Richard Leakey says it's undeniable that biological evolution is responsible for life on Earth as it is today and that our species originated in Africa. "If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it's solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive," Richard Leakey says, "then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges." "If you look back, the thing that strikes you, if you've got any sensitivity, is that extinction is the most common phenomena," Leakey says. "Extinction is always driven by environmental change. Environmental change is always driven by climate change. Man accelerated, if not created, planet change phenomena; I think we have to recognize that the future is by no means a very rosy one. Any hope for mankind's future, he insists, rests on accepting existing scientific evidence of its past." Leakey, who clearly cherishes investigating the past, is less optimistic about the future. "We may be on the cusp of some very real disasters that have nothing to do with whether the elephant survives, or a cheetah survives, but if we survive."