An Evolving, Evolutionary Science of Human Differences

  • Jonathan Marks


In this chapter, I trace the transformation of the field of biological anthropology from a science of race to a science of human spatiotemporal variation. This has involved grappling with two fallacies over the course of the twentieth century: first, that there is an underlying zoological taxonomic structure to our species and, second, that political and economic history is the consequence of an underlying biological destiny. The history of this science corroborates the anthropological generalization that no human societies contemplate their ancestors and relatives in purely rational terms; but invariably in meaningful, symbolic, and value-laden ways. Acknowledging these properties in our own science allows us to begin grappling with its political and moral dimensions.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Marks
    • 1
  1. 1.UNC- CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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