Special Edition of Evolution: Education and Outreach!

In case you haven’t heard, the latest edition of the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach is almost entirely about transitional fossils. There’s something for everyone, from synapsids to onychophorans, so make sure you check it out!

My only complaint, though, is that there is not a paper about early hominins or human evolution. Human evolution is often ignored or given short shrift when we talk about transitional fossils, yet the past several decades have seen an explosion in new types of extinct humans. I have no idea why such a paper does not appear in the collection (perhaps one was solicited but not completed), but I hope that such a review will soon be printed in the pages of Evolution. Since much of the culture war over evolution is rooted in different ways of finding our place in nature, defenders of evolution ignore paleoanthropology at their own peril.

UPDATE: Apparently the December 2009 issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach will be entirely devoted to human evolution. That is definitely good news. It would have been nice to see a piece on transitional hominins with the reviews in the latest edition, though. I have long been puzzled by the division between paleoanthropology and vertebrate paleontology, and I think the former discipline suffers when it is not integrated with vertebrate paleontology as a whole (more on that soon). Many thanks to Glenn Branch for the correction.