Extra: The Controversy Begins Video
Extra: The Controversy Begins Video Transcript
EXTRA: THE CONTROVERSY BEGINS (1:35) Dr. Donald Johanson (the man who discovered Lucy) and Dr. Richard Leakey are giants in their field of Paleoanthropology. They already disagree on the meaning of Lee Berger's amazing discovery. DONALD JOHANSON: 13:05:34;07 I think the discovery of these early remains at 1.8 million years old that I believe belong in the genus homo, which is Latin for "man," will be a defining moment for Lee. A positive defining moment. BOB SIMON: 13:05:47;27 And that's already controversial, isn't it? DONALD JOHANSON: 13:05:50;09 Oh-- BOB SIMON: 13:05:50;18 Whether it belongs to homo or not? DONALD JOHANSON: 13:05:52;03 Oh, yes. (Lee Berger nat sot) He has chosen, and his team have chosen on the basis of the limb bones, the arms and leg bones, the proportions of them, that it belongs in this more primitive genus, Astrala Piticus (PH), a real tongue twister. But I think that it belongs in our own genus, the genus homo, which makes them even more important. BOB SIMON: 13:42:07;08 We've spoken to other paleoanthropologists who believe that Lee's find could definitely be our ancestor. What is it about these finds that makes you so convinced that they're not? RICHARD LEAKEY: 13:42:21;01 ///First of all, I think the-- the age is wrong. To find our ancestor, we have to go a lot further back. Because our ancestors, or things very like us, were around 2 million years ago. And evolution doesn't happen in 24 hours. So that's one. Two, the anatomy of this thing includes-- some-- some evidence that they had very long arms and quite short legs. This is not a human ancestor, a modern human ancestor condition, at least in the last 2 million years. There are features about its foot-- which suggest that it's not a striding biped in the way we are. BOB SIMON: 13:23:46;09 So you don't think these are our ancestors? RICHARD LEAKEY: 13:23:49;00 No. I frankly don't.