February 2, 2010

Evolution by Daniel Loxton

Daniel Loxton is all kinds of awesome. And for such a shy guy, I sure do keep hearing him everywhere. I guess that's what you have to do when you have a book to plug. For those of you that don't know, Daniel is the editor, writer, and illustrator of Junior Skeptic magazine which is sold as an insert with the great Skeptic magazine published by Michael Shermer's Skeptic Society.

But now he's got a fantastic book out and he's a regular contributor to Skeptiblog, is a special guest host on this week's The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, and was recently featured on the Skepticality podcast.

That's all well and good, but I wouldn't link to all those just because. Each one is worth checking out. His work at Jr. Skeptic is always of a high standard and will make for a dozen more great books. His blog posts are always thoughtful and well written. The SGU guest hosting was informative and funny (I hope he does it more often). The Skepticality podcast goes more in depth on all of his work.

Now to the book. Evolution: How We and All Living things Came to Be. Haven't got my hands on it yet, but it's based on a two part series he did in Jr. Skeptic issues #26 and #27 which I did get to see. The illustrations are superb. The science concepts are not watered down at all, only the technical language. It's a well-known unspoken secret that many subscribers to the magazine skip right to the Jr. section first before reading the rest. Sometimes the Jr. version is all you really need to know (and it has those great illustrations). It's informative and fun, usually on about a 5th-9th grade level. Want to know why, if apes evolved into humans, there are still apes? If evolution is the way life works, how do scientists really know? What about religion? If you want to know and don't want to read long evolutionary biology books just for fun (like I do, because, hello: nerd!) then this is the book for you. The only people who have issues with evolution don't really understand both the beautiful simplicity and complexity of it all. Let a master guide you. You'll do two of my favorite things: you'll learn something and have fun doing it.