Friday, August 31, 2007

The Lucy Show

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:49 AM





Ever and ever is a long, long time. But 3.2-million years certainly exceeds ever and ever. The skeleton known as Lucy, a 3.2-million years old specimen of the creature Australopitheus afarensis, was found during late November 1974 in Ethiopia. This hominid was so named because the scientists after finding the initial bones stayed up late that night celebrating and were singing the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Lucy¹s Ethiopian name is Dinkenesh, which means several things in Amharic including She who is great.
Right now Lucy is on the first stop of a six-year tour of the United States at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Previously the bones had been locked up in Ethiopia while a replica was on display. The exhibit opens August 31 and remains in Houston until next April. Both the replica and the real Lucy are here in Houston on view in a room that presents the bones encased behind glass. Considering that Lucy is only a 40-percent skeleton there¹s also a recreation figurine of what she looked like in the hirsute flesh. For instance, as one gazes at the bones there are only 6 small pieces of skull and a mandible that makes up the head area. There are bits of rib and partial pieces of the arm, a pelvis and some leg bones. A cyclorama depicting a time line of apes older than Lucy and up to primitive man surrounds the glass cases. The cyc has been rendered in such a way that one end starts at dawn, the center is high noon, while the opposite end concludes at dusk.
In the future there are plans for Lucy to be taken to University of Texas in Austin for a CAT Scan, a procedure that hasn¹t yet been performed on the bones. Some critics say the real Lucy should never have been moved at all because of the possibility of damage. At a press conference the Tuesday morning before the opening HMNS curator of anthropology Dirk Van Tuerenhout answered one such question by claiming that a previous exhibit more fragile than bone fragments, the Dead Sea Scrolls, had been on a museum tour without harm.
Negotiations for the bones aside, the real focus of Lucy¹s Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia focuses on that country¹s contribution to world culture. A separate gallery houses various Ethiopian artifacts but more importantly graphic and textual information about the variety of religions and depth of history. One church in the city of Aksum claims to have the Arc of the Covenant. This is after all the cradle of civilization with incidents that date back thousands of years B.C. In more modern times emperor Haile Salassie was a role model for the Rastafarian movement.
- Michael Bergeron

2 Comments:

At September 19, 2007 at 10:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys have been posting a lot of 9/11 inside job stuff lately. In light of that, how come you didn't take into consideration creationist arguments against the Evolution Industry?

 
At September 20, 2007 at 10:19 AM , Blogger Free Press Houston said...

Simply because Creation and Evolution are not mutually exclusive. Some of us have the capacity to imagine an all powerful, omnipotent loving God that is smart enough to create a species that will evolve and adapt. Well, at least some of us are evolving.

 

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