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Category Archives: Biological Anthropology

100 Anthropology Blogs has published a list of 100 anthropology blogs. It’s a neat list and a great resource.

Living Relatives of Kwaday Dan Ts’inchi Found

This story fascinates me — both for reasons of human interest and aboriginal rights. DNA testing has identified seventeen living relatives of an aboriginal hunter who died perhaps three hundred years ago. His remains were frozen in glacial ice in northern BC in the territory of the Champagne-Aishihik First Nations (Athapaskan). The seventeen people connected […]

Evolution, Primates, and Religion

From comes an interview with anthropologist Barbara King. The topic is the origins of religion and interview is prompted by King’s new book, “Evolving God: A Provocative View on the Origins of Religion.” King observes that non-human primates show empathy and meaning-making in their social actions. She draws conclusions about religion by analogy, suggesting […]

Special Edition of Scientific American

I’m always on the lookout for useful teaching materials for my first and second year courses. To that end, I am now working my way through the current Special Edition of Scientific American. Titled “Becoming Human: Evolution and the Rise of Intelligence,” the issue is devoted to recent research in biological anthropology. There are articles […]


In both of my Introduction to Cultural Anthropology classes last week, talk of biological anthropology as a subfield of the discipline led to brief mention of a new Fox TV show called ‘Bones.’ The show is CSI-like and is about the work of a forensic anthropologist. I watched the pilot episode last night and enjoyed […]

Beothuk Research and Possible Film

In a timely follow-up to class discussions over the past weeks, The Toronto Star has run a piece about the extinction / extermination of the Beothuks of Newfoundland during the eighteen and early nineteenth centuries. The article describes an upcoming film production about the Beothuks using forensic anthropology and ethnohistory: [The] supposed mystery of the […]

Altruism, Cooperation, and Fish

In light of having subjected my cultural anthropology students to a brief discussion about altruism from the perspective of biological anthropology, my students will be amused by this post which describes a McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) study about a species of fish that acts altruistically. Using a combination of laboratory experiments and underwater field observations […]

Homogenization of Cultures

From and noted by Anne Galloway comes a discussion about the reasons for cultural diversity and the idea that in order to protect themselves, cultures behave like different biological species. I find several ideas of note here. In particular, the interview includes more discussion about linguistic diversity, why fewer and fewer languages are surviving […]

Connecting Evolution with Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

For my students who are also interested in biological anthropology, check out this story from MSNBC. Titled Human Evolution at the Crossroads, science editor Alan Boyle retreats from descriptions of past human evolution to speculate on where human evolution might be going in the future. There’s discussion of super humans (read: Barry Bonds) and human-machine […]