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Donald Johanson's Quotes

Donald Johanson profile photo

Born: 1943-06-28
Profession: Scientist
Nation: American
Biography of Donald Johanson

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There have been some friendships lost over this. That's the most difficult for me. I find it very uncomfortable to know that I was at one time close friends with someone, and because of jealousies and misunderstandings and so on, these friendships have dissolved.

Tags: Lost, Someone, Time

My real father died when I was two years old, so I never knew him. He was a barber in Chicago.

Tags: Father, Him, Real

I was very intellectually oriented, very early on.

Tags: Early, Oriented

One has to devote oneself to a particular pursuit. To be successful at anything, you have to make a total commitment to it.

Tags: Commitment, Oneself, Successful

Scientists are very afraid of being proven wrong.

Tags: Afraid, Scientists, Wrong

And what I wanted to do was, I wanted to explore problems and areas where we didn't have answers. In fact, where we didn't even know the right questions to ask.

Tags: Fact, Problems, Wanted

As an undergraduate, I had an opportunity to go on a number of archeological digs. So I had experience excavating, digging up remains of ancient Indian villages in the Midwest and in the Southwest.

Tags: Experience, Number, Remains

But it really wasn't until three to four years later, when we had an opportunity in the lab to make very detailed observations, and comparisons with other fossil discoveries, that we realized she was a new species of human ancestor.

Tags: Human, She, Until

But what really excited me was the idea that humans had a tremendous pre-history that went back millions of years. I wanted to go to Africa to find some of these creatures.

Tags: Africa, Idea, Wanted

I realized immediately that this was a terribly important discovery, but I didn't realize how important it would be until we had spent a lot of time in the laboratory studying it.

Tags: Realize, Time, Until

I think that many of my ideas are correct, but I'll bet you, before my death other discoveries will be made that will prompt me to alter various ideas I have about human evolution.

Tags: Death, Human, Ideas

I was aware of it, but I grew up in a very a-religious family. My mother never went to church, she never had any religious training or background. It was never a part of our social interaction.

Tags: Family, Mother, Training

In our case, finding a Lucy is unique. No one will ever find another Lucy. You can't order one from a biological supply house. It's a unique discovery, a unique specimen.

Tags: Another, Order, Unique

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.

Tags: Here, Human, Single

Most achievers I know are people who have made a strong and deep dedication to pursuing a particular goal. That dedication took a tremendous amount of effort.

Tags: Deep, Goal, Strong

Normally, we are happy to find a fragment of jaw, a few isolated teeth, a bit of an arm, a bit of a skull. But to find associated body parts is extremely rare.

Tags: Body, Few, Happy

This was the most important discovery I had ever made in my life. It was a discovery which has irrevocably changed my whole life's direction. It immediately elevated me to the status of one of the world's leading anthropologists.

Tags: Direction, Life, Whole

When I realized, in 1978, that Lucy did represent a new species of human ancestor, and that I had an opportunity to name this new species, I realized this was a revolutionary step in understanding human origins.

Tags: Human, Name, Step

When the first fossils began to be found in eastern Africa, in the late 1950s, I thought, what a wonderful marriage this was, biology and anthropology. I was around 16 years old when I made this particular choice of academic pursuit.

Tags: Marriage, Old, Thought

It's sad that the most glorious of sexual experiences can make us feel guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, and abnormal.

Tags: Ashamed, Guilty, Sad

Sex is... perfectly natural. It's something that's pleasurable. It's enjoyable and it enhances a relationship. So why don't we learn as much as we can about it and become comfortable with ourselves as sexual human beings because we are all sexual?

Tags: Human, Sex, Why

If you can't laugh about sex, you shouldn't be doing it.

Tags: Laugh, Sex

Americans are a decade behind Canada when it comes to sex education and understanding their bodies.

Tags: Behind, Education, Sex
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As long as I'm having fun, I'm not quitting.

Tags: Fun, Quitting

Get to like your own body.

Tags: Body

If you don't know about it, you can't get it.

Tags: Kids, Put, Sex

They are uncomfortable talking about sex because they don't want people to think they know about it.

Tags: Sex, Talking

We teach teens what we think they ought to know, and we never tell them what they want to know.

Tags: Teach, Teens, Tell

Kids are all computer-savvy. Sit down and write to your parents on the computer. And just say, I have some questions and I'm scared. There's some stuff I don't know and I really need to talk to you about sex. Tear it off and put it on their pillow. They'll read it.

Tags: Parents, Put, Sex
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