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The latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach

The latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach — the new journal aspiring to promote accurate understanding and comprehensive teaching of evolutionary theory for a wide audience — is now available on-line. Taking transitional forms as its theme, the issue positively teems with exciting paleontology. Among the authors are Jennifer A. Clack writing on "The Fish–Tetrapod Transition: New Fossils and Interpretations," Luis M. Chiappe writing on "Downsized Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary Transition to Modern Birds," Kenneth D. Angielczyk writing on "Dimetrodon Is Not a Dinosaur: Using Tree Thinking to Understand the Ancient Relatives of Mammals and their Evolution," J. G. M. Thewissen, Lisa Noelle Cooper, John C. George, and Sunil Bajpai writing on "From Land to Water: the Origin of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises," and Donald R. Prothero writing on "Evolutionary Transitions in the Fossil Record of Terrestrial Hoofed Mammals."

Also included is the latest installment of NCSE's regular column for Evolution: Education and Outreach, Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education. In "Transforming Our Thinking about Transitional Forms," NCSE's Education Project Director Louise S. Mead explains, "A common misconception of evolutionary biology is that it involves a search for 'missing links' in the history of life. Relying on this misconception, antievolutionists present the supposed absence of transitional forms from the fossil record as evidence against evolution. Students of biology need to understand that evolution is a branching process, paleontologists do not expect to find 'missing links,' and evolutionary research uses independent lines of evidence to test hypotheses and make conclusions about the history of life. Teachers can facilitate such learning by incorporating cladistics and tree-thinking into the curriculum and using evograms to focus on important evolutionary transitions."