I'm somewhat familiar with the state of paleontology during the Victorian era, but I don't know much about the state of anthropology at that time...
UGH! It was a mess. It was Anthropology that introduced the idea that there are fundamental differences between the 'races'. They did the skull measurements and all that jazz.
But here is the interesting part. It was Anthropologists that came to realize it was horseshit. They falsified their own theories, and took it to the world. Of course, the world was not necessarily ready to hear that, but they didn't back down, and they didn't hide from their past mistakes. I found it very interesting that when I started taking Anthropology classes, this was one of the first things we learned---the big mistake. And many mistakes are routinely referred to, along with the process that corrected them. They do this to teach skeptism and strong critical thinking. Just because science says so, doesn't mean it cannot be questioned. It's all there for anyone to test----falsify it and you will be celebrated.
It's a good method. Scientist disagree on terms all the time. Naming the brontasaurus or whatever is not really a big deal. It happens quite often. Then there is the particular discipline and how they tend to categorize things. You'll find that one avenue may use broader terms for different species, lumping more together, whereas other areas will be more persnickety and break down species into micro-categories. This goes for many areas. It's really not a jaw dropper. It's part of the process.
For instance, there is the concept of the Last Common Ancestor (LCA). There is no right answer, but the best one for the purpose is used. We could say that Lucy (australopithecus) is our LCA----but that may be too broad, depending on the purpose. Another looking at a slightly different angle may identify the LCP as H. erectus---or whatever. Context means a lot. None of this is earth shattering when you understand the language and intent.