Hominid fossils

TiS has not yet commisioned a full length treatment of this subject. However, readers may be interested in two comments contained in books reviewed elsewhere on this website. Not all books are so up-front about these problems.Advanced Biology by Michael Kent, Oxford University Press (2000)
The study of the evolution of modern humans from hominid ancestors is very speculative. Much of our present understanding is based on very little evidence. Only a few thousand hominid fossils have been discovered and most of these are incomplete. Sometimes anatomically similar bones collected over a wide area are assumed to be from the same individual, but they may actually be from different individuals. The following account of hominid evolution does not pretend to be complete or undisputed. It is merely an attempt to bring together some of the information on hominids that has gained general acceptance. (pages 458-459)A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Black Swan (2003) On life-size models of Australopithecines in the American Museum of Natural History in New York: “The tableau is presented with such conviction that it is easy to overlook the consideration that virtually everything above the footprints is imaginary” (p. 534)
The fossil ‘Lucy’, he notes, is 20 per cent of a full skeleton, despite claims by the American Museum of Natural History that she is two-thirds complete, and by the BBC that she is complete. In addition, “It isn’t actually known that she was a female. Her sex is merely presumed from her diminutive size.” (p. 533). 
Bryson describes the fossil record for human ancestry as “unhelpful” (p. 554). “The total world archive of hominid and early human bones” could fit “into the back of a pickup truck.” (p. 529).