Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes

Lucy has, with no little controversy, opened her act at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The Houston Chronicle has a sampling of the visitors' comments:

10-year-old Garrett Bryant of Odessa peered down at the incomplete jigsaw puzzle of brittle bone fragments and looked disappointed.

"What happened to her skull?" he asked his mother.

"I imagine animals drug it off," Marla Bryant answered.

She walked over to examine the lifelike 3½-foot, hairy, half-smiling model of what scientists believe Lucy looked like and had her own questions.

"They don't have any finger bones, so how do they know her hand was like that?" Marla Bryant asked her mother, Leona Rice.

"They're guessing," Rice replied.

Young Garrett processed the scene for a few more minutes and then shrugged.

"She's just a monkey," he declared, and then walked off.


35-year-old Deena Dail, from Austin, was sniffling over Lucy's bones.

"You can tell who the nerds are," she said to a friend. "They're all crying."


"It was interesting, for what it was," said R.L. Crockford, 45, of Houston. "She's an ape."

Crockford and her cousin visiting from Alaska both said they doubted the conclusions scientists have drawn from the discoveries. They don't believe Lucy is any kin of theirs.

"What was that line in there? The questions they ask in the exhibit? 'What is our origin? What is our purpose?' " Crockford says. "How many monkeys go around debating that question? That's a human question."


Linda Piper, a humanities professor from Albuquerque, N.M., shook her head solemnly as she stood over Lucy's bones. The experience, she said, brought her closer to God.

"Just to observe the whole evolutionary process, how wonderful it is. That we are all from the same being, the same construction, and the same energy and network of life. That we are not separated," she said. "That we are one."
And so it goes ...

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