The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, free!

By Razib Khan | April 2, 2011 1:31 pm

Long time readers are aware that one of my favorite books is R. A. Fisher’s The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. It’s a touch on the spendy side for a slim, though dense, book. But looking for stuff that’s public domain for my Kindle I noticed that you can get the 1930 version free. And it’s not just in Kindle formats, you can get it in PDF as well and read it on your computer. I think of TGTNG as somewhat like the Critique of Pure Reason of evolutionary genetics; even if your inclination is to rubbish it, it’s an importance place to begin.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Evolution, Genetics, Genomics
  • nooffensebut

    PDFs work great in Kindle, especially if you use the Duokan operating system.

  • Christopher Kandrat

    Awesome resources, I highly recommend it.

  • Gustave

    Thanks! I didn’t remembered where I had archived my website before Geocities close their website and services.

    So it was on

    Thanks for the free book… 😉

  • dev

    You blogged on the availability of “The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection” back in 2008 as well. I recall this because I was curious about the copyright status of TGTNS and did some investigation. (See my comments to that prior post.) As best I can gather, the 1930 edition is indeed in the public domain in the US, but not the 1958 edition. However it’s not clear to me whether the 1930 edition is actually in the public domain in the UK or other countries.

    This is important because the US Supreme Court is currently considering a case, Golan v. Holder, that addresses the question of whether Congress can remove works from the public domain in the US based on their being copyrighted in other countries. I don’t believe it affects this edition of TGTNS, but those wanting a copy should definitely download it while they can.

  • Fred R.

    A while ago I attempted to read that version on my kindle, but the damage the novel format had done to the text, particularly to the mathematical formulas, soon dissuaded me.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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