Evolution: The Story of LIfe on Earth


From time to time, my office receives publisher's copies of books, uninvited and not upon my request. Today, a copy of Jay Hosler's "Evolution: The Story of LIfe on Earth" arrived. {The hubris of explaining the "story of life on earth" is unimaginable to me, but that's another story.} This piques my interest; is a careful review warranted, or should it be added to my "to do" list that increases with each semester? I fully recognize that this is a "hot button" issue, and I don't want to enter the debate per se. I am simply a curious scientist.

According to Amazon:

Product Description
An accessible graphic introduction to evolution for the most science-phobic reader

Illustrated by the brilliant duo Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon, this volume is written by the noted comic author and professor of biology Jay Hosler. Evolution features the same characters introduced in the highly regarded The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA, now here to explain the fundamentals of the evolution of life on earth. On the heels of explaining to his planetary leader the intricacies of human genetics in The Stuff of Life, the intrepid alien scientist Bloort-183 is charged in this sequel with covering the wider story of evolution. Using the same storytelling conceit that Plenty magazine declared "so charming that you won't even notice you've absorbed an entire scientific field" and that caused Seed to pick The Stuff of Life as a best book of 2008, Evolution brilliantly answers Wired's demand, "What's the solution to America's crisis in science education? More comic books!"

Evolution, the most accessible graphic work on this universally studied subject, takes the reader from earth's primordial soup to the vestigial structures, like the coccyx and the male nipple, of modern humans. Once again, the award-winning illustrations of the Cannons render the complex clear and everything cleverly comedic. And in Hosler, Evolution has an award-winning biology teacher whose science comics have earned him a National Science Foundation grant and an interview on NPR's Morning Edition.

I invite readers' comments. If appropriate, I will post a book review. I need your input to guide my priorities in this lightning fast world of news media. Thanks very much.

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Sounds like a very interesting reading to me, and would love to hear more about it.

Doesn't seem like hubris to me. (a) Evolution is the story of life, is it not? (b) Typical title for an illustrated work aimed at non-scientists.

My question, and reason for a review - is it accurate and informative without being too technical?

I am a high school science teacher and we have used Hosler's, "The Stuff of Life" as an enrichment option for the honors Biology class, not the regular track. My suggestion is to teach the material, then use these books as a means of review. It is humorous with inuendos that often my 9th graders miss. I highly suggest this for a reading list for all AP Biology students and any college level class.

I am planning on using Hosler's "Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth" in my next unit for all of my classes. I am interested to see how this plays out in class. Anyone have any lesson plan suggestions?

By Rachel England (not verified) on 24 Jan 2012 #permalink