I noticed there was no site (or proposal) yet for Anthropology in Area 51, so I went ahead and created one.

The first thing that happened was that all the biological anthropology questions were instantly downvoted, which got me thinking about the scope. It's not an easy one. I did my thesis in population genetics, and my team was truly inter-disciplinary, with almost equal parts of biologists and anthropologists.

Do you think there is a space in Anthropology.SE for biological anthropology questions? Or would they ALL almost inevitably fall into Biology.SE?

I can't help thinking that some questions have to be more specific to anthropology. For example, those linking genetic information to cultural, historical and geographical data.

A question about CPR is definitely biology, but what about these examples? Do you think they would be a "perfect fit" for biology, or possibly exist in anthropology.SE? (I just made a list with things that popped to my head, might not be the most brilliant examples. Feel free to explore further!)

  • Haplogroup distribution and migration patterns
  • Chromosome abnormalities
  • ABO blood types
  • Adapting to high altitude
  • Apes & humans
  • Dating techniques
  • Discovery of early hominins
  • Forensic anthropology

What do you think?

I really don't want to step on anyone's toes. I just believe there is a need for an Anthropology.SE site (maybe just social anthropology?), and I'm struggling with defining the possible overlapping in this particular area.

I'll appreciate your feedback! Needless to say, if you are interested in joining the proposal, please do! And may anthropology and biology coexist happily ever after!

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for making the new proposal! This is probably the 6th or 7th one for Anthropology et al, but someday we'll get it! $\endgroup$ May 2, 2016 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ Can you turn your list into example questions that don't go well into either biology or anthropology? $\endgroup$ May 2, 2016 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


I think the answer lies in the your very first example:

Haplogroup distribution and migration patterns 

Should a discussion about migration patterns go to the anthropology SE? Yes. Should a question about haplogroup distribution? Probably not.

Biology has a very specific lexicon, where you can easily identify words that belong to it. If you go on a biological explanation of an anthropological question, most people will skim over the words related to biology, especially laymen.

General concepts like chromosomes that the majority of people understand are fine, and I don't know how specific an ABO blood type explanation would be.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Very good point. This gives me some new perspectives, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Yisela
    May 3, 2016 at 7:49

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