Descent with Modification: Bioanthropological Identities in 2009



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum: For: “Descent with Modification: Bioanthropological Identities in 2009” by Julienne Rutherford, in American Anthropologist 112(2) Volume 112, Issue 3, 507, Article first published online: 23 August 2010


ABSTRACT  In the year of Darwin, what were the emerging themes and events that united disparate manifestations of bioanthropological identities? In this review, I draw from conference proceedings, the literature, and electronic social networking to assess six major developments in 2009: the bioanthropological legacy of Darwin on the 200th anniversary of his birth; the efforts of primatologists from a multitude of backgrounds to grapple with the construction of a unified ethics; the remediation of philosophical tensions between field and captive primatology; the coalescence of an explicitly comparative evolutionary anthropology; the role of conference attendance and collaborations in forging disciplinary identity; and the provocative implications of the Ardipithecus ramidus story. The field of biological anthropology continues to evolve and diversify, obscuring a common identity, but as in other organic fractal systems, a common origin as anthropologists leads to descent with modification.