Thursday, 10 September 2009

The evolution of On the Origin of Species

Take a look at this lovely annotated (at least on the website itself) graphic showing how On the Origin of Species changed over the course of several editions.

As the website points out, the book we think of did not arrive with the first edition but changed with subsequent revisions and ideas added in later versions, including the addition of the phrase "survival of the fittest".

Using the six editions as a guide, we can see the unfolding and clarification of Darwin's ideas as he sought to further develop his theory during his lifetime.

The graphic itself plays through to show which bits were added in which edition, with the final piece bearing an uncanny resemblance to DNA sequencing lanes.

The project is the brainchild of Ben Fry, director of Seed Visualization and its Phyllotaxis Lab, a design laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts focused on understanding complex data.

Many thanks to @mocost for tipping us off to the link.

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