• Question: You do dangerous work trying to find human fossils. How much do you think it's worth it?

    Asked by Minecire to Lindsay on 18 May 2015.
    • Photo: K. Lindsay Hunter

      K. Lindsay Hunter answered on 18 May 2015:

      It’s not always dangerous work, but when it is, the major rule is “Don’t make any NEW fossils!” (that is, DON’T put yourself at unnecessary risk of death!).

      I have to believe it’s worth it, though, to continue to expand what we know about ourselves and our place in nature. The dead aren’t simply dead and gone, they influence our lives today by the genes they’ve passed on and the cultural institutions and behaviors that are their legacy. We can’t understand who we are and make good decisions about the future without properly understanding where we are coming from.