Writing

Scientific Facts in Lucy’s Child The Discovery of a Human Ancestor by Johanson

Neo-Darwinism was shown to have merit, and everyone noted that the discipline of paleoanthropology had come some way since the days of Lucy’s discovery. But even this archaeo-palaeontological discipline needed a spring-clean and a detailed examination of how things were to be done, and how they were to be funded. Reluctantly, it seemed.
The authors make much of the practical and physical difficulties at the Olduvai dig, and also go into great detail about the petty – and some of the more serious – feuds, misunderstandings and arguments that took place among the archaeologists and paleoanthropologists present at the site, involved in the data gathering, charged with forensic investigations, involved in writing, and responsible for the various laboratory tests that followed. Woven through are some splendid descriptions of the landscape.
Here, the personal and practical debacles will only be mentioned if deemed important enough to interrupt the review of the main points of this interesting book, such as the surprising fact that Mary Leakey, in whose territory Johanson and his scientist collaborators were accused of trespassing, sent congratulations for the find.
Seeing that the events were rehashed in some detail, what rises as being vital about this book can be condensed into much less than was previously supposed on the first examination. The focus gathers around the party, backed by the Institute of Human Origins, a non-profit organization founded by Donald Johanson himself, accompanied by Lewis Binford, writer/researcher James Shreeve, and Tim White, who after some fruitless scavenging comes upon a partial fossilized skeleton. It is tiny: but it is possible to ascertain, with a number of behests to avoid making assumptions, that it belongs to the species Australopithecus afarensis (Johanson and Shreeve, 1989).
Johanson used a set of identifiers and markers peculiar&nbsp.to the dig and his personal choices, mainly because it is somewhat difficult to come up with a definite set for this species.

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