Matthew Cobb, who manages to find interesting stuff despite researching, teaching, and being at Dean at Manchester, sent me a link to a new comic that explains evolution and natural selection to young folks. It might just be the ticket for the many people who ask me about resources for teaching evolution to kids.
On his website, Daryl Cunningham Investigates, he’s put the entire chapter on evolution and selection online; it will be part of his upcoming comic Science Stories. I’ve read it and it’s quite good. I didn’t spot any errors, although he does claim that criticism of the peppered moth story, in which I participated, was made by people who claimed it was a hoax. Some creationists did, as did Judith Hooper in her execrable book on the subject, but several of us simply thought the original moth-predation experiments were poorly designed and not truly convincing. Those have now been redone, and I’m satisfied that the moth-color selection story is a good one.
Beyond that quibble, it’s a good comic, though perhaps a bit advanced for those below, say, ten years old. You might want to read it with your kids. It gives the evidence for evolution based on all the stuff I talk about in my book (embryology, fossil record, imperfect design, etc), although, sadly, it leaves out biogeography. And there’s a good explanation of natural selection.
Here are three panels, but there’s a lot more. If you have kids who want to learn about evolution, this might be a good place to start.