Darwin gets a graphic novel

Or, as we used to call ’em when I was a young’un, a comic book. Check it out — it’ll be an illustrated Darwin biography for all the people who don’t want to wade through the magnificent, but long, two volume Janet Browne bio.


I know I’ll be buying a copy. There are other evolution books in graphic novel form, and Scott Hatfield has a summary.


  1. #1 Silver Fox
    January 22, 2009

    “There are other evolution books in graphic novel form”

    Maybe we should go back and read Lamarck. See current issue of Newsweek Magazine Jan. 26, 2009, Page 18.

  2. #2 Glen Davidson
    January 22, 2009

    Our answer to Jack Chick?

    Glen D

  3. #3 Nerd of Redhead
    January 22, 2009

    Spreading you lies again Silver Fox. First your delusional god, now about science. Science is only published in the peer reviewed primary scientific literature. You need a reality check. You are failing big time.

  4. #4 Greg Peterson
    January 22, 2009

    Another new graphic novel on a similar theme I picked up over the weekend and think is very cool–“The Stuff of Life”:

  5. #5 And-U-Say
    January 22, 2009


    Does he have a neat costume? Does he fire lightning bolts from his hands, or something like that? What is his mortal weakness? Who are the bad guys (I can guess)? Darwin as Super Hero… Yay!!!!

    Wait. Um… this is a comic book, right?

  6. #6 Holbach
    January 22, 2009

    Nice illustration; will definitely add it to my collection of Charles Darwin.
    Won’t be long before banana brain Comfort gets wind of it anf comes up with all sort of assinine remarks. Suffer, you half-witted slime mold, and I hope you choke on the very fruit you use to make a moron of yourself.

  7. #7 speedwell
    January 22, 2009

    That picture is so cute it belongs on Cute Overload. Truly. SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!!

  8. #8 Quiet_Desperation
    January 22, 2009

    Cool. Does he get recruited by the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and has to team up with Alan Quatermain and Captain Nemo against Nosferatu’s attempts to subvert the British Empire for hostile invaders from Perelandria? Does he? Huh? Huh? Does he?

  9. #9 Silver Fox
    January 22, 2009

    “Science is only published in the peer reviewed primary scientific literature. You need a reality check. You are failing big time.”

    All I’m asking you to do is comment on the Newsweek article and the research studies it cited. Instead you try to discredit the research by killing the messenger. I can assure you the article cited is in the Jan. 20, 2009 Newsweek, Page 18.

  10. #10 Quiet_Desperation
    January 22, 2009

    And you will not forget the steamy scene between Darwin, Wilhelmina Harker and the Pope as the former two teach the Pontiff some of the more intimate points of evolution, only to discover the high muckity muck of the Vatican has already been replaced by a biomechanical duplicate controlled by sentient insectoids from the ruins of Atlantis, who are in turn enthralled to an intelligent metaviral consciousness holistically imprinted on waters of the North Sea.

  11. #11 Owen
    January 22, 2009

    Just read the article our friend Mr. Fox pointed us to. Looks like someone failed to comprehend the diffrence between Lamarckism and imprinting. Duh.

  12. #12 Blake Stacey
    January 22, 2009

    Silver Fox:

    And all we’re asking is that you expend the nominal effort to make sure you’re not wasting everyone’s time. As a person who has tried to keep au courant with recent developments in epigenetics, I find attempts to conflate the study of the subtle properties of DNA with obsolete Lamarckism banal in the extreme.

  13. #13 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 22, 2009

    The sequence where Darwin gets his revenge on Cell for blowing up the Galapagos Islands was worth the price by itself.

  14. #14 Ranson
    January 22, 2009

    Hmm. I don’t know if it can live up to Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards or, more fancifully, The Five Fists of Science, but I’ll probably give it a look.

  15. #15 Nerd of Redhead
    January 22, 2009

    Silver Fox, given your credibility, which zero, I don’t even need to read the article to know you are wrong, as Owen and Blake pointed out. Since your credibility is downgraded yet again with this fiasco, the best thing you can do is to remove us from your bookmarks.

  16. #16 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 22, 2009

    I see the graphic novel is in black and white, just like the world was back then. I love the attention to detail.

  17. #17 Holbach
    January 22, 2009

    I looked at the illustration a little closer and see that the apes are pointing stuff out to Darwin while he takes notes! And one lemur is filming him while another above his head holds the boom micrphone! Neat! Definitely will add this book to my collection!

  18. #18 Silver Fox
    January 22, 2009

    subtle properties

    You missed your calling in life, Blake. You should have been a tap dancer.

  19. #19 Quiet_Desperation
    January 22, 2009

    The sequence where Darwin gets his revenge on Cell for blowing up the Galapagos Islands was worth the price by itself.

    True, but the mini-crossover where Darwin and Optimus Prime battle Galactus and Darkseid seemed a bit forced, although the nuclear tipped nunchucks and singularity whips were awesome.

  20. #20 NewEnglandBob
    January 22, 2009

    There is no SilverFox. It is a nom de plume of a committee of Rush Limbaugh, George “Dumbya” Bush, Atilla the Hun, Sarah Palin and Ronald Rayguns. That is why he wants people to read about Lemarkism which has been discredited by natural selection and Mendelian genetics.

    Newsweek says:

    Diet of a mother has an effect on offspring when born.

    This is not new and is well known and is not Lemarkism. And guess what? Abusin a mother’s body (i.e. drugs) also has an effect on offspring.

  21. #21 Silver Fox
    January 22, 2009

    “don’t even need to read the article to know you are wrong”

    Denial is such a marvelous defense mechinism. Out of mind, out of sight.

    “given your credibility, which is zero” – Kill the messenger.

  22. #22 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 22, 2009

    @QD #10: I’m pretty sure the sentient insectoids were from Lemuria. The Atlantians were the puppets of the Final Mind, influencing history to accelerate the expansion of the universe, thereby allowing the next universe to erupt in a display of cosmic evolution, which of course is totally explained by Darwin during the climactic battle just before the timeline is shattered, causing everyone to forget the details of the events, with nothing but echoes of superbeings manipulating humanity being impressed upon minds all along the timestream.

  23. #23 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 22, 2009

    nuclear tipped nunchucks and singularity whips were awesome.

    Oh definitely, though they never explained why Darwin keeps them with him in the bathtub. Not that I mind a little full-frontal in my graphic novels.

  24. #24 Silver Fox
    January 22, 2009


    “This is not new and is well known and is not Lemarkism”

    What about those water fleas, Bob, and their body armour?

  25. #25 Feynmaniac
    January 22, 2009

    You guys are too quick to dismiss Silver fox. It shows how close minded you are. Read the article.

    While you are at it check out the phlogiston theory article in People Magazine and the in depth look at phrenology in Playboy magazine (no way those skulls are real!).

  26. #26 Matt Heath
    January 22, 2009

    “Kill the messenger” OO can we?!

  27. #27 Aaron
    January 22, 2009

    And in vaguely related news, the Texas State Board of Education is nearing a vote on the “Strengths and Weaknesses” language that some are trying to wedge into the science curriculum.

    Pray for us.

  28. #28 Sigmund
    January 22, 2009

    I’m looking forward to the animated version featuring his adventures with Wallace.

  29. #29 CJO
    January 22, 2009

    First of all, SF, genomic imprinting, while certainly interesting, is not an especially new result, nor does it contradict neo-Darwinian theory.

    More generally, regarding Lamarckian vs. Darwinian evolution, you’re under a common misapprehension. Lamarckian inheritance (acquired characteristics), while substantially incorrect as the primary means of genetic transmission, is not opposed to Darwin’s theory as laid out in Origin. Remember that Darwin knew nothing of genes and DNA and that the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and evolutionary theory did not occur until the early 20th century. Darwin simply didn’t know enough about inheritance to rule out acquired characteristics, though the theory does predict correctly that inheritance would turn out to be particulate, that characteristics do not simply “blend”.

    The real divide between the rival 19th century theories was common descent. In the Lamarckian scheme, rather than a branching tree of life with a single common ancestor at the base, you have numerous, parallel, “ladders” along which given lineages are ascending to “higher” forms from “lower” ones by accumulating the acquired characteristics of ancestors who had to strive to exist. Abiogenesis events are supposed to be perpetually generating the “lowest” forms upon which the process starts acting.

    So Darwin’s essential insights, natural selection and universal common descent, were utterly opposed to Lamarckian ideas apart from the mechanism of inheritance, and they aren’t called into question by the phemomenon of imprinting, the crowing of breathless hacks in the pages of Newsweek notwithstanding.

  30. #30 Holbach
    January 22, 2009

    Feynmaniac @25

    Ha! And Phyllis Schlafly’s article on Women who Kick Ass in Cosmopolitan magazine.

  31. #31 Greg Peterson
    January 22, 2009

    I was shocked to see something that stupid in Newsweek. And then I read the comments. Oh. My. Goddess. You know, one realizes that a lot of people weren’t burdened with an abundance of natural smarts, and we all know that education in this country must become much better, but holy crap. I swear I don’t know where all these ignorant people live. I just live in a Minneapolis suburb, and I swear I don’t run into people that ignorant on a typical day. Those monkeys banging endlessly on keyboards? They’re not writing Shakespeare…they’re blogging paeans to crappy Newsweek “science” articles.

  32. #32 Owen
    January 22, 2009

    Greg, you’re absolutely right. There are a few of us trying to hold back the tide, though.

  33. #33 Rey Fox
    January 22, 2009

    Max, you’re not fit to kiss Blake’s tap shoes.

  34. #34 Reginald Selkirk
    January 22, 2009

    Curses! Beaten to the Jack Chick joke.

  35. #35 Bill Dauphin
    January 22, 2009

    Feynmaniac (@25) wins the internet!

    phrenology in Playboy magazine (no way those skulls are real!)

  36. #36 windy
    January 22, 2009

    What about those water fleas, Bob, and their body armour?

    Good FSM. That result is close to ten years old! Can I get some news with that “News”week?

    Here’s some newer interesting stuff on water fleas:
    A ?crown of thorns? is an inducible defense that protects Daphnia against an ancient predator

    but before you can comment on this you have to understand what an “inducible defense” is…

  37. #37 Paul Ray
    January 22, 2009

    Maybe Darwin can be dogged by the The Reverend Cree A. Tor (an ancestor of Kent Hovind) and his nefarious Puritan goons.

    “Lord Darwin! These finches have have been brutalized, and look! Their beaks have been removed! What can this mean?”

    “I don’t know, but I fear that the vile Reverend and his henchmen have sullied these wonderous isles with their quest for global ignorance. To the Beagle!”

  38. #38 talking snake
    January 22, 2009

    Silver Fox, there is an informative comment by research09! regarding your concerns here:

    Also,I have learned many interesting facts about the natural world and the kooks that inhabit it at Pharyngula. What about you?

  39. #39 Siejay
    January 22, 2009

    Pharyngulars interested in graphic novels about Darwin may also enjoy this delightful book:
    Less a bio than an exposition, the Sandwalk Adventures is a dialogue between Darwin and two mites who live in his eyebrow. Seriously. Fun, informative, and teaches the kids a skeptical frame of mind.

  40. #40 Longtime Lurker
    January 22, 2009

    I don’t know if it can live up to Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards

    It’s ironic that the fundies always accuse us of being eevul, hateful people with no moral compass, yet observe Darwin’s regular condemnations of slavery, and O.C. Marsh’s efforts on behalf of the Oglala Sioux. These dead old scientists were a hell of a lot more altruistic than the majority of their god-bothering clerical counterparts.

    I made a pilgrimage to O.C. Marsh’s grave in New Haven’s Grove Street Cemetery a few years back- talk about a thrill up one’s leg!

  41. #41 Blondin
    January 22, 2009

    Back in the ’60s I read a lot of comic books but the only ones my Dad approved of were the “Classic Comic Books” because they were “literature” whereas Superman, Flash, The Atom and Spiderman were just “pap”.

    I did actually learn about a number of classical stories and develop a yen to read more of the stories of Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson and others.

    I think the old man would have approved of graphic novels like this one.

  42. #42 Kristine
    January 22, 2009

    Hey! That was my idea!

  43. #43 Dr Benway
    January 22, 2009

    I see cameltoe!

  44. #44 Twin-Skies
    January 22, 2009

    Wasn’t there a comic titled “The New Adventures of Sigmund Freud” from a couple of years back?

  45. #45 Scott Hatfield, OM
    January 23, 2009

    Hey! That was my idea!

    Ya snooze, ya lose…:)

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