Biological anthropology (also known as bioanthropology and physical anthropology) is a branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology (the study of human origins), bioarchaeology (the study of past populations), and in forensic anthropology (the analysis and identification of human remains for legal purposes). It draws upon human anthropometrics (body measurements), human genetics (molecular anthropology), human osteology (the study of bones) and includes neuroanthropology, the study of human brain evolution, and of culture as neurological adaptation to environment.
In two centuries biological anthropology has been involved in a range of controversies. The quest for human origins was accompanied by the evolution debate and various racial theories. The nature and nurture debate became a political battleground. There have been various attempts to correlate human physique with psychological traits such as intelligence, criminality and personality type, many of which were proved to be incorrect and are now obsolete.
The human body is the entire structure of a human organism and comprises a head, neck, torso, two arms and two legs. By the time the human reaches adulthood, the body consists of close to 100 trillion cells, the basic unit of life. These cells are organised biologically to eventually form the whole body.
Hair color is the pigmentation of hair follicles due to two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Generally, if more eumelanin is present, the color of the hair is darker; if less eumelanin is present, the hair is lighter. Levels of melanin can vary over time causing a person's hair color to change, and it is possible to have hair follicles of more than one color.
Particular hair colors are associated with ethnic groups. The shades of human hair color are assessed using the Fischer–Saller scale. The Fischer–Saller scale, named after Eugen Fischer and Karl Saller, is used in physical anthropology and medicine to determine the shades of hair color. The scale uses the following designations: A (light blond), B to E (blond), F to L (blond), M to O (dark blond), P to T (brown), U to Y (dark brown/black) and Roman numerals I to IV (red) and V to VI (red blond). See also the Martin–Schultz scale for eye color.
Historical race concepts have varied across cultures and over time, and have been controversial for social, political and scientific reasons. Until the 19th century, race was thought by many to constitute an immutable and distinct type or species which shared particular racial characteristics, such as body constitution, temperament and mental capacities.
Caucasian race (also Caucasoid) is the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western, Central and South Asia. Historically, the term was used for many people from these regions, without regard necessarily to skin tone.
Human skin color ranges in variety from the darkest brown to the lightest pinkish-white hues. Human skin pigmentation is the result of natural selection. Skin pigmentation in human beings evolved to primarily regulate the amount of ultraviolet radiation penetrating the skin, controlling its biochemical effects.
The actual skin color of different humans is affected by many substances, although the single most important substance determining human skin color is the pigment melanin. Melanin is produced within the skin in cells called melanocytes and it is the main determinant of the skin color of darker-skinned humans. The skin color of people with light skin is determined mainly by the bluish-white connective tissue under the dermis and by the haemoglobin circulating in the veins of the dermis. The red color underlying the skin becomes more visible, especially in the face, when, as consequence of physical exercise or the stimulation of the nervous system (anger, fear), arterioles dilate.
White people is a term denoting a specific set of ethnic groups and functions as a color metaphor for race.
The definition of "white person" differs according to geographical and historical context. Various social constructions of whiteness have had implications in terms of national identity, consanguinity, public policy, religion, population statistics, racial segregation, affirmative action, eugenics, racial marginalization and racial quotas. The concept has been applied with varying degrees of formality and internal consistency in disciplines including sociology, politics, genetics, biology, medicine, biomedicine, language, culture, and law.]citation needed[
A social issue (also called a social problem or a social situation) is an issue that relates to society's perception of a person's personal lives. Different cultures have different perceptions and what may be "normal" behavior in one society may be a significant social issue in another society. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues. Some issues have both social and economic aspects, such as immigration. There are also issues that don't fall into either category, such as wars.
Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man and Common Sense, addresses man's duty to "allow the same rights to others as we allow ourselves". The failure to do so causes the birth of a social issue.