Lucy brought with her an image of our human ancestors that you don't get when you find a jaw or an arm bone or a leg bone. Here was 40 percent of a single skeleton.
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Evolution explains our biological evolution, but human beings are very unique creatures. As the Dobzhansky said, all animals are unique; humans are the uniquest. And that uniqueness of being human, language, art, culture, our dependency on culture for survival, comes from the combination of traditional biological evolution.
I don't think we interbred with the Neanderthals at all. There are some people who think that there was some level of interbreeding. I think that we look so biologically different, that we looked and we acted so different, and we culturally were so different that we would not have had interbreeding between two species.
What's changed is we now have good anatomical, geological, archaeological evidence that Neanderthals are not our ancestors. When I wrote 'Lucy,' I considered Neanderthals ancestors of modern humans. We have gone back twice the age of Lucy, six million years. And we see that upright bipedal walking goes back that far in time.
Each year, several million children either die or suffer irreparable developmental defects because of vitamin A deficiency. Countless others are harmed by malnutrition and starvation. Yet many of these deaths would be preventable if we addressed them head on and used the tools that exist to stop them.