RE: Origins of species

Inge Frette (
Wed, 19 Aug 1998 11:05:19 +0200

Chuck Vandergraaf wrote:
> Inge,
> This "news from Norway" makes me wonder
> * how 100 university professors could possibly judge the most imporant
> non-fiction book ever written, presumably in all languages, during the last
> 4000 or so years
> * what criteria were used in judging
> * why university professors were chosen in the first place
> * what the disciplines of these professors are
> * where the Bible ended up in this list of books (if it even made the
> list!)
> I'm also surprised that Darwin's book had evidently previously not been
> translated in Norwegian!
> Chuck Vandergraaf
> Pinawa, MB, Canada

I have been in contact with a professor in biology at University of Oslo.
He was one of those 100 selected and also one that voted for Darwin's
A book club wanted to publish a new series where the "assumed" most
important non fictional books were included. 100 professors from
different diciplines where chosen - people that in some way have "made
an impression" as this biology professor said to me.
When voting the profs should vote for the "assumed" most important books
broadly speaking and they could vote for books they didn't had read.
Thus any strict criteria wasn't given. It was possible to vote for
any non-fictional book, but a long list of examples was given.
Books in religion like the Bible and the muslims book (I don't know the
English word - we call it Koranen ) were not relevant, since they would
not fit into the book club series.
I think we should take this for what it is; the book club's way of
finding 100 non-fictional important books to publish. Thus I don't take
this in any way as a decisive result of which books are important or not.
It is more an expression of which books these profs themselves find

The interesting point is still that Darwin's book was considered important
by so many scientists.

I guess that this book has been translated into Norwegian earlier, but
this edition is new and will stick as closely as possible to the
first edition of "Origins of species".

Regards from Inge
Olav Inge Frette Schlumberger Geco-Prakla
Voice : (+47) 6678 8061 (direct) Software Craft
: (+47) 6678 8000 (switchboard) Schlumberger House
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mailto: N-1370 Asker, NORWAY

> > just heard on the radio news and read in the newspaper that
> > 100 university professors here in Norway (we have 4 universities in
> > this country) have voted for the most important
> > non-fiction book ever written. They voted on ten books each and
> > the 100 books that got most votes will be translated and published in
> > Norwegian in a new book series.
> >
> > The book that got most votes - it got twice as many votes as number two -
> > was
> > Charles Darwin's "Origins of species"
> > This indicates that this is the most (or maybe one of the most)
> > important books ever written - according to our Norwegian academic
> > friends.
> > I am not sure whether these people would put a fiction book above this
> > book in importance.
> >
> >