Human Evolution Exhibit to Butt Heads with Creation Museum

Correction appended

NEW YORK – The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York, one of the world’s most recognized science centers, will unveil its new human evolution exhibit this coming Saturday.

Through fossil evidence as well as DNA and genomic research, the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins focuses on showing the evolution of mankind.

"I think this is the first major exhibition in the world where the fossil evidence and the genomic science are brought together to tell a mutually reinforcing story," museum President Ellen Futter said Tuesday at a media preview. "Bringing the two stories together is extraordinarily powerful."

The new wing, whose concept many Christians disagree with, will soon be competing with another upcoming museum that will attempt to defend creation also by examining fossils, animals, stars and natural science. The Creation Museum, which will open Memorial Day 2007, is being built outside Cincinnati by Answers in Genesis (AiG) - an apologetics ministry that focuses particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis.

“The Bible, where it touches on science or any subject including same-sex marriage, race or abortion, is totally trustworthy,” said Ken Ham, co-founder and president of Answers in Genesis, in a statement. “As a revelation of history from the beginning to the end of time, the Bible is the foundation that enables us to construct the big picture and have the right approach in geology, biology, physics and astronomy.”

As visitors enter the AMNH exhibit in New York, they will find three skeletons – a chimpanzee, a Neanderthal and a modern human. At another display, one can learn about genomics concepts which illustrate how close our DNA is to that of other primates such as bonobos and chimpanzees. Through this, the scientists emphasize how humans originated from apes.

"I think what we've done here is we brought them (fossil and genomic analysis) together quite nicely," commented Rob DeSalle, co-curator of the AMNH exhibit, to the Associated Press. "The stories can each tell us certain things. ... When they overlap, it's kind of amazing they agree quite well."

The layout of the exhibit may cause a stir among some creationists.

The findings presented should not shake up the creation museum organizers, however. Much like evolutionists, the creationists study the same fossil and DNA evidence that the AMNH will present. They argue that, if studied subjectively, the evidence will only back up scriptural authority.

Correction: Friday, February 9, 2007:

An article on Friday, February 9, 2007, about a new human evolution exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York incorrectly reported the name of a second museum, which is scheduled to open Memorial Day 2007, as the Museum of Natural and Spiritual History. The Christian Post confirmed with A. Larry Ross Communications, the public relations agency that works with Answers in Genesis, the group building the museum, that the name of the museum is the Creation Museum.

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