Evolution remains a controversial subject in our society. There are many millions of religious families who regard evolution with a degree of skepticism, bordering on suspicions of subversion. But even educated nonreligious parents are far more likely to expose their children to church teachings than ensure that their fifteen year old can explain natural selection. Although there are many books available to adults that explain evolution in accessible terms, and also a few picture books aimed at a young audience, there are no books on the market pitched at teenagers and young adults. This is a demographic eager to learn and open to new ideas, including those that conflict with the conventional wisdom.
Evolution: What Every Teenage Should Know grew out of conversations with my teenage son Adam over the past year. The book is organized around a dozen key questions about evolution. Each chapter begins with a question about evolution: is it a fact or a theory, how it works, whether it conflicts with religious belief. I answer each question, and in doing so hope to lay to rest some of the lingering doubts about the factual basis of evolution.