Turkana Boy Causes Museum Ruckus
Christians want the boy arrested and locked up. Scientists want to put him on stage. The stage is Kenya’s National Museum, and the boy is Turkana boy, a fossil classified by evolutionists as Homo erectus and claimed to be 1.6 million years old. CNN reported that the museum is showcasing the fossil, the most complete hominid skeleton ever found, for the first time. It will take center stage of a new exhibit on the theme of evolution.
The exhibit has caused protests from evangelical Christians in Kenya. According to CNN, they have demanded the skeleton be relegated to a back room “along with some kind of notice saying evolution is not a fact but merely one of a number of theories.” Bishop Boniface Adoyo, head of Kenya’s 35 evangelical denominations with 10 million constituents, protested that “I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it. These sorts of silly views are killing our faith.”
Evolutionists are responding with equally entrenched positions. “Whether the bishop likes it or not, Turkana Boy is a distant relation of his,” retorted Richard Leakey, discoverer of “Lucy” and founder of the museum’s prehistory department. “The bishop is descended from the apes and these fossils tell how he evolved.”
The news item ends by claiming that the head of paleontology at the museum, Dr. Emma Mbua, is a Protestant who sees no problem with evolution. “Evolution is a fact,” she said. “Turkana Boy is our jewel. For the first time, we will be taking him out of the strong room and showing our heritage to the world.”
Nevertheless, concerns over security have made the museum take out millions of dollars of insurance on the exhibit and protect it with a glass screen, closed circuit TV and security guards. The museum gets about 100,000 visitors a year.
CNN says the museum renovation features additional hominid fossils and exhibits of extinct animals that “provide the clearest and unrivaled record yet of evolution and the origins of man,” according to unnamed scientists. The $10.5 million renovation was paid for by the European Union. By contrast, the entire Creation Museum being opened this year by Answers in Genesis, including property, buildings, and all exhibits, is $27 million.
As usual, this story creates a false dichotomy between religion and science, between faith and knowledge. We don’t have the complete story on Bishop Adoyo’s efforts, but have a suggestion on the way these sorts of disagreements should be handled. Demanding that the exhibit be censored or relegated to a back room is counterproductive, because it reinforces the stereotype that Christians are afraid of hearing scientific evidence that contradicts their faith.
The shoe is really on the other foot. Evolutionists want no debate, no public hearing on the evidence. They want to promote a very sanitized, visualized, propagandized version of their Myth of the Mystical Tree (see 02/01/2007). Bones exist – that’s the truth part. Yes, there are skeletons of odd-looking humans, elephants and giraffes that have gone the way of all the world. What do they mean? That’s where if you don’t have all the facts on display, you can be misled (e.g., 08/09/2005)..
So let’s learn about Turkana Boy. Actually, creationists have written up a lot about him and exposed some embarrassments the evolutionists aren’t telling you about. Look, for instance, at the critiques of this fossil on CMI Creation Ministries Intl. (also this article), where you will learn that:
- The brain capacity of the skull is within the range of modern man.
- The height of the skeleton for its age is within the range of modern humans.
- This fossil shows that it is no longer possible to describe Homo erectus as a “large-brained pongid.”
- M. Wolpoff described the postcranium of this fossil as “mostly modern.”
- Wolpoff and Thorne cannot find any consistent anatomical markers which separate erectus from sapiens.
- The limb proportions resemble those of modern humans.
- The more robust bones of Homo erectus could be a reflection of routine heavy physical exertion than of primitive characteristics; if anything, thinner bones on modern humans seem a disadvantage.
- Opinions differ widely on the status of these and almost every other alleged human ancestor.
Indeed, “To have such a tall erectus individual with a modern postcranium appear at such an early stage in the alleged evolutionary history of erectus is a problem for evolutionists,” CMI claims. “If evolution was true, then a more intermediate postcranial skeleton would be expected, one reflecting more of a mid-way stage between the australopithecines and modern humans, not one already at the modern human stage.”
On top of that, Apologetics Press quotes Ian Tatersall (an evolutionist) saying that “the whole classification of Homo erectus has become a kind of dumping ground for strange and out-of-place fossils.” Jeffrey Schwartz made the same complaint in the 07/03/2004 entry, calling the designation “mythical.” Some taxonomists split hairs over whether this skeleton should be classified in another mythical group, Homo ergaster, when there is really no reason other than evolutionary presuppositions to consider them non-human (see also this article from A.P. and the 01/01/2005 entry here). Brain size is no guarantee of an evolutionary sequence (see 08/05/2006). Need we also remind our readers how many bitter fights there have been between evolutionary paleoanthropologists themselves about human evolution (e.g., 12/21/2004, 09/23/2004, 03/28/2003, 04/27/2006, 06/14/2006). These fights, though entertaining, don’t matter because human evolution has already been falsified anyway (08/22/2005, 12/30/2004).
In other words, the evolutionists are hiding key parts of the story by exhibiting Turkana Boy as a primitive human ancestor. They’re lying to the public! A half truth can sometimes be more deceptive and dangerous than a big lie. This is the basis on which Christians need to go on the offense with the Kenya museum charlatans. They are spinning a myth around selective evidence. We all have the same objective evidence to look at, but the evolutionists are avoiding the problems with their interpretations. They are not being scientific (objective, rational, honest) about the issues! This is an intellectual crime that deserves the approbation of the entire public, not just the evangelical Christians.
To add insult to injury, Leakey committed a hate crime: “The bishop is descended from the apes,” he said. How can Leakey, a white Englishman, get away with that kind of insult to a respectable African person of color? Only against Christians is it possible to speak words of racism and bigotry. But apart from that, let’s do a little logic here and turn Leakey’s statement back on himself. Ask him, “Are you, Richard Leakey, a descendent of the apes too?” He will have no choice but to answer yes. Great; follow up with, “Then how can you know anything is true, including the proposition that you are descended from apes?
Drive the point home, because he has no answer. “In a worldview of constant change and evolution, how can you have any assurance that there are unchanging truths beyond matter in motion? In a world where fitness and survival are the highest virtues (whatever ‘virtue’ means), how can you prove to me you are not lying so as to defeat me in the fitness race? How can you be sure of anything, even science, without first justifying the philosophical belief that human rationality connects with experience?”
So here’s our advice. This is an important lesson for anyone having to deal with the Darwin propaganda, whether in museums, textbooks, or in the media. Don’t whimper about how this exhibit is “killing our faith” (because that reinforces their stereotype about “people of faith” as opposed to “science”). Don’t reinforce their prejudice that all criticisms of evolution are theologically motivated. And obviously, don’t threaten violence (although there was no indication at all in the CNN article whether the fears of the museum staff were grounded in anything but their own guilty consciences). Instead, appeal to the honesty and intellectual integrity of the scientists and museum staff. Convince them that they are not being honest and scientifically sound to hide the incriminating evidence and alternative views on Turkana Boy. Show them the quotes by Wolpoff and Tatersall and other evolutionists who dispute the views about this and other fossils. Should only one view among evolutionists be presented, let alone the views of critics of evolution? Why should this contrary scientific evidence be hidden from the public? We don’t want to relegate Turkana Boy and other evidence to the back room; we want to bring all the evidence the evolutionists are hiding in the back room and take it up front into the light. We want to make it part of the showcase! Along with balanced evidence, let’s bring out a few more things from Darwin’s back room to put on display:
- An exhibit on how Piltdown Man fooled the entire evolutionary scientific community for 40 years.
- A wastebin filled with all the bones once thought to represent human ancestors.
- A reminder of how evolutionists exhibited Ota Benga, an African pygmy, in a zoo.
- A copy of Ernst Haeckl’s racist chart of how blacks were closer to Apes than to European whites.
- A description of how the iconic “descent of man” chart perpetuates the myth of progress.
- A list of cusswords that disagreeing paleoanthropologists have called each other.
- A chart of the warring groups of paleoanthropologists and their tactics of ruining each other’s reputations.
- An exhibit on the dark history of eugenics.
- An illustration of all the massacres and genocides committed in the name of evolutionary racism: say, a pile of marbles with each marble representing a human life quenched by Darwinist dictatorships. How high would a tower of 148 million marbles reach?
For the kids, you could have replicas of modern human skulls from around the world and see if they can arrange them into an evolutionary sequence. As a second exercise, see if they can sort them into human and non-human bins. Throw in some skulls deformed by disease or post-burial stresses to trip them up. After they are convinced they have an evolutionary tree, show them pictures of the modern people groups they represent. Describe the languages, cultures and philosophies of the intelligent persons they just assumed were primitive ancestors. As a third game, see if they can similarly organize garage tools or toy cars into an evolutionary phylogeny as a lesson on how similarities do not necessarily prove ancestral relationships. For adults, how about some scholarly lectures on philosophy of science? Questions could be discussed about the ability of finite human minds to interpret unseen past events, especially if human brains are assumed to be products of unguided material processes. Describe how the same data can be reinterpreted in other ways without the Darwinian worldview.
Left to themselves, the Darwinists will turn the Kenya museum into a whitewashed sepulcher, beautiful on the outside, but on the inside full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness of ideas. Evangelicals should be in favor of turning on the lights and letting in fresh air. Give the public all the facts and let them use their minds to decide who has the best case. That’s fair. That’s honest. And that’s exactly what the evolutionists do NOT want (see 02/27/2006). The Kenya museum should be a well-rounded, thought-provoking center of ideas and concepts on these important issues instead of a Darwinist shrine. Help them out, evangelicals. Get the dirty laundry on display instead of starched and bleached and ironed white shirts. Tell them you want to teach more about Darwinism than the Darwinists dare to reveal. If they resist, smile and remind them that honesty is the best policy. Watch them squirm over that proverb.
To pursue this kind of winning strategy will require study. You have to research the facts and know the best arguments on both sides. But in the end, it will pay off: it will demonstrate to all the world that the real censors, the real people of frothy faith, are the Mbuas and Leakeys and other dogmatists who shout “evolution is a fact!” A little study of these pages will provide many examples of Darwin-worshippers trying to shove their religion down the throats of the public without debate. The Master Strategist advised his followers, “Be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” This implies that the other side is the converse.