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An Introduction to Physical Anthropolgy

James G. Roney Jr., M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
JAMA. 1961;175(8):734. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040080090041.
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The third edition is a real revision of the previous edition, bringing into one volume an outstanding presentation of physical anthropology today. With succinctness and clarity he delineates the primates as a zoological group and then proceeds to their origin and evolution. History is woven carefully into these chapters and others. Viewpoints of other investigators are presented and commented on. Where the author has divergent viewpoints, these are stated clearly.

Two mistaken notions are orthogenetic evolution and missing-link concepts. The new idea of evolution is that of "a labile reticulate process occurring within the varying environmental matrices of spacetime, with repeated inter-crossing between different lines, at once convergent and divergent."

The chapter on time, morphology, and neoteny is a stimulating and philosophical one. The author suggests that the change of status from ape to man was a result of "retention of the growth trends of the juvenile brain and its


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