Leading paleontologist Richard Leakey's voice is one of many raised against the decision to send "Lucy" - the 3.2 million-year-old partial skeleton considered the keystone of the current theory of human evolution - on an international tour. The fossil was flown out of Ethiopia in secret and is now in the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Ethiopian officials say the tour will bring an important financial boost to the museums of the impoverished nation, but Leakey and others fear the fragile remains will inevitably be damaged, no matter how carefully they are handled.
COMMENT: I agree with Leakey that this was a bad idea. Yet, hypocritical though it may be, I'll try my best to get to Denver when the tour reaches my home state. The opportunity to see Lucy in person is one I can't pass up.