From CNN comes this useful article about a planned display of fossils at a museum in Kenya:
Deep in the dusty, unlit corridors of Kenya’s national museum, locked away in a plain-looking cabinet, is one of mankind’s oldest relics: Turkana Boy, as he is known, the most complete skeleton of a prehistoric human ever found.
But his first public display later this year is at the heart of a growing storm — one pitting scientists against Kenya’s powerful and popular evangelical Christian movement. The debate over evolution vs. creationism — once largely confined to the United States — has arrived in a country known as the cradle of mankind.
“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.”
Not killing it fast enough, alas.
Later in the article we are treated to an example of the sorts of views Adoyo regards as non-silly:
Followers of creationism believe in the literal truth of the Genesis account in the Bible that God created the world in six days. Bishop Adoyo believes the world was created 12,000 years ago, with man appearing 6,000 years later. He says each biblical day was equivalent to 1,000 Earth years.
I’d love to know his scriptural justification for that last comment.
Apparently the sort of evangelicals represented by Adoyo are not the sensible, moderate sort we’re constantly being lectured about. No, these are the sorts who take seriously the Bible’s statements about the proper treatment of heretics and nonbelievers:
The museum, which attracts around 100,000 visitors a year, is taking no chances.
Turkana Boy will be displayed in a private room, with limited access and behind a glass screen with 24-hour closed-circuit TV. Security guards will be at the entrance.
“There are issues about the security,” said Dr. Emma Mbua, the head of paleontology at the museum. “These fossils are irreplaceable and we wouldn’t want anything to happen to them.”
Insurance coverage could run into millions of dollars, she added.