© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
Published: 6 September 2011
As we all gear up for the Fall 2011 semester, we here at Evolution: Education and Outreach are proud to present yet another superb Special Issue. This time we are exploring evolution in non-biological systems: specifically the things that people make and use in their daily lives. It is a commonplace to speak of the “evolution” of cars, computers, TV sets, and so forth. But less well known is that serious scholars—in anthropology (especially but not solely archeology), biology, economics, philosophy, and other disciplines have been developing theories of the evolution of “material culture” for many years now. Often, the context is a comparison of the similarities and differences between material cultural and the more familiar biological evolution.
But material cultural evolution has arrived as a topic in its own right—as this Special Issue edited by archeologist Anna Prentiss clearly demonstrates. We are grateful to her for her careful assembly of topics and authors—resulting in a range of papers that cover the subject matter at hand very well indeed.
In her introduction to the Special Issue, Dr. Prentiss refers to concepts in an “Editor’s Corner” that Daniel Brooks published in a previous issue. Dr. Brooks has graciously supplied us with yet another vividly thought-provoking Editor’s Corner for this issue. It is an essay that we should all read, ponder over, and take very seriously. One of the goals we have had here at Evolution: Education and Outreach is to promote reflective, thought-provoking essays, by younger researchers as well as by senior scientists with long track records of publication on conceptual issues. Dan Brooks is a member in very good standing in the latter category. We thank him for his continued support of our journal!