Re: Physical nomenclature

Patrick Riley (
3 Aug 1996 03:41:28 GMT

On Aug 01, 1996 18:16:02 in article <Re: Physical nomenclature>,
'' wrote:

>In article <4tphq0$>,
> Riley) wrote:
>The old Bertillon system seems far too involved,
>>wrought with political overtones and requires physical measurements.
>>If someone could point me in the right direction it would be much
>>Patrick Riley
>All human classification systems are wrought with political overtones, you

>are just trying to find one that doesn't offend you. Anthropologists have

>dropped physical typing since the late sixties, and you should ask
>yourself why the need to do it now.
>Toby Cockcroft
>MA Anthropology University Of Western Ontario


Oh dear, have I stumbled into a web of PC activists? Judging by the posts
on Amerind whatever and your reply, perhaps so.

The political overtones part of my objection to using the Bertillon system
was not due to any sensibility on my part but rather I was simply restating
what others had told me: "Don't use the Bertillon system, it's too complex
and has too many political overtones." Personally I have no idea if it
corresponds at all with what I want but it's not worth following anyway
because of the necessity to take physical measurements.

Why the need to do it now? For anthropologists, since I only have a vague
idea of what you do, I have no opinion. For the field in which I work,
however, it's not a question of "do[ing] it now" but rather increasing the
precision of the descriptions with which I currently work, hence my post
which still stands. Perhaps you could suggest a simple work from the
politically incorrect sixties?

Patrick Riley