This drawing, produced by Harvard student Esther Hamburger as a class assignment, is one of the most fantastic evolution-related cartoons I’ve seen. In fact, it’s not really a cartoon at all: it’s a graphical history of evolutionary biology, showing all the principals. Throughout it winds the Great Chain of Being—in this case a genuine chain of intellectual advance.
Here’s Esther’s description, which I reproduce (along with the drawing) with her permission:
Generating an illustrated history of evolutionary biology was an idea partially inspired by the caricatures of James Gillray. The British artist’s work served to illustrate the political and social scenes of the late 18th century, and was interspersed throughout the Harvard summer school course, taught by Andrew Berry, for which this image was created. Starting from the Greek philosophers who first observed and consequently attempted to explain the world around them, the tree winds it way down to Darwin…
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