Saturday, August 12, 2006
There is a terribly disturbing report in the Daily Telegraph (UK). Mike Pflanz reports, in an article entitled "Evangelicals urge museum to hide man's ancestors," that:
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.
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.
"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."
Why do I get this sinking feeling that "tricky" really means "tough luck, Doc"?"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."
If well-tested inferences from massive amounts of evidence are not good enough for you then nothing in science will be good enough. That's okay. If you don't want to believe science returns reliable knowledge, that's your right ... though asserting that right via a computer connected to the entire world because of people using exactly those methods to cereate the computers and connections is more than a tad ironic.
Nor does evolution have anything to do with assembling an eye by chance. You should at least know what you are rejecting.
Trust me, I've been at this for years now and there is nothing at Evolution Deceit that I haven't seen many times before. If you find anything there that isn't addressed at Talk Origins, let me know and I'll find a place you can go to find out about it.