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Donald Johanson -- credited with discovering the Australopithecus afarensis skeleton known as "Lucy"-- talks about our responsibility to the species with whom we share this world, and to this planet.
Look for more videos in this series, as we ask world-renowned anthropologists some of your most compelling questions. Have a question for us? Ask now!
Donald Johanson: I'm Donald Johanson and I am founding director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University.
Question: What is our obligation to other species and to our planet?
Johanson: This is something that is that people are beginning to think more and more about.
We, in my view, are -- were -- crafted by the natural world. That is really in terms of our immediate creator. If we look at who can actually be identified as having created humans it is mother nature.
And, people tend to think that because we are so technological that we moved beyond the biological world. We haven't. But we have inherited an awesome responsibility to protect life -- not only the life of say elephants and lions and other animals on this planet, but our own lives. Because once those lives begin to disappear that's going to have an impact on us.
So we have an enormous responsibility, which we are not dealing with very well, to protect the natural world, and it -- and to me it is time for this species to become more introspective and to think about the decisions that we make as we move forward, and what the consequences of those decisions are for all life on the planet, because ultimately those decisions will affect our survival.