Thursday, February 08, 2007

Didn't See This Coming

Foxnews reports that Kenyan Christians are complaining and organizing against the Kenya National Museum's public display of the Turkana Boy (known to the palaeoanthropological community as KNM WT15000) and its evolutionary conclusions.

"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."

Richard Leakey is just as adamant:

"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."

A more conciliatory approach is taken by head of palaeontology at the museum, Emma Mbua:

Mbua, a Protestant, is a little taken aback at the controversy but has no problems reconciling her own faith to the scientific evidence. "Evolution is a fact," adds Mbua, who has run the department for the last five years. "Turkana Boy is our jewel," she said. "For the first time, we will be taking him out of the strong room and showing our heritage to the world."

I am still waiting for a creationist to come along and explain just what, exactly, KNM WT15000 is, since it obviously ain't modern human and just as obviously ain't an ape.


  1. 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 the one true God and studied Evolution. Some of the people involved in the evolution discoveries in Kenya, infact a majority of them are bible believing Christians. Evolution in Kenya is 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 just like science .Meaning that Evolution is also taught as a compulsory subject.

    As a Kenyan I have never had an issue with the Evolution theory! It’s just a 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! Faith, it can not be hammered into someone .It is a gift from God. A good Christian church should not have an issue with evolution theory. If sound teaching of Christianity is taught the people will know were the truth lies .You can never hide the truth .Church leaders should stop being influenced by American evangelicals who want to Americanize Christianity.(Creation vs. Evolution is an American debate not a Christian debate) Faith can not be gained by locking up scientific theories in back rooms. If your faith in God is so fragile that it can not stand the challenge of an old theory then maybe you need to be reading the bible more and fighting the theory less. it is activities that call for artifacts to be stored /hidden that give Evolutionist a voice .Christian have nothing to fear .We have lived with evolution’s 'evidence' but Kenyans have always known that God created the world including Adam.

    The bible is very clear that to the world our faith is foolishness .But none the less it is the truth .We can not and should not hide fossils. Our faith can withstand and indeed it has withstood any challenge thrown against it .Let Creationists and Evolutionist fight it out in America. We know what is true .God created everything .We don’t need to argue about it

  2. Extraordinarily well said. To all those out there, I would recommend reading Ronald Numbers' The Creationists for a very good look at how modern creationism is very much a US-based movement dating from the 1920s. That the vast majority of the rest of the world does not seem to have a problem with this is a reflection of misguided fundamentalism and an example of what Mark Noll calls "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind."

  3. As an American evangelical who happens to accept Evolutionary theory, I have to agree with the statement:

    Church leaders should stop being influenced by American evangelicals who want to Americanize Christianity.

    Only, I wish it would stop here, as well!

  4. As an American evangelical who accepts evolution, I have to agree with the statement:

    Church leaders should stop being influenced by American evangelicals who want to Americanize Christianity.

    Only, I wish it would end here, as well.

  5. I think that american evangelicals are kind of over a barrel because they see the rampant secularism in Europe as being a failure of the mainline denominations there (smaller churches are going great guns!). They, further, see this failure as being the result of accepting theories like evolutionary theory. Therefore, they have to take up a contrary position. They don't seem to look any further than Europe to other areas where Christianity is thriving and acceptance of evolutionary theory is not an issue. For example, when Homosexual Vicky Gene Robinson's ordination as an Episcopalian priest was opposed by the Archbishop of Nigeria, how many people knew he was the leader of the largest group of Anglicans in the world?

  6. Hi ya! Did ya ever get a chance to read my philosophy paper on Randomness? (That we talked about at the lunch series last semester?)

    :) Old Friend from seeing you at the library!

  7. No, sadly i have not had a chance to. I will try to soon. My life has been a bit scammy.

  8. Of course it's an ape. So are you and so am I; Homo sapiens is firmly within the ape clade.

    (But I know what you meant.)