11/6/07

Lucy's Legacy

I have always had an interest in Paleoanthropology going back to when I was in high school. In fact I wanted to be a Paleoanthropologist but my 880 SAT score and microscopic grade point average stood in my way, so started out majoring in PE because I could spell it. Later I switched to social science when I realized that I could also spell it and some how I ended up where I am today. I certainly never let grades get in the way of learning. I never have lost my interest in evolution and the discoveries of near human and human remains as the time line for the origins of man was pushed back over the past fifty years. Two weeks ago when I was in Houston I saw that the Houston Museum of Natural Science was hosting the exhibit – Lucy’s Legacy – The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia. It was a great exhibit with the highlight the actual skeleton of Lucy on display.

Later that day I was browsing in a bookstore near my son’s house when I came across a newly published book that caught my eye – The Jesuit & The Skull – Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, And The Search For The Peking Man by Amir D. Aczel. What a coincidence because in my high days somewhere somehow I had come across some of the writings of de Chardin and was fascinated by them, even though much of it was above my head at the time. I was also fascinated by the fact that he was a Jesuit priest and many of my teachers in high were Jesuit priests. He seemed so much more open and enlightened than they were. In fact Father de Chardins writing got be kicked out of religion class when I used his writing to support my argument in favor of evolution because the Jesuit priest who taught the class refused to acknowledge de Chardin. Now that I have read the book I know why, he was forbidden to publish his ideas by the Jesuits. This is a very interesting book on several levels. It highlights the search for human origins, it chronicles one mans quest for knowledge despite being constantly thwarted by his superiors and it is a good detective story. It is also a chronicle of how de Chardin struggled to reconcile science and his faith. The book and the Lucy exhibit rekindled my interest in human origins and evolution.

1 Comments:

At 11/7/07, 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vern,

Have you ever read anything about irreducible complexity? Another good read is "Darwin Strikes Back".

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

 

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