Houston loves Lucy! Go see

We drove down, saw Lucy, had a great dinner, watched some television and drove back. About eight hours in the car, three hours in the museum with Lucy (click here to see a photo of Lucy as displayed — no amateur photos allowed in the Lucy exhibit).

Lucy, Houston Museum of Natural History, via AP photo

Well worth it. The entire exhibit is a travelogue about Ethiopia, really — but I got chills looking at real bones. You will, too, I suspect.

The exhibit closes in Houston on April 27. Wouldn’t it be great if the demand were so high that they had to hold it over a few months? If you’re in Houston, you owe it to yourself to see the bones. If you’re near Houston, if you’re within a half-day’s drive, go see. If you’re within a day’s drive, plan some other activity (there are other special exhibits at the Houston Museum of Natural History, on Leonardo DaVinci, on CSI and forensic science, marshes, and cowboys in Texas; there are regular exhibits, including one on gemstones that is better than anything similar at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.) — but go to Houston.

This exhibit was controversial, taking such a treasure out of Africa at all. You owe it to yourself, to your children, to Ethiopia, and to future policy, to see the exhibit if you can.

Photo:  Lucy’s bones, Houston Museum of Natural History photo, via Associated Press

3 Responses to Houston loves Lucy! Go see

  1. Ediacaran says:

    I flew to Houston to see Lucy this past week. It was great to see a hominid transitional fossil up close and personal. The courteous and friendly guard was a little antsy about people possibly setting off the alarm, but the display was very nice. The written display material was succinct and informative.

    The video was interesting, but it really should have been vetted by scientists before being used. The main interviewer made a mistake by saying that Lucy existed before the split of the human and chimp lineages, which is wrong. Rather, Lucy is roughly halfway between modern humans and the divergence between human and chimp lineages, on the “human” side of the split.

    A young boy (from a state neighboring Texas) in our group noted to his mother that in the artist’s reconstruction near the fossils, Lucy seemed to be exceptionally flat-chested for a female primate. While this may be an unintended consequence of Texas’ strict abstinence-only sex “education” policies (don’t McLeroy, Leo, Lowe and the other Fundamentalists on the State Board of Education want to teach the Strengths AND *Weaknesses* of abstinence?), it was suggested by another in our group that perhaps Lucy had been a ballerina. Of course, being buried under volcanic tuff and later layers of rock would tend to make everything flat, too. One lady in the group opined that (reconstructed) Lucy needed a waxing.

    Tough crowd.

    But they all loved her anyway.


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    I believe Houston will be the only stop in the U.S., alas.

    Here’s a 2006 Washington Post story about the controversy, and why other museums are not exhibiting:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/27/AR2006102701753.html .

    I believe the Houston Museum of Natural Science was the only one that wanted the exhibit, in the final run.


  3. Liam says:

    Wow, I’d love to see Lucy’s remains but I’m far from Houston. Do you know where else the exhibit will go?


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