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I briefly review the early attempts to establish interdisciplinary investigations in human biology, emphasizing those involving South American Indians. Also considered are (1) the interest in studying host-parasite relationships and the effects of culture changes in the affected populations, (2) the need for the development of appropriate intra-ethnic standards in the study of growth and other quantitative traits, (3) the similarities and dissimilarities of cultural and biologic rates of change, and (4) the purposes of multivariate comparisons. Despite difficulties arising from human nature itself, integrated approaches may yield significant clues to the understanding of evolutionary processes in South American Indians in particular or in our species as a whole.