Sociology Index

PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Human Ecology, Cultural Anthropology

Physical anthropology is the science of human zoology, evolution, and ecology. Physical anthropology is centred on the scientific study of the origins and development of human beings through analysis of fossil and skeletal remains. Physical anthropology is a specialisation within the discipline of anthropology. Physical anthropology developed prior to the rise of Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, and Gregor Mendel's work on genetics. Physical anthropology was so called because all its data was physical. With the rise of Darwinian theory and the modern synthesis, anthropologists had access to new forms of data, and many began to call themselves "biological anthropologists.

History of Physical Anthropology

Investigation of the anatomical differences between apes and humans began in 1699, when Edward Tyson, dissected both human beings and chimpanzees and pointed out their points of divergence in Orang-Outang, Homo sylvestris: or the anatomy of a pygmy compared to that of a monkey, an ape, and a man. The founder of physical anthropology, is Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. Blumenbach, argued that all human beings shared a single origin in Adam and Eve. Early physical anthropology is often marked by the tendency to conflate cultural and biological characteristics. Eighteenth and nineteenth century research into physical anthropology made unsupportable generalizations about human races. Polygenists, argued for a different Adam and Eve for each race. The scala naturae is evident in the physical anthropology of Carl Linnaeus.

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
The American Journal of Physical Anthropology is designed for the publication of original and significant articles of human evolution and variation. It also publishes book reviews, technical reports, brief communications, and the abstracts and proceedings of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
READERSHIP: Physical anthropologists, paleontologists, evolutionary biologists, anatomists.

A View on the Science: Physical Anthropology at the Millennium
Tim D. White, Department of Integrative Biology and Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, The University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology: This web site is designed to represent our Association, as well as to provide information relevant to the discipline of Physical Anthropology, particularly as it is practiced in Canada. I hope you will find here the information that you are looking for. If you are just visiting or if you have a serious interest in Physical Anthropology.