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Missy Broome

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“Bones” Makes Same Mistake Over And Over Again

If you are a big fan of the show “Bones” you have often seen Dr Temperance Brennan look at human remains and announce “This is a Caucasian female.” citing the victim’s “zygomatic process,” the “orbital margins,” the “ascending ramus”.  She makes it look easy, Race is one of the hardest things to determine about the human remains. Los Angeles coroner, Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D, usually puts race in her report cause it is required but normally writes a generalization like white which covers a multitude of ethnicity. In a comparison of 747 skulls from a study done at Michigan State University, each one showed at least one trait that could identify them as a different ethnicity than what they actually were. Anthropologists are up in arms because the shows uses antiquated terms to classify it’s subjects. Dan Newlin says that anthropologists now want to determine not race but where physically a subject came from. Not a generalization like “white” but from the Holland area.

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