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Book Release: Evolution

by Daniel Loxton, Jan 19 2010


I’m excited to announce the release of my new book Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be (from Kids Can Press). Years in the making, this full-color, illustrated hardcover book based upon Junior Skeptic is available now!

(Also available from bricks & mortar booksellers throughout North America, and from

The Project

Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be is a straight-ahead introduction to the fact of evolution, to its mechanisms, and to the misunderstandings that surround it. The book aims to explain how evolution works — and how we know for a fact that it happens. It is suitable for readers aged 8 – 13.

There are many fine kids books about evolution, but this one is distinguished by its skeptical pedigree. While laying out the evidence for evolution, this book also takes a critical look at common objections to evolutionary theory. Those pseudoscientific notions (“Isn’t there a dinosaur still alive in Africa someplace? Doesn’t that mean evolution didn’t happen?”) are major barriers to understanding for many people. Luckily, getting to the bottom of those sorts of questions is what skeptics do.

The writing is as clear as I can possibly make it — and then some. Nothing teaches you to strip out ambiguity and jargon like writing for kids. After seven years on Junior Skeptic, I’ve had a lot of practice distilling complex ideas for younger readers. All the same, working closely with award-winning editor Valerie Wyatt (veteran of over 100 children’s books) taught me more than a few tricks — and infused Evolution, I believe, with yet further clarity and depth.

It’s a valuable process, but round after round of edits and drafts and versions can leave your head spinning. Is it good? Is it clear and precise, or as colorless as a phone book? It’s hard to tell after a while.

That’s one reason I’m so pleased to hear positive initial reactions! Literary review Quill & Quire calls Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be,

A full-throated defense and explication of Darwin’s theory…kept light and accessible by Loxton’s sense of humour and breezy prose style.

Whew! That certainly is what I was hoping for!

New Daniel Loxton art created for Evolution…
…started out as a hand-sculpted, hand-painted physical model.

This illustration (created by Daniel Loxton for Evolution) started out as a hand-sculpted, hand-painted physical model.

The Art

Evolution is packed with large, full-color illustrations: cartoons; diagrams; photographs; and, complex scenes featuring photorealistic computer generated creatures like ichthyosaurs and mammoths.

Some Skeptic readers don’t realize I illustrate my own articles. Perhaps surprisingly, in terms of raw hours, illustration and design (such as Skeptic magazine covers and Junior Skeptic layout) are still the largest part of my work in skepticism.

On Evolution, my hand touched virtually every illustration: sometimes metaphorically (as in the digital colors for cartoons) and sometimes much more literally than one might guess. For example, my hominid friend Lucy here started out as a hand-sculpted, hand-painted physical model — with individually hand-punched strands of genuine hair! (I’m not sure I would recommend that technique to anyone!)

But I couldn’t have done it alone. Many of the images in Evolution were created with the help of ace cartoonist and 3D-modeling guru Jim W. W. Smith (who works with me here in the Junior Skeptic studio). Jim was responsible for some of the funniest and cleverest flourishes — and also for a considerable subset of the hard work.

Support the Educational Work of the Skeptics Society

It’s a wonderful feeling to bring a project like this to fruition, because it has the potential (I believe) to do some good in the world. I’d like to thank the Skeptics Society for giving me the opportunity to develop projects of this kind — especially Skeptic co-publisher Pat Linse, this book’s Producer.

I’d also like to thank the many individual donors and subscribers who in turn support Junior Skeptic and the other educational outreach work of the Skeptics Society.

To lend your own support, please let your friends know they may purchase a copy of Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be at

Or, even better: the Skeptics Society will give a copy of the book as a thank you gift to any donor at the $100 level (or higher)! To learn more, visit


Like Daniel Loxton’s work? Read more in the pages of Skeptic magazine. Subscribe today in print or digitally!

8 Responses to “Book Release: Evolution”

  1. Mike Meraz says:

    I’ve been waiting for this book for quite some time now and THRILLED I can finally buy it. My 6 year old and I have been learning all about evolution for the past few weeks so the timing couldn’t be better!

    I’ll be purchasing multiple copies and donating them to the teacher’s at my child’s school. They’re always asking for donations to build their classroom libraries so this will be a wonderful addition.

    Congrats, Daniel!

  2. SicPreFix says:

    Congrats Daniel.

    Looks great. I’m 53 but I’ll probably pick it up anyway — for the pictures of course. :)

  3. Gordon says:

    I wonder how long it will take my local library to get a copy if I ask for it today?

  4. oldebabe says:

    Nice, but how do the 8-13-year children, purportedly the target audience, like it? Too soon to tell?

  5. mrG says:

    Congrats on the release — I wish you’d been there last year when the local school told my 9 year old he couldn’t do Darwin as a science fair project because “the subject is too difficult“! I can’t wait to show him your book, and doubly can’t wait for him to show it to those teachers!

  6. Aidan says:

    Exciting! I’ll have to think about who I can get it for :)

  7. bill don says:

    Wow congrats on the new book. I love that it is designed for kids in mind. We all know that kids will believe most of what their parents teach them and are especially vulnerable during the ages of 8-13. This book will help steer them clear of the theory of creation for sure. It is the perfect answer to those parents who preach creation to their kids at the same age and put a Bible in their hands. Personally, I can’t wait to take a copy and go through it with the children at our church in order to prove how arrogant converts of Darwin actually are. So thanks for one more book to add to my shelf. I will be sure to read it and present it with the same measure of presupposition and bias you wrote it with.
    So to recap: Good job and I look forward to blowing holes the size of the Grand Canyon in the arguments you put forward for evolution.