Kenya's human fossils disturb church

Aug 13, 2006

Kenya's National Museum, home to one of the world's greatest collections of human ancestral bones, is caught between religious fundamentalists and scientists.

The issue is evolution.

Bishop Bonifes Adoyo, head of Christ Is The Answer Ministries, the largest Pentecostal Church in the country, says his group has "grave concerns" about plans to reorganize the collection and prominently feature the fossils, The Telegraph reported.

The museum has received a large grant from the European Union to improve its facilities.

Most of the fossils were discovered by Richard Leakey, whose family has pushed human ancestry back millions of years. One of his finds, the 1.7-million-year-old Turkana Boy, is the most complete skeleton found so far of homo erectus.

"The Christian community here is very uncomfortable that Leakey and his group want their theories presented as fact," Adoyo said.

Adoyo plans to have his flock barrage the museum with letters and telephone calls, a plan that makes Leakey angry, The Telegraph said. He urges the museum to hold the line.

"The collection it holds is one of Kenya's very few global claims to fame," he said, "and it must be forthright in defending its right to be at the forefront of this branch of science."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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