“Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be” Explains Everything


For some, the universe, and our Earth in particular, can be explained by folklore. They believe an agent of supreme power whipped up all this stuff in a celestial lab. Others, however, think there was a different narrative unfolding. Charles Darwin was one of those people. Though at the time he began his research, he was a believer, by the end of his authoring “The Origin of Species” — and following the too-early death of his daughter — he found himself conflicted. It’s a debate that continues to this day. But regardless of your position in the conversation, any parent can benefit from reading Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be with their children.

Author Daniel Loxton has crafted an easy-to-understand kids book about Darwin’s concepts of evolution, and adaptation and change over time. I have already introduced my child to these ideas, but haven’t yet found a book that makes it quite simple enough to explain to her. This one gets a lot of things right in that regard. The illustrations and straight-forward language in Loxton’s book are the perfect jumping-off point for a deep discussion about, well, everything.


At 6, my kid asks a lot of questions, and I answer them as honestly as I can. I try to present the information in a way that skirts the issue of religion and the politics of the debate. When those issues do come up, I try to be as diplomatic as possible. Sometimes I fail, at others I succeed. Loxton may be better at this than I. He offers this in defense of the critics of evolution: Though Darwin’s theories explain in detail how our natural world and its inhabitants came into existence, they “can’t tell us what those discoveries mean in a spiritual sense.”

It’s a fair statement, one I would incorporate into any talk with my child about the bigger issues in our lives. I want her to have an open mind, a curious nature and a critical line of thinking. The more she knows, the more questions I want her to ask. An early introduction to evolution is part of that process for us, and should be for everyone.

Pick up Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be.

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