CRIMINAL PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
In truth, though the ethnologist does regard man as an animal, he must never lose sight of the fact that that animal is man. -- D. WILSON
Anthropology includes a wide range of human interests. It is literally the science of man. As such it embraces a study of the bodily frame of man; his psychological nature; his behavior; his language; his arts; and all forms of adaptation that he makes to the conditions with which he is surrounded.
In the present chapter we are principally interested in a very limited portion of this great field: the somatic or bodily characteristics of the criminal and the question of their relations to criminal dispositions and behavior. Nevertheless in the course of discussing the contributions of leaders in this field we shall not omit at least to point out that here and there they have found the characteristics mentioned inadequate for their whole purpose and have supplemented them by other phenomena -- those of degeneration, e.g. -- in their attempt to find complete explanation of criminal behavior. These are considerations that what is known as the Positive School of Criminologists originally brought to the fore.
It was inevitable that, as knowledge of the human organism began to grow with the studies of the early anatomists and physiologists, something objective should come forward with respect to the criminal and his behavior. It was Cesare Lombroso ( 1836-1909) who in his early years was attached to the medical service in the Italian army, who made the first serious and systematic attempt to apply physical anthropology to the study of criminals. In doing so he became the founder of the Positive School of Criminologists. He wrested the attention of scholars away from the equating of crimes and punishments. He fixed attention upon the criminal himself as a biological organism. For him that was the main thing. The causes of crime are in certain aspects of that organism and we shall be able to deal with the entire criminal situation only as we understand it. This was the thesis that Lombroso undertook to develop.