Creationism in Kenya

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.

Charming.

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    February 7, 2007

    It’s the damn missionaries fault. Evidently, not enough of them wound up in cooking pots.

  2. #2 Nexus
    February 7, 2007

    I don’t think “missionaries” are to blame for superstition and
    false beliefs in Africa.They’re just to blame for the last few hundred years of such nonsence.

  3. #3 s. zeilenga
    February 7, 2007

    12,000 years? Sigh. It’s a rare occasion that I see that. I may be a creationist, but at least I am one of the home-grown-six-literal-days-6000-years-ago fanatic type of ones. I mean, if you are going to believe God had to take 1000 years to make light, then you might as well be an evolutionist.

    Heh.

    z.

  4. #4 JGS
    February 7, 2007

    The 6000/12000 years thing is a man thing which means it’s worthless. There is no end of the harm men have done to others in the name of religion. I’m not voting either way, but wonder if anyone has any hard evidence that we are in fact related to Apes/Chimps. Mitochondrial DNA would show a common single female ancestor. 98% the same means nothing. We also have the same, but thankfully more DNA as a worm. Mitochondrial DNA would be the absolute proof of our direct link to chimps.

  5. #5 Scott Simmons
    February 7, 2007

    JGS: take a look at this, just as an example: http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/postmonth/apr05.html

  6. #6 Jon S
    February 7, 2007

    Whether or not the bishop is correct in his dating, it’s great to see someone in the church taking a public stand for God’s word and creationism, and against evolution. All too often we see compromise in the church.

    The media slant in the article is typical. The first mistake is that it presents the old ‘scientists against a powerful evangelical Christian movement’ canard, when truly the battle is against different worldviews… secular humanism or atheism against theism, particularly Christianity. The article also describes those who believe in creationism as followers, so I suppose those who believe in evolution would be the leadership? Or could we describe those who believe in evolution as followers too?

    Hopefully the rest of the world will see stand the bishop is taking and more believers will also take a stronger stand for God’s word.

  7. #7 joe
    February 8, 2007

    As a Christian and as a Kenyan I feel that the whole evolution vs. creationism debate is a complete waste of time .For hundred of years Kenyans have worshipped and believed in God .Evolution has been taught in schools from as early as elementary school .I even remember trips to the national museum to see “Lucy”. Christian religious education-CRE is also a compulsory subject in elementary school. (Muslims take IRE)Creation is taught in both .As a Kenyan I have never had an issue with the evolution theory .My only worry today is the importation of western values to Kenya that have nothing to do with Christianity .Faith in God is exactly that it can not be hammered into someone .it is a gift from God. A good Christian church should not have an issue with evolution, if sound teaching is taught the people will know were the truth lies .Church leaders should stop being influenced by American evangelicals that want to Americanize Christianity .Faith can not be gained by locking up scientific theories in back rooms. If you faith in God can not stand the challenge of an old theory then maybe you need to be reading the bible more and fighting the theory less .

  8. #8 JGS
    February 8, 2007

    That’s an interesting site about the DNA. I have to admit I’m not knowledgeable enough about genetics/science to see much sense in it, but believe the author that there is a connection. I’ve read that we have 98% the same DNA as a chimp, but that 2% is a profound difference. I’ve always thought that theologians and their dates are very wrong, but don’t know. Maybe the 12,000/6000 thing is when man was chosen by God to evolve into a thinking animal far beyond other animals.

  9. #9 JGS
    February 8, 2007

    Don’t really know what you mean by americanize christianity. Do you by chance kenyanize christianity?

    I’m with you, the evolution/creationism debate isn’t worth much, but the genetics thing is interesting.

    Evolutionism doesn’t challenge my faith. The vast example of man and his religions and in the name of those religions to do great harm to himself and others has convinced me that Jesus’ message and example of a sinless life, make him either the biggest lier in history or what he said he was. After looking at myself and other men, I believe given the right circumstances, we are all capable of great destruction and terror. So, with that, I believe he was who he said he was.

  10. #10 joe
    February 9, 2007

    I am glad we are on the same page by “Americanized Christianity”i mean the american version of christianity flag in the church God bless america,church vs state debates,creations vs Evolution all side shows that are drawing many young people away from the church.People want the truth.They already know jesus wasnt american or kenyan.(being middle eastern he probablt looked like osama)different topic.Anyway my point was there is a push from some american evangelical groups to push american issues on born again christians around the world.Insread of dealing with the moral decay in america.kenyan christians have lived with the evolution theory for a while now.many consider it just a theory which is ok.it doesnt challange their belief in creation because we are well grounded in our faith.unlike many americans who worship the flag instead of reading the word.That was all i was saying . i love living in america and i love the american people. what i hate is the ownership society that the american right wing tries claim on christianity pushing agendas that are unbibilical. no offence to anyone just speaking the truth

  11. #11 JOE
    February 9, 2007

    On a different note i also believe in the Big Bang theory!
    Genesis 1

    The Beginning
    1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.(there was a big bang when this happend)
    2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

  12. #12 JGS
    February 9, 2007

    I’m sure God could have used any number of what we call natural ways to create life. What amuses me is discussions tent to demand everyone to see how intelligent man is and can be. Don’t count me in. One simple thing I was able to learn in college was a) I didn’t know much b) for all there is to know about any subject the professors didn’t know much either. Not to put my professors down because they were wonderful to learn from, but people spend a lifetime studying a small part of a tiny cell so someone else can pick up the banner and spend another lifetime studying more about that tiny cell. For all the brilliant intelligence on this wonderful green earth, nobody knows much. Don’t forget you are unique like everybody else.