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Am J Phys Anthropol. 2010;143 Suppl 51:2-12. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21438.

The new biological anthropology: bringing Washburn's new physical anthropology into 2010 and beyond--the 2008 AAPA luncheon lecture.

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Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.


Nearly 60 years ago, Sherwood Washburn issued a call for a "New Physical Anthropology," a transition from measurement and classification toward a focus on the processes and mechanisms of evolutionary change. He advocated multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the understanding of human behavior, biology, and history. Many interpret this as a call for a practice that is both biological and anthropological. Is this what we do? Are we biological anthropologists yet? In this essay, I explore what we, Physical Anthropologists, as a discipline are doing in the context of a New Physical Anthropology, where we might be headed, and why this discussion is crucial to our relevance.

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