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Evangelicals’ foolish ‘hide the bones’ campaign fails; more and more Kenyan kids learn about evolution

ABOUT seven years ago a mighty row a broke out when a number of powerful evangelical churches demanded that Kenya’s national museum  should hide its world-famous collection of hominid bones pointing to man’s evolution from ape to human.

Bishop Bonifes Adoyo, the head of Christ is the Answer Ministries, the largest Pentecostal church in Kenya, was a key player in the effort  to have Dr Richard Leakey’s ground-breaking finds relegated to a back room instead of being given their usual prime billing.

Bishop Bonifes Adoyo

Bishop Bonifes Adoyo

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.

Adoyo was quoted at the time as saying:

The Christian community here is very uncomfortable that Leakey and his group want their theories presented as fact. 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.

A reconstruction of Turkana Boy

A reconstruction of Turkana Boy

Adoyo said all the country’s churches would unite to force the museum to change its focus when it reopened after 18 months of renovations.

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.

Adoyo was criticised in 2007 for stating that whilst on his death bed, Charles Darwin “expressed surprise that people believed his theory”. This claim, first made up by Elizabeth Hope, is regarded as false by Darwin’s family and modern historians, as well as the creationist group Answers in Genesis.

Leakey responded by saying that the churches’ plans were:

The most outrageous comments I have ever heard. 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’s public relations manager Ali Chege, said it was in:

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

Well, it now seems that the evangelicals have lost the battle. According to this report more and more Kenyan youngsters are being taught about evolution. But Fredrick Kyalo Manthi, head of the paleontology section at National Museums of Kenya, indicated that religion still poses a problem:

There have been challenges in teaching evolution, largely because of the religious teachings on creation, which are deeply entrenched.

Such teachings:

Tend to disregard the scientific explanation that all biological species, including humans, have generally evolved from simple forms to complex forms.

Primary school teacher Manasseh Maina agreed:

It’s a challenge. When you start explaining evolution to children, if you don’t have concrete things it can seem very unreal But it also contradicts what the Bible says on how God created the world.

29 Responses to “Evangelicals’ foolish ‘hide the bones’ campaign fails; more and more Kenyan kids learn about evolution”

  1. David Anderson says:

    It will be a great day when the godbots get themselves a dictionary and look up what the Word “theory” means when it is applied to science.

    Anybody who wants to see Turkana Boy but can’t get to Kenya should come to my local bar here in Galicia.

  2. ExPatriot says:

    Religions main goal, keep everyone stupid so they can’think for themselves,

  3. Broga says:

    Amazing! These creationist clowns want to denigrate and hide discoveries which are the pride of Kenya and amongst the pinnacles of scientific research in the evolution of humans. But note the usual Christian wish to censor – not debate – anything which challenges their fiction.

    In the long run they cannot win. As education improves reason defeats superstition. The greatest ally of religion is ignorance and keeping people ignorant. The internet, as well as Ratzinger, is doing great work for atheism.

  4. Barry Duke says:

    Broga, I wish I could share your optimism about fewer people swallowing baloney.

    Talk Radio Europe here in Spain has this morning given a Scottish “Angel Whisperer” an enormous amount of air time without once questioning his sanity. Yep, an “Angel Whisperer” … someone who talks to angels:

    http://kylegray.co.uk/

    Here we learn that “Kyle will show you how speaking to the angels through prayer can be miraculous. We have all prayed for healing, guidance and abundance in the hope that the future will deliver the answer. The Angels teach that healing begins NOW. Kyle will teach you how to use Angel Prayers and assist you in anchoring the help of your Angels in the present moment.”

    Gimme strength!

  5. Angela_K says:

    Well Adoyo could always present his evidence against Evolution for peer review by the scientific community, but as there is none it would be a blank paper to review.

  6. Caute says:

    Are the captions correct on the above pictures?

  7. charlie says:

    This clown is the head of a gang called “Christ is the answer”. OK, now I want to know this, what was the question?
    He is a fool and worse, some of the greatest discoveries in human history and he wants them hidden as it conflicts with his favorite myth. Disgusting just scratches the surface of this fool.

  8. Broga says:

    @Caute: Well spotted. Barry is usually accurate but this time he has got the captions the wrong way round on the pictures.

  9. Broga says:

    @Charlie: The question is this: “Bad people do bad things; good people do good things; but what makes good people do bad things?”

  10. remigius says:

    …but what makes good people do bad things?

    With me it’s usually alcohol!

  11. Barry Duke says:

    Caute and Broga: I was tempted. Believe me I was SORELY tempted to reverse those captions.

  12. barriejohn says:

    Professor Dawkins (again) was proud to identify himself as an ape. This, according to the godbots, was “blasphemy”!

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/645351-is-richard-dawkins-an-ape

    Even though he did not intend it, Dawkins’ statement brings out starkly the intuitive implausibility of evolutionary theory.

    Apes can’t read books, see?

  13. barriejohn says:

    Comment: “The brightest of apes may not be able to complete the Sunday Times crossword puzzle, but the dumbest of humans cannot even begin to use the ability to reason which is supposed to be the hallmark of our species.”

    Brilliant!

  14. GamerFromJump says:

    “evolution from ape to human.”

    Really, guys? Come on. Humans are an ape, we did not evolve from them, but a common ancestor of us and other Hominidae.

    Accuracy of terms is important.

  15. Broga says:

    So the evangelicals don’t like being described as a species of ape. What about being described, accurately in my opinion, as the most destructive pest on the planet? This pest is a major cause of a global extinction which is already well advanced. And a major reason for us not being able to halt this is religious belief including the demented encouragement by RCs for us to keep breeding.

    There other mad belief is that their non existent God will come along and sort it all out.

  16. L.Long says:

    This preachers are ‘liars for jesus’ and they MUST do this in the face of everything because their political power base is melting away. So as ALL preachers are liars, this comes very easy for them to do. But the really sad part is the number of brainwashed sheeple that still buy into the whole set of BS lies.

  17. Broga says:

    @L.Long: This gullibility phenomenon is well described by H.L.Mencken in his reports on the Tennessee Monkey trial. Believing what preachers say avoids the hard work of thinking. It also offers instant “knowledge” without the effort of years of study.

  18. Trevor Blake says:

    Christians should be enthusiastic supporters of the theory of evolution. Animals come into being then they go away. That’s surely a good explanation for why the Bible is full of unicorns, dragons, sea monsters and more, but why also those creatures have gone away.

    http://ovo127.com/2010/08/20/trevor-blake-unicorns-dragons-god-and-other-imaginary-monsters/

    And as an aside, humans are a type of ape. The other types of apes and humans have a common ancestor. It is not the case that humans evolved from apes.

  19. charlie says:

    @Broga, I’d say religion is why good people do bad things, but I am biased/anti-religion so what do I know?

  20. andym says:

    I think it was Jerry Coyne who suggested we make things clearer by referring to “the Fact of Evolution.”

  21. 1859 says:

    The venerable bishop would like the museum to keep the bones ‘in a back room’ of the museum? – a bit like our local video store – it keeps all the ‘adult’ videos ‘in a back room’. Clearly this is proof – if proof was ever needed – that the bishop thinks evolution is pornography. I know I’m right on this.

  22. AgentCormac says:

    Completely OT, but insightful nonetheless – a young boy has wandered onto a stage where Frankie was busy spouting the usual RCC claptrap, and eventually someone in the vatican entourage decided it was time to call time on the intrusion. Just watch how he tries to entice the lad away. I wonder which paedophile priest taught him that trick!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24750357

  23. 1859 says:

    Well I’ve been doin’ a whole heep o’thinkin’ why porn equates to us apes. You see porn let’s ‘it’ all hang out, wobblin’ in the wind, and evolution too lets ‘it’ (the truth) all hang out, waving in the broad daylight for all to see! Porn is disgustin’!, and evolution too is disgustin’! Porn shows people rootin’ like beasts! and evolution too is all about beasts rootin’ themselves stupid ’till out pops a thinkin’ ape! Porn shows everything! and evolution too shows everythin’. Porn throws modesty and genteel sex in the gutter! and evolution too wallows in the gutter. So have faith bretheren and lift up your noble heads to the Great Ape and dash evolutionary porn in the devil’s face! Goodnight!

  24. barriejohn says:

    Charlie: You said This clown is the head of a gang called “Christ is the answer”. OK, now I want to know this, what was the question?

    Broga replied The question is this: “Bad people do bad things; good people do good things; but what makes good people do bad things?”

    I think he was spot on.

  25. You can hide knowledge for ever, sooner or later the kids are going to learn about evolution

  26. Neurotic Knight says:

    Considering the poverty that is rampant in africa, how filthy can these people be to request education to be with held so that their club would look cool. shit head creationists are a plague on this planet and hate anyone who wont be their slaves.

  27. Ziggy says:

    Since when is creationism “fact”/