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Pathological Anthropology

Nature volume 29, pages 508509 | Download Citation



A NEW and important departure in anthropological studies is taken by Prof. Klebs of Zurich in a paper “On the transformations of the human race as a result mainly of pathological influences,” read at the recent meeting of the Swiss Scientific Association at Freiburg, and of which we give the leading points. Hitherto pathology can scarcely be said to have been seriously considered at all in the speculations of anthropologists on the evolution of the fundamental human types. Monogenists especially, deriving all from one primeval stock, have sought an explanation of present varieties mainly in outward causes, such as diet, social habits, climate—in a word, the environment. Now the learned Zurich professor attempts to refer existing varieties rather to inward causes, without of course pretending to deny that these may themselves ultimately to a large extent depend on external conditions.

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