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This was the most important discovery I had ever made in my life. It was a discovery which has irrevocably changed my whole life's direction. It immediately elevated me to the status of one of the world's leading anthropologists.
There have been some friendships lost over this. That's the most difficult for me. I find it very uncomfortable to know that I was at one time close friends with someone, and because of jealousies and misunderstandings and so on, these friendships have dissolved.
Scientists are very afraid of being proven wrong.
One has to devote oneself to a particular pursuit. To be successful at anything, you have to make a total commitment to it.
Normally, we are happy to find a fragment of jaw, a few isolated teeth, a bit of an arm, a bit of a skull. But to find associated body parts is extremely rare.
My real father died when I was two years old, so I never knew him. He was a barber in Chicago.
Most achievers I know are people who have made a strong and deep dedication to pursuing a particular goal. That dedication took a tremendous amount of effort.
Lucy brought with her an image of our human ancestors that you don't get when you find a jaw or an arm bone or a leg bone. Here was 40 percent of a single skeleton.
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.
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