage or conviction when it comes to getting something done!

I wonder what you all, if you can brave it, think of this book?

All the best,
Vanessa

Charles Darwin
"Wow... This is a mammoth read! If you only read the first few chapters, you will be horrified by his use of language. Called disabled people "monstrosities" and "idiots" - I will use the term loosely now! But, this was the terminology used in that period of time, so I will try not to scream "racist", etc.

Most of this book is scientific in nature. Very matter of fact, according to the information he has available. The amount of research he used and quoted beggars belief when you consider this was a time without computers, etc. I am amazed at the information he could source and use.

The research used in relation to "savages" is extensive, and I wonder if we would ever refer to other races of mankind as "savages" because they do things differently.

In this age, we strive to find a meaning for life, have a quest for equality, and long for a better future. Perhaps, as Darwin points out, in our fight for these principles we lost control and therefore we now have an ageing and growing population, and struggle to make ends meet. War is something that has gone on from our basic beginnings, and it appears that it is something we can not prevent.

However, women have a huge role to play in the future of humanity. Thank goodness we are no longer killed as he noted from the chapters on infanticide!

I have to rate this book a 4 purely for the scale and depth of research. I do not have to agree with his conclusions and that it my given right. I wonder how he would have felt knowing that many of his scientific ideas led to genocide, and justification of mass slaughter. If only we were equipped with the benefit of hindsight!

I have to admit that I skipped some chapters on insects, etc, but I did read the bulk of it. If you want to try good luck! It'll take you a while... And you might roll your eyes at a lot of his speculation!"