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Check out the lecture “Lucy's Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins” with Dr. Donald C. Johanson.
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Paleoanthropologist Dr. Donald C. Johanson – founder of human-evolution think tank, the Institute of Human Origins – highlights some of his discoveries, including the most widely known fossil find of last century, the Lucy skeleton. Although the 20th century has been peppered with important fossil hominid finds from both eastern and southern Africa, it was Dr. Johanson's 1974 discovery of a 3.2-million-year-old hominid fossil in Ethiopia that added a crucial link. Lucy prompted ongoing debate and major revisions in our understanding of the human evolutionary past – because the skeleton possessed an intriguing mixture of ape-like features, but also characters we consider human.
Many consider Dr. Donald C. Johanson to be among the most important and accomplished paleoanthropologists of our time. Over the course of his career he has produced some of the field's groundbreaking discoveries, including the most thoroughly studied fossil find of the 20th century – the Lucy skeleton. In the 34 years since Johanson earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, he has led field explorations, hosted and narrated the Emmy nominated PBS/NOVA series In Search of Human Origins, co-authored nine books, and lectured at universities, corporations, and public forums. Driven by a notion that we cannot fully grasp who we are and where we are headed as a species until we have a more complete knowledge of our evolutionary roots, Johanson founded the Institute of Human Origins, a human-evolution think tank.
NHM Chief Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Dr. John Harris, will show fossil casts from the Lake Turkana Basin, as well as Tanzania and South Africa, many of which will appear in the human evolution component of the Museum's upcoming Age of Mammals exhibit.
At this very special First Fridays performance, Australian rock darlings Wolfmother will preview new songs from their forthcoming album, Cosmic Egg. Indie pop from The Ruby Suns rounds out the evening.
Darwin's Origin of Species: From a Theory of Evolution to a Cultural Revolution This year Charles Darwin turns 200 and his world-altering On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection turns 150. Often considered one of the two or three most important – and misunderstood – texts published in the sciences, The Origin of Species is also one of a handful of scientific works that has reverberated beyond science, shaking the foundations of art, literature, philosophy, religion and society. This season's First Fridays celebrate “Darwin Year” through entertaining and fascinating conversations with six of the world's foremost authors and experts on the life of Darwin, the science of evolution, and the revolutionary impact of the man and his work.