Talk:Forensic anthropology

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Something should be added about how the race determination is becoming obsolete or pointless. It's generalization about where ancestors came from...I dunno. I heard several lectures about this, but mostly what stuck in my head was something about diaspora. Ductapedaredevil 16:41, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I disagree, ancestry determination is a very vital part of Forensic Anthropology. Sustentacular 00:42, 31 January 2007 (UTC)sustentacular

I agree with Ductapedaredevil on racial determination becoming obsolete. Seeing as race is a cultural construct, not a physical manifestation, a skull is not an accurate portrayal of one's ethnic heritage. Jlskiba (talk) 20:40, 2 November 2010 (UTC)jlskiba 4:39, 2 November 2010

The idea of discrete races is a cultural construct, however, there is no denying that individuals with similar ancestral backgrounds (note, ancestry and ethnicity are different things) have similar skeletal features, most notably in the skull. Since "race" is something that society continually uses to describe people it stands to reason that when providing a biological profile to help identify a decedent that at least a vague racial category should be provided when possible. Not in the interest of perpetuating the idea of discrete races but to aid in the identification of unknown skeletal remains. Sustentacular 7:31 2 November 2010 (UTC)sustentacular

What are the best current sources on the issue? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 23:52, 2 November 2010 (UTC) Sustentacular 8:51 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Agree with Sustentacular. - Boneyard90 (talk) 22:59, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Notable Forensic Anthropologists[edit]

I have added some FA's whose absence was glaringly obvious - Suchey and Brooks being the main ones. I also think that because there are so many Diplomates on the ABFA website that we should move away from chronological order and into alphabetical order - anyone object???

I also think we should include FA worldwide - maybe mentioning the role of FA in ICTY?

to whoever: please stop adding faafs to jerry melbye's name. the majority of the people on that list are aafs fellows, theres no need to add it to just his name.

Notability is decided by the wikipedia standards. We cannot include all notable forensic anthropologists, or even establish particular criteria fr what makes a forensic anthropologist notable - for this reason we will have to limit to forensic anthropologists that have articles, just like we do in all other lists.·Maunus·ƛ· 01:05, 7 April 2011 (UTC)


I intend to add a section regarding techniques used when i have a minute to scan in some pics.

Carlos Zambrano?[edit]

I am just here to find out about Forensic Anthropology, but in the first paragraph it read: " One of the leading Forensic anthropologist today isCarlos Zambrano who is one of the inspirations behind the thrilling TV series Bones."

Shouldn't it be Kathy Reichs?

And the link to Carlos Zambrano brings me to a baseball pitcher. His age was also stated as (1700-2008).

I wonder if there is really such a notable forensic anthropologist, or did someone edit the page by mistake. I'll leave it to the experts. Okami ningen83 (talk) 05:00, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

It's a joke, don't worry about it. ~ Sustentacular (talk) 23:05, 10 June 2008 (UTC)sustentacular

Reliable secondary sources on this subject?[edit]

Does anyone have a citations to validation studies on how well forensic antropologists actually categorize discovered skulls or other human remains in tests with human remains of known provenance? I see the article is tagged as needing more sources, and this is one important issue related to the topic of the article. More generally, are there sources like those listed on the Anthropology and Human Biology Citations page, posted in userspace for all wikipedians to share, that have to do with the specifically forensic issues in anthropology? You can help other Wikipedians by suggesting new sources through comments on that page. It will be extremely helpful for articles on human genetics to edit them according to the Wikipedia standards for reliable sources for medicine-related articles, as it is important to get these issues as well verified as possible. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 03:14, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

List of anthropologists[edit]

Look, at wikipedia we have WP:V which requires that every piece of information is verifiable and sourced to reliable source. If information is not soiurced to a reliable source then it can be removed on sight. I am removing these names 1. because it is not sourced that they are forensic anthropolgists. 2. because it is not sourced that they are notable. In wikipedia notable of academics is determined by the criteria WP:ACADEMICS if you can supply a source that shows that each of these names are notable according to WP:ACADEMIC then the names can be included even if they don't have an article. ·Maunus·ƛ· 02:32, 7 April 2011 (UTC)


The narrative and examples are almost entirely from the U.S. It would be good to expand the coverage to the rest of the world. Cusop Dingle (talk) 17:18, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Notable forensic anthropologists[edit]

This list seems in bad shape. I can find no indication in the articles concerned that the following were forsensic anthropologists: Thomas Dwight, Aleš Hrdlička, Earnest Hooton, Wilton M. Krogman, Kewal Krishan. Are there any references to support this list? Cusop Dingle (talk) 16:53, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Globalize/North America tag[edit]

As others have mentioned before, the article is almost entirely about the USA and Canada. It needs to be expanded to cover other countries and continents and represent the subject globally. Otherwise I suggest moving the article to a title of Forensic anthropology in North America. FonsScientiae (talk) 21:45, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

A move is premature and unnecessarily divisive. I agree that the article would benefit from more information regarding the field's history and application in other countries. To that end I would add:
Thank you for your suggestion regarding Forensic anthropology. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top.
The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). Boneyard90 (talk) 00:12, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

I would love to edit but unfortunately I am not an expert on the field. I do not understand why a move would be divisive till there is more global information. FonsScientiae (talk) 17:56, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I would like to add on to it, but I'm pressed for time with non-Wiki matters at the moment, and besides, what knowledge I have concerns the US anyway, though I understand that Guatemala and Chile have respectable forensic departments now. The move you want to make would be divisive, or rather polarizing, because anybody searching for "Forensic anthropology" would be directed to a page titled "Forensic anthropology in North America", suggesting that the entire field of FA was synonymous with FA in NA. As it is, we have an incomplete article, rather than a hijacked subject. Boneyard90 (talk) 19:00, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
You are right and I never questioned that forensic anthropology existed in other countries. The NA tag has to remain for the current version till you or someone else adds on more global material.
As for mentioning 'race' twice in the article I have some objections. The AAA has released an official statement years ago: "During the past 50 years, 'race' has been scientifically proven to not be a real, natural phenomenon. More specific, social categories such as 'ethnicity' or 'ethnic group' are more salient for scientific purposes and have fewer of the negative, racist connotations for which the concept of race was developed. (...) Eventually these [racial] classifications must be transcended and replaced by more non-racist and accurate ways of representing the diversity of the U.S. population."(source) The term 'race' in Canada is not used, Canada classifies people according to ethnicity and membership of 'visible minority'. As for other countries, 'race' is either not used or has completely different meaning than in then USA. For example in Europe, where I live, it is strongly associated with laws proclaimed by the Nazi and Fascist governments in Europe during the 20th century. Reading this article an international audience may think that the term is scientifically well-founded and that it is used globally within the field as a legitimate concept. I believe using a more neutral word 'ethnicity' or 'population group' would be more appropriate. FonsScientiae (talk) 19:45, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Physical anthropologists were voted down at that AAA meeting 50 years ago. Some physical anthropologists retained usage of the term "race" for much of that time, though it has become an increasingly contentious issue, and many phys. anthropologists, in my opinion, have become worn down by the other fields. There are still a minority that say that "racial research" is not "racist research". There is also research to suggest many "racial" traits found in the bones came from faulty research, but the reports are fairly few, and there is an obvious agenda behind them. Many forensic anthropologists still call it "race", some use the same tables to determine "race" but then call it something else ("ancestral background", for example). There is the similar problem with sex versus gender. The latter is proclaimed by the individual and is culturally constructed (a transvestite may identify as a "woman", for example), but the bones tell me the sex is "male". But to return to the issue, yes, the "race" concept is problematic here in the US, and is associated with racist laws and social discrimination, mostly (I hope) in the past. As for the article, "ethnicity" isn't quite right because that incorporates language and culture, which of course you can't tell from bones. Would you prefer to substitute "race" with "predominant geographical ancestry"? Boneyard90 (talk) 01:20, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that would be perfect. Or what do you think about just "geographic ancestry", "ancestral population", or "geographical phenotype"? As I know concepts as 'pure' and 'mixed' ancestry are problematic to work with as each person has different degrees of ancestry from different geographic areas so adding 'predominant' to the term may be necessary. Please use a term which you feel mostly suits its usage here. FonsScientiae (talk) 20:50, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I'll look over the article and see if I can make some changes in the next day or two.Boneyard90 (talk) 03:08, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, so can you please make the modifications which we have agreed on? FonsScientiae (talk) 08:36, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, of course. Terribly sorry about the delay. I made modifications to all points where "race" was discussed, besides trying to generally clean it up. Once I took a look, I realized the format was a bit of a mess. Hope that takes care of the article, at least until someone with broader knowledge on an international scope can come along and add to it. Boneyard90 (talk) 12:58, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Fictional anthropologists?[edit]

I notice that someone has added Temperance "Bones" Brennan to the list of notable anthropologists. Do we have any feeling or policy here about adding fictional characters to a list of notable people? --MelanieN (talk) 18:37, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

I saw that too, was about to remove it, but then paused as not sure. I don't know if there is a policy or guideline that suggests one way or the other but it needs at least to be clearly delineated as a fictional character. There are also two others listed as notable but are red until those articles exist, perhaps they should be removed.--MONGO 18:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't find any guideline. I was also not sure about Bones, but she might well be more notable than many real-life scientists. My hunch is to keep her but flag her as fictional. As to the red links, I agree and will remove them.--MelanieN (talk) 19:23, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
The appropriate guideline is at Wikipedia:"In popular culture" content. Many articles do contain a "Cultural references" section, and "Bones" along with any other forensic anthropologists in movies, books, video games, or TV shows would go there. - Boneyard90 (talk) 15:07, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I hope no-one minds, but I took the liberty of making the change. However, I can't think of any other forensic anthropologists in pop culture. I don't watch C.S.I or some of the other police dramas, and while I'm sure at least one Law & Order episode must have had a F.A., I can't think of the episode(s). - Boneyard90 (talk) 15:14, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that is the perfect solution. --MelanieN (talk) 17:39, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

Forensic archaeology will be redirect to this page since there was no opposition. No content was merged from the page. The forensic archaeology section on this page was written in my own words. --Stabila711 (talk) 00:39, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I propose that information on forensic archaeology be merged into this page. Forensic archaeology is a recognized subfield of forensic anthropology and the forensic archaeology section on this page already has most of the information contained in the forensic archaeology article anyways. Including the small amount of other information present on the forensic archaeology article on this page shouldn't be a problem and shouldn't cause any undue weight issues. --Stabila711 (talk) 03:00, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Forensic anthropology/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Delldot (talk · contribs) 22:17, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

I am working on this now, should have some comments for you in just a bit. delldot ∇. 22:17, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Thanks for taking on the review. I will be here for any questions and/or updates. --Stabila711 (talk) 22:21, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

An interesting and informative article! A lot of good work has gone into it. I will try to suppress my tendency to be an unbearably hardass reviewer but I do have some concerns about overall organization and some thoughts about areas that could use fleshing out. Hopefully it won't be too much work to address though.

  • The lead needs expansion. See WP:LEAD. I would usually aim for 2-4 paragraphs. As a rule of thumb I try to include something from each section (e.g. history), although you wouldn't want to do that with the notable people section. That way you summarize the article.
    • Ok. I will work on this tonight.
    • Lead has been expanded to include parts on history and education. Let me know if that is alright.
  • I think the history section should come after the applications sections. That way we know more about what the practice is and what it entails before we hear about who invented it. I don't want you to feel you have to make this change if you disagree, but let's discuss it.
    • Personally, I feel like you should read the background before you read how something is applied. That way you know the amount of work that went into the creation of those formulas and methods. If it wasn't for Hooton and the eugenics movement we would not have the information we do on skeletal dimorphisms. If it wasn't for Todd and his collection of skeletons forensic anthropology would have been set back many years. I feel like the history feeds into the rest of article which is why I put it directly after the lead.
  • I think the Today section that is now in history should be the first section after the lead (and should be renamed to avoid reusing the article title). Maybe it could go under applications, since it mostly talks about where it is used (i.e. applied).
    • I was trying to use that section as a segue into the application section which is why it contains more application focused information than the previous history sections. I am at a loss as to an alternative name. I thought about "Modernization" but that doesn't really fit with the section. Any thoughts?
      • Ok, so new idea: what if we keep the hx section before the formulas and methods, but put the modern uses section before history (possibly renamed modern applications or something). Then we could keep ‘Methods’ after 'History'. I think it would be an easy transition from hx to the modern formulas since, as you suggest, the inheritance is clear. I do think when and why the practice is used should go near the front. So then it would be 1. Lead 2. Applications (or 'Modern uses') 3. History 4. Methods. What do you think? delldot ∇. 18:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Done. I tested it and I like it so I reorganized the sections and expanded the Modern uses section. Thoughts? --Stabila711 (talk) 22:16, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
          • Excellent, I have no complaints. I think the transition is fine. delldot ∇. 00:04, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I would like to see more info in application (or in what is now the today section) about where and why this practice is used. What did the anthropologists specifically do in these mass murders and plane crashes? Why were their services needed? What is it about forensic anthropology that makes it needed in these situations? Are there other examples of its use? How often is it used in regular murder or other investigations? At what point do anthropologists become involved? What are the determinations or identifications in aid of?
    • I could split off the today subsection into its own section and add to it. Their services were called for when the remains are unrecognizable. In plane crashes the flesh is usually vaporized or so badly mangled that normal identification is impossible. In cases of genocide, the investigations usually occur so long after the actual event that the remains are skeletonized. For example, the Srebenica Massacre in the picture occurred in 1995 but that grave was not excavated until 2007. There are other cases of its use but I just picked a few to make my point. As for regular murders it really depends. If the body is found quickly and can be identified there really isn't anything for anthropologists to do and the identification is left to the medical examiner. It all depends on the condition of the remains.
      • This is all great info, I'd love to see all of this mentioned. I can see now that the article did mention some of it but it's much clearer now that you've explained it this way so I think fleshing that out in the article would help. delldot ∇. 18:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Done. I put it in the new Modern uses section. --Stabila711 (talk) 22:16, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
          • Beautiful. delldot ∇. 00:04, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • The info in the application section is all about specifics of the practices. Is application the right word for this? Maybe the application section should talk about cases where the practice is used, and this could be renamed "practices" or some such. I'm not sure about this, do you have any ideas?
    • I named it application since those techniques showed how forensic anthropology was applied to a set of remains. Perhaps methods is a more appropriate word? I could have a specific/notable cases section but that would end up repeating a lot of the article.
    • I changed the section name to methods as that more accurately describes the information there.
      • I think that's a fantastic idea. delldot ∇. 18:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I could not make any sense of this sentence: This is due to the scale of which skeletal differences between the sexes exists in. Can you clarify?
    • Wow, can't believe I missed that sentence after reading through this article over a dozen times. I have removed that line and added to the previous one. It now says "It is important for forensic anthropologists to take into account all available markers in the determination of sex due to the differences that can occur between individuals of the same sex."
  • The history section discusses the Korean War like it took place in the 40's. Can you make sense of this?
    • Bad phrasing on my part. It made sense in my head. I split the sentences so it now reads "This period saw the first official use of anthropologists by federal agencies including the FBI. During the 1950s the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps employed forensic anthropologists in the identification of war casualties during the Korean War."
      • What about these two sentences: The sudden influx of available skeletons for anthropologists to study, whose identities were eventually confirmed, allowed for the creation of more accurate formulas for the identification of sex, age,[8] and stature[9]based solely on skeletal characteristics. These formulas, developed in the 1940s, are still in use today. It sounds like the methods were developed as the result of all the new skeletons, but that was not till the 50s. Does it mean the methods had been developed earlier and just got a chance to be perfected during the war? Maybe if so, These formulas, which had been developed in the 1940s and advanced by the war, are still in use today. delldot ∇. 18:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
        • You were correct. They were developed earlier and advanced by war. I have changed the sentence to the following These formulas, developed in the 1940s and refined by war, are still in use by modern forensic anthropologists. --Stabila711 (talk) 22:16, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • The Cultural references section has a single reference in a single sentence. My expectation is that this is not going to be possible to expand into a whole section with multiple non-trivial references. So let's incorporate the info into another section and ditch this header. One idea is to add it as a note to the line about Kathy Reichs, who the character is based off of (although no one else in that section has a byline).
    • That section was already there when I started expanding the article and I had my doubts about keeping it. The only reason I did was because Bones is a very well known show and most of the information the general population knows about forensics is gleaned from television. However, I would not be opposed to having a line next to Reichs regarding her role in the creation of the show and the removal of that section.
      • Great, or alternately incorporate it elsewhere e.g. in 'Modern uses', wherever it fits naturally. I agree that the show merits a mention. delldot ∇. 18:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
        • I am hesitant to include Bones in the Modern uses section since that show is actually really inaccurate (like most CSI programs). If anything I would feel comfortable putting a note next to Reichs or leaving it where it is. --Stabila711 (talk) 22:16, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
          • Yeah I think incorporating it next to Reichs is better, otherwise the stupid show gets its own section. One thought might be to put a little blurb next to some of the other names in the list as well to justify their inclusion. That way Reichs is not the only one. delldot ∇. 00:04, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────*I am going to do that then. Bass is known for the creation of the first body farm, Burns is known for her work in genocide cases, etc.

  • Throughout the article I think you could stand to go through and copy edit with a view toward eliminating excessive unnecessary wording. e.g. I went through and removed a lot of instances of "the individual" where the sentence was equally clear with this eliminated.
    • Thank you for your copyedits. I will go through and eliminate any extra wording.
  • All photos look like they check out, so that's good.
  • I think it's sufficiently referenced, although I'm assuming in some cases where an unreferenced sentence is followed by a referenced one that the reference covers both. I would recommend putting a reference at the end of each sentence, since the material could get rearranged (e.g. the referenced sentence could get removed or moved). That way there's no doubt you have a reference.
    • You assumed correctly. I didn't want to cite each sentence as I felt like that would be citation overload and it was drilled into my head in school that you just don't do that in scientific articles. However, I do understand your point and I will add citations to the places that need them.
      • Cool, I definitely err on the side of overload on WP! delldot ∇. 18:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

That is what I have for now! Let's continue the discussion as work progresses on the article. Thanks for all your hard work so far Stabila711! delldot ∇. 22:46, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

  • @Delldot: Thank you for taking this on. I will start working on the changes tonight. As to you being a "hardass" I welcome that. I am used to a panel of peer reviewers scrutinizing my every sentence and it always makes the article better. I would rather have a hardass review and end up with a great article than not. --Stabila711 (talk) 00:04, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Edited to include updates. --Stabila711 (talk) 03:17, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Fantastic, thanks for all the good work! delldot ∇. 18:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Updated. --Stabila711 (talk) 22:16, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Section break[edit]

This is super close, I'm just trying to think of more questions to be sure the comprehensiveness standard is met. Here are some examples, but it may not make sense to answer them all. Just see if you think they are worth addressing.

  • In methods, what about a person's build? can you tell a person's weight from their skeleton?
    • Not really. Weight is decided by muscle and fat not bones. You could make a best guess based on the average weight for a person's height and age but that is about it. The only exception is for severely obese people. The weight on the bones would leave compression markers.
  • Does an anthro ever work with teeth, or would that fall solely to a dentist?
    • Only for people who died under the age of 21 (ish). If the remains are that of a child their age can be estimated based on which teeth have erupted but past that any opinions are left up to forensic dentists.
  • Do anthers work with anything other than bones? I think jewelry was mentioned somewhere iirc. It might be worth it to mention early in the article, "here are all the things anthros look at: bones, jewelry..." or if it's strictly bones that could be clarified in the lead.
    • Personal items are useful in genocide investigations. During the Rwandan Genocide investigation, tables were laid out with the personal items found in the mass graves. Family members were asked to look through them for items they recognized. If they recognized an item the bones associated with it could be returned to the right family.
  • Does DNA merit a mention? Would forensic anthropologists ever use it, or would that fall to another member of the team? Would its presence mean the forensic anthro is not needed, or would their work supplement DNA analysis?
    • Anthropologists might extract bone marrow if it is present but DNA examination past that is left to DNA specialists. The way the legal system is set up is that expert witnesses can only be qualified as an expert in a narrow field. So anthropologists would only be able to speak about anthropology while DNA analysts would only be able to speak about DNA.
  • Is identifying sex, stature, etc solely in aid of identifying the individual, or are there other reasons to look for this info?
  • I've just been reading a book called A Missing Plane in which she describes bagging and labeling remains based on where they were dug up; "segregating" individuals when a bunch of people's remains have gotten mixed up; figuring out whose bones are whose by how they fit together, and matching skeletons with dental and military physical records. Might these merit mention in methods? Would the military use be good to mention in Modern uses (i.e. making sure families get the right bones to bury), or is that too rare of a case?
    • Cases where there are a large number of unidentifiable bodies are more associated with genocide than the military (at least today). Like mentioned above with the table full of personal items found in mass graves. The military usually has it down to a science when it comes to the collection of the dead and the return of the remains to their family. Frankly, as of today it is much more likely that you would get someone else's ashes from a local crematorium than the wrong remains from the military. As to dental records that is not in the anthropologists area of expertise. If they require a dental match it would fall to a forensic dentist.

Feel free to ignore these if you don't think they will add to the article. delldot ∇. 00:04, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Responded to questions. Also, I am going to do a little blurb next to the notable anthropologists and eliminate the cultural references section. --Stabila711 (talk) 00:53, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Well I tried it and I just don't like how it rendered in preview mode. There are also various levels to notability in that list. Some of them founded forensic anthropology societies (Sue Black, Fredy Peccerelli) while others are notable for their work. Hugh Berryman is recognized as one of the leading experts in blunt force trauma. Jane Buikstra is known for her work in forensic archaeology. Then there is Karen Burns who was involved in genocide investigations. I am actually debating on removing the section entirely. It doesn't really add anything to the article. It is just a list of names. Is it common to include "notable people" sections in articles? --Stabila711 (talk) 02:11, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
    • I actually hate notable people sections because they get added to so haphazardly and it's not really informative if it's just a list of names with no context, but I didn't say anything about this one because at least each person has a blue link and a mention of forensic anthropology in the lead of their article. I do think it would be an improvement to incorporate these people into the history section (or elsewhere) if they're noteworthy enough and drop those who are not, but it's up to you. delldot ∇. 16:34, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
      • I ended up removing it and incorporating Kathy Reichs next to Bones with a reference. I am starting to view notable people sections as more subjective than should be allowed on an encyclopedia. Who gets included? Who gets left off? What is the level of notability required?
      • Anyways, what do I still have to do? --Stabila711 (talk) 18:27, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
        • I restored the section. I could see making sure each is reffed but Forensic Anthropologists are a rare breed so its unlikely the list will ever overwhelm the article.--MONGO 22:19, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
          • Ok, but now there is still the one-liner cultural references section. Back to plan A, incorporate it with Reichs? My other suggestions for the notables section would be to have birth dates for all of them (it's currently inconsistent), and potentially have a blurb for each person. But I wouldn't hold up promotion based on that. delldot ∇. 23:24, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Okay....I don't want to step on anyone's toes here. Perhaps someone can create a list article which has notable forensic anthropologists and just link to that? Least that way this article won't be a battleground to determine who is and who isn't notable....just a thought. If you feel we are better off not listing individuals here I'm fine with that.--MONGO 23:42, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Nah, I wasn't stressed about it, I was mainly concerned about the next section, which I don't think will be hard to incorporate into it. I doubt anyone will battle over notable forensic anthropologists but anything's possible! delldot ∇. 00:18, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
    • I am putting the information into a table. It looks much better and I can add a short blurb on each person regarding why they are notable. I should have it done soon and then I can remove the cultural references section. --Stabila711 (talk) 00:22, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Done with the table and the blurbs. I also added a ref for each one. I did remove a few people since I couldn't find published sources on why they were notable. --Stabila711 (talk) 01:58, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
      • That's a neat solution, I like it. You might consider adding a dates column (birth? Active during? Not sure.) but up to you. Really amazing work on this article, promoting now. Symbol support vote.svg delldot ∇. 03:09, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Early history - pseudoscience[edit]

I think this sentence in the "Early history" section needs to be rewritten.

  • "Now considered a pseudoscience, criminal anthropologists believe that certain criminal behaviors can be linked to specific physical characteristics."

I agree that phrenology is a pseudoscience, but this sentence is overly broad because Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder has specific physical characteristics and is associated with higher than average levels of criminal behavior. See and Waters.Justin (talk) 02:24, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

@Waters.Justin: Criminal anthropology was based on physical characteristics and the sentence makes sure to make that distinction. The shape of the head, the size of the hands, the distance between the pupils of the eyes, things like that is what criminal anthropologists focused on. Criminal anthropology is a mix of phrenology and physiognomy with the rest of the body thrown in. FASD is a mental disorder and neither of those articles mentions how their physical characteristics would increase their propensity to criminal activity. They focus more on the lack of impulse control and behavioral issues caused by the disorder. Do you have an idea on how you would like to reword the sentence? --Majora (talk) 04:51, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Maybe something like this. "Now considered a pseudoscience, criminal anthropologist believed phrenology and physiognomy could link a person's character and behavior to specific physical characteristics. Waters.Justin (talk) 03:33, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
@Waters.Justin: I tweaked it a little but I changed it to add wikilinks to phrenology and physiognomy. Thoughts? --Majora (talk) 20:33, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
That looks good. Waters.Justin (talk) 21:41, 21 February 2016 (UTC)