International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Tattersall I, 2000: Palaeoanthropology and Evolutionary Biology. Anthropologie (Brno) 38, 2: 165-168'.
Palaeoanthropology has frequently been out ofstep with the rest of evolutionary biology. It was, for instance, late to subscribe to the tenets of the "Evolutionary Synthesis" which emerged during the 1930s; and in more recent years it has shown considerable reluctance to confront the fact that the evolutionary process is a more complex and multidimensional one than the Synthesis allows for. The principal legacy of the Synthesis in palaeoanthropology is a linearity of thought in which evolution consists of little if any more than the gradual modification of lineages under the guiding hand of natural selection. Under this construct the unravelling of our evolutionary past is little more than a matter of pure discovery, as of links in a chain. Yet the fossil record demonstrates with increasing clarity that the history of hominids consists of much more than a singleminded progress from primitiveness to perfection. Instead, it consists of a bewildering array of forms which require accurate recognition, and whose relationships demand analysis. Only when we incorporate systematic diversity into our evolutionary thinking will we be able to appreciate the true dynamics of the palaeoanthropological record.
Palaeoanthropology - Evolutionary theory - History - Evolutionary synthesis - Punctuated equilibria

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