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Keywords:

  • Body composition;
  • Brain;
  • Constitution;
  • Evolution;
  • History;
  • Iridology;
  • Medicine;
  • Phrenology;
  • Physical anthropology;
  • Race;
  • Taxonomy

Abstract

In the eighteenth century, workers in general biology, medicine, and physical anthropology knew little about human physiology. As a result, they heavily stressed mystical, essentialist classifications of organisms, constitutional types, and diseases. Comparative morphology and diagnostic systems prevailed. At different times and for somewhat different reasons, these older paradigms were abandoned and newer ones adopted. Late in this scientific revolution, in the midtwentieth century, the new physical anthropology was born.