Museums prepare for creationist visitors

September 20, 2005

U.S. museums are preparing for increasingly vocal challenges to evolution exhibits, including those of the Washington-based National Science Foundation.

Museum lecturers and docents say they are being frequently confronted by small groups of creationists eager to vocally challenge evolution, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

As a result, an increasing number of museums are training their staff in methods of dealing with people who reject long-settled precepts of science on religious grounds.

The National Science Foundation, sponsoring evolution-themed exhibits at six museums of natural history across the nation, includes training for docents and staff members in how to respond to creationists.

Gallup Poll statistics indicate 54 percent of people in the United States do not believe human beings evolved from other species.

Warren Allmon, director of the Paleontological Research Institute, an affiliate of Cornell University, said he encourages his staff to emphasize the fact that science museums live by the rules of science, and all science knowledge is provisional -- subject to being revised when better answers are discovered, the Times reported.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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