National Geographic Events

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Becoming Human: Our Evolutionary Journey

  • Date
    April 10, 2011
  • Location Seattle, WA
  • Price Three-part series tickets begin at $55 (member) and $61 (general public) and $45 (children). Single tickets begin at $23.

Past Event

Photo: Donald Johanson
Donald Johanson reflecting on one of our distant ancestors

Photograph by Enrico Ferorelli

Photo: Donald Johanson

Donald Johanson

Photograph by Enrico Ferorelli

The last few decades have seen a series of important fossil discoveries that have brought us closer to answering one of the fundamental human questions: where did we come from? By what path did ancient hominid species developed into Homo sapiens? At the center of the discoveries and debates swirling around these questions is paleontologist Donald Johanson, whose 1974 discovery of “Lucy,” the most widely known and thoroughly studied fossil find of the 20th century, provided a crucial link in the chain connecting us to our distant progenitors.

In addition to making his own scientific discoveries, Johanson has devoted himself to sharing and explaining the important work of paleontologists such as himself to the general public. His 2009 book Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins offers the latest interpretations of Lucy and more recent developments in the field. Johanson’s Institute of Human Origins, of which he is founding director, is a think tank and clearinghouse for the latest scientific information concerning our distant past.

Driven by a notion that we cannot fully grasp who we are and where we are headed as a species until we have a more complete knowledge of our evolutionary roots, Johanson will report on the latest discoveries from Africa and reflect on the lessons that continue to be learned from Lucy. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

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