A Review of Introduction to Physical Anthropology by Robert Jurmain and Others
Introduction to Physical Anthropology is a textbook that covers the basic concepts and methods of physical anthropology, the study of human biological evolution and variation. The book has been revised and updated several times since its first edition in 1977, with the latest edition being the 11th one published in 2008. The book is written by Robert Jurmain, a professor emeritus of anthropology at San Jose State University, and co-authored by Lynn Kilgore, a professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Wenda Trevathan, a professor emerita of anthropology at New Mexico State University.
The book is divided into five parts: Part I introduces the field of physical anthropology and its history, goals, and ethical issues; Part II discusses the principles of genetics and evolutionary theory; Part III examines the fossil evidence for human evolution and the emergence of modern humans; Part IV explores the biological diversity and adaptation of living human populations; and Part V addresses some applied topics such as forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and medical anthropology. The book also includes a glossary, a bibliography, an index, and access to an online resource center with additional materials.
The book is designed for undergraduate students who are taking an introductory course in physical anthropology or who are interested in learning more about human biology and evolution. The book is written in a clear and engaging style, with numerous examples, illustrations, tables, and charts to help explain complex concepts. The book also incorporates current research findings and controversies in the field, as well as perspectives from different cultures and disciplines. The book aims to provide a comprehensive and balanced overview of physical anthropology that stimulates critical thinking and appreciation for human diversity.
One of the strengths of the book is its integration of different sources of evidence and methods of analysis that physical anthropologists use to study human evolution and variation. The book covers topics such as molecular genetics, comparative anatomy, paleontology, primatology, osteology, biocultural anthropology, and more. The book also shows how physical anthropology is relevant to other fields such as archaeology, history, sociology, psychology, and medicine. The book demonstrates how physical anthropology can help us understand our past, present, and future as a species.
Another strength of the book is its emphasis on the diversity and complexity of human biology and behavior. The book does not present a simple or linear story of human evolution or a single model of human adaptation. Instead, the book acknowledges the multiple factors and influences that shape human variation and change over time and space. The book also recognizes the role of culture and society in shaping human biology and behavior, and the importance of respecting and protecting human rights and dignity. The book encourages students to appreciate the diversity and commonality of human beings across the world.
A possible limitation of the book is its length and scope. The book covers a lot of material in a relatively short amount of pages, which may make it difficult for some students to follow or retain all the information. The book also does not go into much depth or detail on some topics that may be of interest to some students or instructors. For example, the book does not discuss much about the origins and evolution of language, cognition, culture, or religion. The book also does not address some contemporary issues such as genetic engineering, cloning, or artificial intelligence. The book may need to be supplemented with other readings or resources to cover these topics more thoroughly. 061ffe29dd