‘Lucy’ discoverer Donald C. Johanson on FFRF TV show Sunday

Donald C. Johanson being interviewed via webcam

The scientist who discovered perhaps the most key fossil in anthropological history is the guest on Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters” show this week. And he happens to also be an outspoken atheist.

Donald C. Johanson is the paleoanthropologist who found Lucy in Ethiopia in 1974, and FFRF is delighted to interview him during the 50th anniversary year of this landmark discovery. Johanson has served as a professor of anthropology at several universities, but his reputation is based mainly on his fieldwork. He has written or co-written several books, including Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind and From Lucy to Language. He’s the recipient of many awards, including FFRF’s Emperor has No Clothes Award, reserved for public figures who make known their dissent from religion, and he spoke at FFRF’s 2014 national convention to accept the honor. After a fascinating “show and tell” of facsimiles of his discovery and discussion of how that changed his life — and the understanding of human evolution — Johanson freely talks about his own atheism.

“I was an atheist and still am an atheist,” he tells “Freethought Matters” co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. “And I think that religion is probably in so many ways the root of so much evil that we see in this world — people pitted against one another.”

If you don’t live in any of the marquee towns where the show broadcasts on Sunday, you can already catch the interview on FFRF’s YouTube channel. New shows go up every Thursday.

“Freethought Matters” now airs in:

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Upcoming shows include an interview with legal scholar and activist Marci Hamilton and an episode that spotlights a recent debate Dan Barker and Phil Zuckerman had with religionists at Oxford. You can catch interviews from previous seasons here, including with Gloria Steinem, Ron Reagan, “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead, author John Irving, actor John “Q” de Lancie and award-winning columnist Katha Pollitt. Past interviews also include Julia Sweeney and Reps. Jared Huffman, Jamie Raskin, Hank Johnson and Eleanor Holmes Norton, among many other notable authors, activists, musicians, actors and freethinkers.

Please tune in to “Freethought Matters” . . . because freethought matters.

P.S. Please tune in or record according to the times given above regardless of what is listed in your TV guide (it may be listed simply as “paid programming” or even be misidentified). To set up an automatic weekly recording, try taping manually by time or channel. And spread the word to freethinking friends, family or colleagues about a TV show, finally, that is dedicated to providing programming for freethinkers — your antidote to religion on Sunday morning!

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