Evangelicals urge museum to hide man's ancestors

Some seven months ago I wrote a piece called "The Real Creationist Agenda", discussing a quote I'd found in a news report.

If you don't get why it's so ominous, read it again carefully, and think on this:

Can a person who feels this way accept anything less than total victory? Could this person be happy with "teaching the controversy"? Would he be content with a brief aside in science class about how some won't accept evolution as fact? How about "opposing viewpoints"? A section of the syllabus dealing with creationism as an idea?

What about, when you get right down to it, "equal time"? Is this person, who openly admits that he rejects all evidence that doesn't fit with his religion, going to be happy with his religion being presented as equal to evolution?

In a word, no.

Well, here, from The Telegraph, via Pinecone at AP, is a story that illustrates the point all too well:

Powerful evangelical churches are pressing Kenya's national museum to sideline its world-famous collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human.

Leaders of the country's six-million-strong Pentecostal congregation want Dr Richard Leakey's ground-breaking finds relegated to a back room instead of being given their usual prime billing.

The collection includes the most complete skeleton yet found of Homo erectus, the 1.7 million-year-old Turkana Boy unearthed by Dr Leakey's team in 1984 at Nariokotome, near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya.

The museum also holds bones from several specimens of Australopithecus anamensis, believed to be the first hominid to walk upright, four million years ago. Together the artefacts amount to the clearest record yet discovered of the origins of Homo sapiens.


As part of an ongoing expansion funded by the EU, the National Museums of Kenya, which manages the country's cultural sites, is conducting a survey to determine what visitors to its Nairobi headquarters most want to see.

Church leaders aim to hijack that process. "The Christian community here is very uncomfortable that Leakey and his group want their theories presented as fact," said Bishop Bonifes Adoyo, the head of Christ is the Answer Ministries, the largest Pentecostal church in Kenya.

"Our doctrine is not that we evolved from apes, and we have grave concerns that the museum wants to enhance the prominence of something presented as fact which is just one theory."

Bishop Adoyo said all the country's churches would unite to force the museum to change its focus when it reopens after 18 months of renovations in June next year.

"We will write to them, we will call them, we will make sure our people know about this and we will see what we can do to make our voice known," he said.

Evidence be damned. Letting people have their own opinions be damned. It's about pushing people around until they cave and all bow to the same myth you do.

"But things can get tricky when you have religious beliefs on one side, and intellectuals, scientists or researchers on the other, saying the opposite."

There are the battle lines. Pick your side.

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