Early Biological and Physical Anthropology Role in Anthropology

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Early biological and physical anthropology are both a branch of Anthropology, it is the study of human evolution and development to environmental stressors. In this essay both early biological and physical anthropology will be discussed to achieve a better understanding of these concepts. This essay will also consist of how race has produced both biological and physical anthropology and how race has solidified these two concepts.

'Biological anthropology is a sub-field of anthropology that focuses on the behavior and biological aspects of humans'. Human evolution or evoultionary studies within biological anthropology main argument or outcome is to estbalish the classification and evolutionary relationship that lies between living primates and fossils. What is the link? Hominid is a shared species within humankind.

Exploring the History of Biological and Physical Anthropology

Palaeoanthropology is one of many branches of physical anthropology, the study of focus is on the physical aspects of human development, for example, our bones, our skeleton etc. As Washburn said 'the new physical anthropology is primarily an area of interest, the desire to understand the process of primate evolution and human variation by the most efficient techniques available'. Physical anthropology focuses on the diversity of people and their origin and if you relate Southern Africa to physical anthropology you can see that there is a lot of diversity within Southern Africa. If you look at genetics, human development and adaptability as well as race, Southern Africa has such a variety and mix of races, cultures, physical types and DNA. To give some examples are Coloured, Khoisan, Caucasian and many more. Russell Tuttle a Professor of Anthropology stated that 'the processes responsible for the differentiation of people into geographic populations and for the overall unity of Homo sapiens include natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, migration, and genetic recombination', which can contribute immensely to the reason as to why Southern Africa and many other countries have this variety within the population.

Physical or biological anthropology began around the time The Enlightenment began, during the 18th century. The Enlightenment was also known for the time that 'race' was made formal in the sense that racial classes were formed. Race in a sense became the main theme within physical anthropology. Physical anthropologists study fossil hominids from the past in order to distinguish and explain the difference within the populations of humans. Physical anthropology can be defined today in the briefest form as the study of man's variation. He states that physical anthropology looks at the reason as to why humans evolve and how mankind's way of functioning differs or transmit over time in history. The main outcome that physical anthropology aims at is that that has been mentioned prior, 'on the basis of accumulated knowledge and together with other branches of research, show the tendencies of the actual and future evolution of man, and aid in its possible regulation or improvement'.

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Many biological anthropologists tend to only focus on the fossil records and old bones and fossil records to study to determine their discoveries. The resources they gather are used to compare the variety of the present humankind to that of the past, here on earth. There are few that instead of studied fossils they chose to study non-human primates. By doing this thet get to inspect their genetics, behaviours and morphology. The third method used in biological anthropology is getting a more evolutionary perspective on behaviours studied. There are close to 13 different types of biological and physcal anthropology. The first being primatology, which studies the life patterns of primates to see where they 'fit' into mankind. Across ecological zones there has been behavioural variation, as the skeletal structure and social behaviours have adapted to the tropical or subtropical climates. The second being ethnology is the study of how diverse humans are. Human biology focuses on how cultures influence us throughout time. Human genetics is self explanatory. Medical Anthropology studies the patterns of diseases and their nature and impact on society. Physiological anthropology studies how our bio-chemical constition is made up by internal organs. Forensic Anthropology uses bone fragments, blood, fingerprints and genetics which aids in identification of individuals that could be possible crime suspects or victims. This also plays into the role of race and identity, for example if a white man was to commit a crime they would look for that specific trait within a population. Palaeoanthropology studies the evolution of primates and hominids from the fossil record, which studies the closest living relatives and its social structure from which it arose. It also consists of skeletal biology which studies diseases of past humans and archaeological sites. It is a very physical study hence the name physical anthropology, it is what physically shaped mankind and all its variety. Human ecology studies how the environment, low or high altitude or how the epidemiology has affected the way in which humans adapt.

Human Variety and Anthropologists Studies

There is biological diversity within humans. Here are unquestionably scholastic explanations behind contemplating human variety. To start with, it is profoundly fascinating and essential to consider the development of our species and how our organic variety might be like (or not the same as) that of different types of creatures (e.g., different primates and chimps). Such examination can give us signs with respect to how special we are as a natural creature corresponding to the remainder of the set of all animals. Second, anthropologists study current human variety to see how extraordinary natural qualities created throughout transformative time. In the event that we can get a handle on the developmental cycles that produce and influence variety, we can make more exact surmisings about advancement and variation among our hominin progenitors, supplementing our investigation of fossil proof and the archeological record. Third, as will be examined in more detail later on, it is imperative to consider that organic variety among people has biomedical, measurable, and sociopolitical suggestions. Consequently, the investigation of human variety and advancement has framed the premise of anthropological request for quite a long time and keeps on being a significant wellspring of interest and motivation for logical examination led today.

A significantly more significant job of the organic anthropologist is to improve public comprehension of human advancement and variety, outside of scholastic circles. Terms, for example, race and identity are utilized in regular discussions and in conventional settings inside and outside scholarly community. The division of humanity into more modest, discrete classes is a standard event in everyday life. This can be seen routinely when governments obtain statistics information with a heading like 'geographic beginning' or 'nationality.' Furthermore, such checkboxes and drop-down records are generally seen as a feature of the distinguishing data needed for reviews and employment forms.

As indicated by the Oxford English Dictionary, race is a term that ought to be utilized to portray at least one of the accompanying:

  • a significant division of the human species dependent on specific actual attributes;
  • the natural beginning of a gathering of individuals, or heritage;
  • the reality or state of having a place with a racial division or bunch, or the social characteristics related with this;
  • a gathering of individuals having a similar culture and language;
  • any gathering of individuals or things with a typical component or highlights;
  • a populace inside an animal categories that is particular here and there, particularly a subspecies.

Such countless different definitions for single word as of now proposes that maybe the ideas or implications behind natural variety are convoluted. Despite the fact that the terms race and nationality are utilized regularly in typical settings, there is no agreement among organic anthropologists regarding what races are, regardless of whether they even exist, and, on the off chance that they do, how the term ought to be applied to the human species genuinely. In the event that organic anthropologists can't arrive at an agreement on the best way to see human variety, how might we conceivably expect there to be a reasonable point of view on the nature and reasons for organic variety outside of logical scholarly community? Thoughts regarding identity that individuals hold have immense social and political effects, and ideas of race have been essential for the inspiration driving different types of bigotry and bias today, just as numerous conflicts and massacres since the beginning. This is the manner by which the part of the natural anthropologist gets urgent in the open arena, as we might have the option to expose fantasies encompassing human variety and shed light on how human variety is really conveyed worldwide for the non-anthropologists around us. Late work in anthropological hereditary qualities has uncovered the likenesses among people on a sub-atomic level and the moderately couple of contrasts that exist between populaces that one may be enticed to see as essentially unmistakable.

To conclude, physical and biological anthropology has definite links between the biological and social sciences. Race is and will always be related to life as we go on in the years, it was evident in the past and it will continue to be evident. Race along with culture will always define people and where they come from or where they going.

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