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Media Release – ASA wins on Human Evolution exhibit

“Atheism SA wins on Human Evolution exhibit at the SA Museum”

Congratulations are now in order to the South Australian Museum, in finally mounting an exhibit on Human Evolution, says Atheism SA President, Brian Morris.

“It’s been almost 3 years since we first wrote to the Museum’s Director, Prof. Suzanne Miller, asking for the exhibit to be re-installed following its removal over 5 years ago.”

“Adelaide was the only capital city museum in Australia that had no evidence for the evolution of humankind and we’re delighted that our long campaign has finally paid off.”

“While this exhibit is extremely limited — a glass case only 1m wide by 3m high — it finally gives some tangible acknowledgement of our human origins to the thousands of children that visit the museum’s Information Centre each year,” Morris said.

Throughout their campaign the organisation had quoted research that shows almost 1 in 4 Australians reject all scientific evidence, and the fossil record detailing 5 million years of human evolution — along with other primates, from a common ancestor.   (note)

“In the face of such irrational beliefs it is essential that museums are the prime source of facts and information on this important issue of how — and from where — we originated; but it’s an idea that doesn’t sit well with 23% of fundamentalist Christians.”

“The internet and Youtube are awash with ‘creationist’ website and videos, with strident claims that the earth is only 6000 years old, based on their literal interpretations from the bible; and it’s staggering that so many people still believe this nonsense.”

“Evangelism of all kinds is on the rise — in public schools as well as religious institutions — and children need to have access to reliable and verifiable information; and who better to provide that than the SA Museum.”

Morris said that educators were alarmed by the declining numbers of students interested in studying science and that seems to coincide with a broader public questioning of modern science — whether by religions, or through issues such as child immunisation.

He also referred to recent comments by Dr Paul Willis, director of the science organisation Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) where he said, “Australia risks becoming an economic fossil if it fails to cultivate the sciences.”

Morris said, “we have been told this interim museum display is a precursor to a more substantial exhibition on human evolution — but let’s hope it’s not another 3 years before SA Museum comes into line with other Australian museums on this important subject.”

“It’s entirely wrong for the museum’s elite to say that all children, and parents, know the facts of our human origins,” Morris said.

(Note):  The last national poll, of more than 8000 Australians, showed 23% rejected evolution and the human fossil record.