The evolution of the theory of evolution
May 13, 2011 § 4 Comments
Darwin published six different editions of his Origin of the Species in his lifetime. After the huge impact of the first edition, he tried to incorporate corrections, modifications and replies to criticism in every single later edition. Starting, of course, with the addition of “the Creator” on the second edition. In fact, the first edition was approximately 150,000 words and the sixth was a whooping 190,000 words. That is to say, the theory of evolution itself evolved from the first to the last edition.
Information scientist Ben Fry was based on the complete work of Darwin online to create an impressive online visualization of the changes from one edition to the other. On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces (requires java) color codes every single addition, deletion or change in the original text. Moreover, upon hovering on the color blocks (each representing an edition) you see the actual text that was edited. Playing as a chronological animation you can see every little piece of thought or argument being formed, modified, improved.
You get a little glimpse into the mind of a genius.