LEAKEY LECTURE

The Mail

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

The publicity usually given to distinguished speakers at Harvard makes the case of Dr. L. S. B. Leakey a rather strange paradox. Dr. Leakey, a world-famous archaeologist and anthropologist who has devoted his life to the discovery and study of fossil man, delivered a lecture here on the night of April 9th to a packed audience of students as well as a host of prominent anthropologists. Leakey discussed the significance of his recent discovery of a new species of man, Homo habilis, which is older than any other known hominid. His discovery necessitates an important revision of thought about human evolution.

The new find proves that the man-apes formerly taken to be ancestors of Homo sapiens were in fact already specialized in the direction of the apes, and although they co-existed with primitive man, occupied a different ecologic nicho and so did not compete with man. The implications of a species of man essentially modern in foot structure and dentition at such an early period are tremendous for students of human evolution.

Although anthopology is a rather specialized field, a discovery of the magnitude of Dr. Leakey's deserves some sort of recognition. Why the CRIMSON failed, both in announcing this lecture and in reporting it after it had been given, is still a mystery to the people who filled Burr A to overowing to hear Dr. Leakey speak. Michael J. Anderegg '67