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Museum Should Hide Man's Ancestors


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Creationism; It's trying to take over everywhere. :Doh:

 

Evangelicals urge museum to hide man's ancestors

By Mike Pflanz in Nairobi

 

 

(Filed: 12/08/2006)

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Dr Richard Leakey's finds are housed in a museum near Nairobi

 

 

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.

 

They have cemented the global reputation of Kenya's Great Rift Valley as the cradle of mankind, and draw in tourists and locals to the museum's sprawling compound on a hill above Nairobi.

 

Permanent exhibitions cover Kenya's cultural and scientific history from pre-history to independence. A snake park was added in the early 1960s.

 

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.

 

Dr Leakey said the churches' plans were "the most outrageous comments I have ever heard".

 

He told The Daily Telegraph: "The National Museums of Kenya should be extremely strong in presenting a very forceful case for the evolutionary theory of the origins of mankind.

 

"The collection it holds is one of Kenya's very few global claims to fame and it must be forthright in defending its right to be at the forefront of this branch of science."

 

Calling the Pentecostal church fundamentalists, Dr Leakey added: "Their theories are far, far from the mainstream on this. They cannot be allowed to meddle with what is the world's leading collection of these types of fossils."

 

The museum said it was in a "tricky situation" as it tried to redesign its exhibition space to accommodate the expectations of all its visitors.

 

"We have a responsibility to present all our artefacts in the best way that we can so that everyone who sees them can gain a full understanding of their significance," said Ali Chege, public relations manager for the National Museums of Kenya.

 

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

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...2/wleakey12.xml

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This is just bizarre that they would actually attempt something like that in modern-day society. I agree with Zoe. The more you try to hide or forbid people from learning about something, the more curious people will be. It's human nature.

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