Monday, August 14, 2006

They Ain't Fossils Until Inspector 12 Says They're Fossils

OK, so the Intelligent Design folks didn't do so well in the Dover Case. As the presiding judge in the case said, "The only apparent difference between the argument made by [18th century theologian and creationist William] Paley and the argument for ID, as expressed by defense expert witness [Michael] Behe and [Scott] Minnich, is that ID’s “official position” does not acknowledge that the designer is God. .... Although proponents of [Intelligent Design] occasionally suggest that the designer could be a space alien or a time-traveling cell biologist, no serious alternative to God as the designer has been proposed."

Well, personally we'd go with the flying spaghetti monster, but that's just us. Anyway, the point is, for folks whose view of the cosmos is stuck in the 18th century, the 21st century hasn't so far, been very friendly. Can we get a Yea and Verily?

So what are God fearing, undereducated biblical literalists to do when they find that the law actually expects them to provide evidence to support their claims? Well, if you can't litigate evolution away, just hide it.

Powerful evangelical churches are pressing Kenya's national museum to sideline its world-famous collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human. "We feel that providing scientific evidence that supports the theory of evolution sends the wrong message to young people today," said Bishop Bonifes Adoyo, the head of Christ is the Answer Ministries. "Just look where science has gotten us. Diseases being cured with drugs, water being purified, milk being pastuerized, women voting. How long are we going to go down this road before we realize the error of our ways?"

The museum also holds bones from several specimens of Australopithecus anamensis, believed to be the first hominid to walk upright, four million years ago. Together the artifacts amount to the clearest record yet discovered of the origins of Homo sapiens. "Well, that's only if you believe in all that science mumbo jumbo," Adoyo said.

The National Museums of Kenya, which manages the country's cultural sites, is conducting a survey to determine what visitors to its Nairobi headquarters most want to see. Church leaders aim to hijack that process. "We asked ourselves, What would Jesus do?" Adoyo said, "And the answer was clearly to confuse public opinion and bend it to our agenda."

"Our doctrine is not that we evolved from apes, but were barfed into existencence, and we have grave concerns that the museum wants to enhance the prominence of something presented as fact which is supported with evidence and generally held to reflect reality. Bumba forgive them."

Dr Leakey said the churches' plans were "the most outrageous comments I have heard in the last twenty years, but that's only because I stopped watching the 700 Club a long time ago."

The museum said it was in a "tricky situation" as it tried to redesign its exhibition space to accommodate the expectations of all its visitors. "But things can get tricky when you have religious idiots on one side, and intellectuals, scientists or researchers on the other."

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