The story about the ranking of evolution support in Western nations did not include any data on Africa. America’s standing might have looked a little better if it did; the news from Kenya is not good. Evangelical churches want to suppress the Kenya national museum’s fossil collection. This includes some of the most impressive examples of humankind’s ancient history, such as multiple australopithecine specimens and Turkana Boy; it’s arguably one of the world’s foremost collections of hominid fossils. This is where many of Richard Leakey’s finds are stored.
Who wants to hide away in back rooms a national, even a human, treasure? The “Christian community.”
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.
I like that. They want the evidence to go away, and are no doubt deeply disturbed that right there in their own back yard is an awesome pile of data that says their religious beliefs are all bunk.
This attitude isn’t unique to Kenya, though, and we see plenty of signs of it right here in the highly advanced nation of the United States. Maybe we should be relieved that that Science study didn’t include any African countries; we wouldn’t necessarily have done any better.