Saturday, February 10, 2007

Turkana Boy vs Evangelicals (in Kenya)


Despite dying 1.6 million years ago, a 12 year old ancestor of modern humans is causing problems for evangelicals in Kenya. Known as Turkana boy, this is the most complete skeleton of a prehuman ancestor ever found. And now Kenya's national museum is putting it on display along with 160,000 other fossils. But as CNN has reported, Kenya's evangelical movement is upset about it:
"I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it," says Bishop Boniface Adoyo, head of Kenya's 35 evangelical denominations, which he claims have 10 million followers. "These sorts of silly views are killing our faith."

He's calling on his flock to boycott the exhibition and has demanded the museum relegate the fossil collection to a back room -- along with some kind of notice saying evolution is not a fact but merely one of a number of theories.
And here is Richard Leakey's straight forward response to the Bishop:
"Whether the bishop likes it or not, Turkana Boy is a distant relation of his," Leakey, who founded the museum's prehistory department, told The Associated Press. "The bishop is descended from the apes and these fossils tell how he evolved."
Its like a family feud. Well like it or not, you belong to this family - and you can't choose to opt out of it.

The positive thing here is that Bishop Adoyo's evangelical coalition, which also believes in a 12,000 year old Earth, is the only religious group concerned about the exhibit. Hope it stays that way.

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