An unprecedented exhibit of early human fossils at a Kenyan museum has pitted religious creationists against scientists.

The centerpiece of the exhibit at the Nairobi National Museum is Turkana Boy, the remains of a boy who died 1.5 million years ago in Kenya. The fossil, the most complete specimen of homo erectus found so far, has been kept in a bomb-proof vault.

Bishop Boniface Adoyo, who heads the Kenyan evangelical churches, hasn't been mollified by an invitation to tour the Human Origins exhibit before it opens to the public, The Times of London reported.

"I do not dispute that as humans we have a history but my family most certainly did not descend from the apes," he said.

Adoyo said that members of his churches will picket the museum if evolution is presented as a fact rather than a theory.

Richard Leakey, who led the expedition that discovered Turkana Boy, is more concerned that putting the fossil on public display may cause difficulties for scientists.

"Science is at the very foundation of our ability to deal with the new century, so if we bring it down to the idea that science may be un-Christian -- well, how stupid can you get?" he said of the bishop's comments.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International