Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Religious insanity: Kenyan edition.

At least insane religious people aren't a peculiarly American problem. According to this, Kenyan Christians want early hominid bones removed from museums because (1) keeping them around would support evolution as a fact rather than a theory, and (2) evolution can't be true because it's inconsistent with a literal interpretation of the Bible. These are both obviously nonsense.

I have serious issues with the "he said, she said" tone of the article, which seems to imply that both sides of the issue have equal rational weight. (For those who may be new to the party: religion = irrational, science = rational. Approximately.) I have more serious issues with the same tone being adopted by staff at the museum in question:

"We have a responsibility to present all our artefacts in the best way that we can so that everyone who sees them can gain a full understanding of their significance," said Ali Chege, public relations manager for the National Museums of Kenya. "But things can get tricky when you have religious beliefs on one side, and intellectuals, scientists or researchers on the other, saying the opposite."
I don't really see how things are tricky. Religious people can have control over what goes in museums when scientists can have control over what's presented in churches. Since no priest (or equivalent) would (probably) let a scientist stand up and deliver a lecture on evolution, no museum should be allowing Christian leaders to proselytize their views through museum displays.

No comments: