Friday, June 05, 2015

New BioLogos Post on Hominin Taxonomic Variability in the Early to Middle Pliocene

I have a new post on hominin taxonomic variability in the early to middle Pliocene in light of the new Australopithecus deriyemeda find from Burtele that establishes that at least two very different hominin adaptations were occurring at the same time, around three to four million years ago.  There is a lengthy intro by Brad Kramer, the content editor, warning people that there are “technical terms” and that the article is a “black diamond” article, which suggests that they keep a glossary or dictionary handy.

It seems that, when I wasn't paying attention, I  turned into a cladist.  This comes from reading too many papers on Pseudosuchia and Avemetarsalia and trying to explain evolutionary theory to people.

The one thing that is missing from Brad's intro is an effort to explain how this fits into the grand Christian scheme of things, which would probably not have been appropriate in this setting, in any event, since it is a separate, but related topic.  I sometimes suffer from a slightly reductionist mindset in that I take these discoveries to be self-evident and just another part of God's creation (Brad does allude to that) without really taking the time to reflect on how this information comes across to your average Christian who likely is not familiar with it and how it might challenge their scriptural interpretations.  To this end, I probably need to make a better effort to work that in, somehow. 

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