Short Essay on Physical Anthropology

Thus, physical anthropology has a sort of specialization or sharp­ening of certain aspects of general biology. Still another speciality of physical anthropology is that it is concerned only with limited and re­stricted study of the human species. It never moves beyond the study of humans.

David Bidney has taken a similar position. Though an American anthropologist, he defined physical anthropology in terms of the ori­gin, evolution and development of man.

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He stresses on the comparative methodology employed by physical anthropology. For instance, in the classification of human races, comparative physiology has been employed by all physical anthropologists. Bidney observes:

Man is the concern of that branch of anthropology known as physi­cal anthropology which takes up such problems as the evolution of man and the comparative anatomy of races.

If we analyze the whole kit of definitions of physical anthropol­ogy, we would be able to draw the following characteristics of physical anthropology:

(1) It is a natural science.

(2) Its nature is organic and physical.

(3) It draws from the general principles of biology, zoology and other natural sciences.

(4) It depends on heredity and the doctrines of cell development and evolution.

(5) It utilizes the methods of laboratory and experimental conditions.

(6) It has a limited field of studying only one species, that is, man.

(7) It studies all varieties of men, different races, sexes and ages, and uses predominantly comparative methods.