It might not be something new to us that anthropology is as scientific as physics. But it's as Steve Gilday writes in the Cavalier Daily:
Most people make the strongest connections between science and subjects like physics, chemistry and biology. Anthropology is notably absent from that list.
But, he adds, that doesn't make anthropology any less scientific. He gives us two nice quotes from an anthropologist and a physician:
Anthropologist Richard Handler says:
"Cultural Anthropology is a social science that systematically engages cultural worlds in order to learn about them. Using a Western definition of science, cultural anthropology is scientific in that it systematically creates and organizes empirical data, drawn from the anthropologist's interactions with the people studied, and uses that data to attempt to answer fundamental questions about culture and human life. So for all the people who would just as soon get rid of anthropology, there are others who see it as a useful tool for understanding a global world."
Physician Blaine Norum says:
"My principal field of study is nuclear physics, the study of the atomic nucleus, its properties, and its constituents. I think most people identify nuclear physics with its most visible applications: nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Fewer appreciate its role in cancer therapy, medical imaging, homeland security and a myriad of other spin-offs. Fewer still appreciate its role in understanding the behavior and evolution of stars and how the elements that comprise us and the universe formed in the beginning."
Gilday concludes that "although nuclear physics and anthropology may seem completely unrelated, Norum's view of science as a process parallels that of Handler".