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In our case, finding a Lucy is unique. No one will ever find another Lucy. You can't order one from a biological supply house. It's a unique discovery, a unique specimen.
I was very intellectually oriented, very early on.
I was aware of it, but I grew up in a very a-religious family. My mother never went to church, she never had any religious training or background. It was never a part of our social interaction.
I think that many of my ideas are correct, but I'll bet you, before my death other discoveries will be made that will prompt me to alter various ideas I have about human evolution.
I realized immediately that this was a terribly important discovery, but I didn't realize how important it would be until we had spent a lot of time in the laboratory studying it.
But what really excited me was the idea that humans had a tremendous pre-history that went back millions of years. I wanted to go to Africa to find some of these creatures.
But it really wasn't until three to four years later, when we had an opportunity in the lab to make very detailed observations, and comparisons with other fossil discoveries, that we realized she was a new species of human ancestor.
As an undergraduate, I had an opportunity to go on a number of archeological digs. So I had experience excavating, digging up remains of ancient Indian villages in the Midwest and in the Southwest.
And what I wanted to do was, I wanted to explore problems and areas where we didn't have answers. In fact, where we didn't even know the right questions to ask.
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