Apparently a debate is now going on about whether all the purported missing links between humans and apes (e.g. Lucy, Java Man, the Neanderthals, the recent New Zealand Hobbit people) are of other species at all. [Hat tip: A Physicist's Perspective] I've read that what we have of Neanderthals is consistent with arthritic homo sapiens, but I didn't know if that was a reliable source. I also know that many have questioned whether Australopithecus can play the role it does in standard models of human evolution. Well, now some people who are not in any sense creationists are claiming that not one of these transitional forms is what it's supposed to be. The genetic variation is well within the realm of considering them all part of the same species, just at various stages of development along what is roughly a continuum, but stages within the development of one species.
If this is right, it turns out to be completely consistent with even the most conservative of creationists, who insist that they do believe in the empirically observable aspects of evolutionary theory, i.e. microevolution. I'm not about to defend any view on most of the issues people argue about related to this, but I found it interesting that some people who have not in any way given up the standard evolutionary picture have now reverted to seeing all the purported transitional forms as well within the range of variation to count as homo sapiens. I don't know what bearing this will have on evolutionary theory. Presumably it favors Gould over Dawkins. What I'm worried about is if it's going to have a bearing on the role genetic variation plays in arguments about race. If it does, I'll have to rework some of the arguments I've been working on.