Monday, December 16, 2013
The Rant Concludes...for now....
Dec. 26: I'm getting back to this a bit late, so some of the passion has worn off. What I'll write now will serve as notes for a future essay better developed because it's a topic about which the passion will not wane.
My old copy of Adam's Ancestors, by Louis Leakey is a momento as much as it is an interesting anthropology book. It's a reminder of an exciting visit by Leakey to the University of Florida where I was a biology graduate student in 1963-1965. Leakey (or his wife) had recently published on a discovery of one of our ancestors that pushed our knowledge of our genus back a million years.
My zoogeography professor, an ornithologist/paleontologist, Dr. Pierce Brodkorb, did not like Leakey, but was given the "honor" of introducing him to the audience. He ended his gushing introduction with something to the effect "now, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the man who set the human species back a million years, Dr. L. S. B Leakey," which was greeted by much gasping and mumbling. I guess you could say Leakey had the last laugh, as he so often did. We were obviously expecting his talk to be about his latest Hominid discoveries, but instead he gave a slide show and talk about the insects of Olduvai Gorge. Also entertaining were Dr. Brodkorb's comments about the event that stretched over the next several zoogeography lectures. I also remember getting an A on our major research paper for the semester. Mine was an update of the fossil history of land tortoises whose living forms were in the genus Gopherus.