Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth (Hill and Wang, 2011), a graphic introduction to evolution written by Jay Hosler and illustrated by Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon. In the book, the intrepid scientist Bloort 183 is explaining the evolution of life on a strange alien planet — the earth — to King Floorsh 727 and his heir Prince Floorsh 418, and in the excerpt, they explore the topic of extinction. "Extinction," Bloort 183 explains, "is when a species completely dies out, and I'm afraid it is very much a fact of life. And death. Literally. ... Mass extinctions involve the deaths of enormous numbers of species all over the planet." The treatment is humorous rather than somber, however: facing the end-Permian extinction, one trilobite protests, "Stop the world, I'm getting off," while its companion wonders, "Can we do that?" Hosler is the entomologist-cum-cartoonist who wrote and illustrated The Sandwalk Adventures (Active Synapse, 2003); Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon illustrated Mark Schultz's The Stuff of Life (Hill and Wang, 2009), in which Bloort 183 explained genetics. Publishers Weekly's reviewer writes, "readers should find at the end of their journey through Bloort's Holographic Museum that they've learned a tremendous amount about earth's evolution, and have had more than their fair share of amusement in doing so."