- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Blumenbach's classification

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An historical term for an ethnological classification of the peculiarities of human races, according to how they have been shaped by weather and climate.

Description

An historical term for an ethnological classification of the peculiarities of human races, according to how they have been shaped by weather and climate. Blumenbach separated man into five main variants: the Caucasoid, the Mongoloid, the Ethiopian, the American, and the Malayan race.

According to Blumenbach these will overlap in such a way that they cover all groups of man. Blumenbach published his doctoral dissertation in 1775, 84 years prior to the publication of Darwin’s theory of evolution, but Blumenbach had some understanding of the mechanisms of evolution. His paper commences the later and bitter struggle over the descent of man, and for the first time challenged the church’s doctrine that mankind descended from one single couple.

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