Do Elephants Have Knees? and Other Stories of Darwinian Origins
Charles R. Ault

Book cover image

Narrated By: Richard Powers

Duration: 10 hours and 35 minutes

What to expect

What makes a penguin a bird? Is a camel more closely related to a horse than to a giraffe? Why is a whale not a fish? Similar puzzles preoccupied Charles Darwin throughout his life. Whimsy, in the playfulness of stories for children, is a way to appreciate Darwinian histories.

In Do Elephants Have Knees? Charles R. Ault Jr. uses the fanciful imagery of story to explain Darwinian thought. At the same time, he launches careful consideration of Darwin’s humanity, the origins of his curiosity, and the reach of his ideas.

Ault’s approach illustrates the value of story form in learning science and provides a wealth of resources for enriching courses that focus on Darwin’s ideas. “Good storytelling mines curiosity,” Ault writes, “and exuberant playfulness enriches a disciplined study of science.”

Genre

Evolution, Biology, life sciences

Listen to a sample

“A unique approach, bringing together juvenile literature with a wide range of literature from science, history, education, and psychology. This is an important work for science education because the author weaves together scientific knowledge with the appropriate historical context. This book will find an audience not only among science educators but also among well-educated and curiosity-driven general readers who thrive on connections among disciplines.”