Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 310–314

Transforming Our Thinking about Transitional Forms

Curriculum/Education Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12052-009-0126-3

Cite this article as:
Mead, L.S. Evo Edu Outreach (2009) 2: 310. doi:10.1007/s12052-009-0126-3


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.


MacroevolutionTransitional featuresCreationismTree-thinkingCladisticsEvograms

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Science EducationBerkeleyUSA