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Media Release – Survey at SA Museum

“Creationists reject human evolution exhibit”

The wholesale denial of science by creationists — and their rejection of the fossil record that supports human evolution — is alive and well in Adelaide, according to Brian Morris, president of Atheism SA Inc.

 “A recent survey outside the SA Museum aimed to draw attention to the incredible fact that the museum’s exhibit on human evolution was removed in 2008, during renovations, and has not been re-installed.”

 “Questions have previously been raised as to why Adelaide remains without a display over the past 5 years — the only capital city museum in Australia failing to show evidence of human origins to the thousands of children who visit each year.”

 “We wanted to test people’s response to how we evolved and whether a museum exhibit was considered necessary.”

 “The poll showed that almost 1 in 4 surveyed doubted Darwin’s Theory and, of those, most believed the museum had no need to display an exhibition that contradicted the teachings of the Bible,” Mr Morris said.

 Creationists fall mainly in the “Young Earth” category.  They believe the planet is only 6000 years old, that species today survived a global flood on Noah’s ark, and that all writings from the Old Testament, including Adam are Eve, are literally true.

 “Our questionnaire reflects the last national poll, — of more than 8000 Australians — which again showed almost 1 in 4 refused to believed our own species evolved, along with other primates, over millions of years. “

 “We have no evidence that any Christian organisation may have influenced the museum in relation to its exhibition program but we were surprised by the how many people surveyed were unwilling to see evidence of our human linage.”

 “I find it staggering that in the 21st century — after 500 years of modern science that’s taken us to the moon and stars — people are still unable to cope with indisputable scientific evidence of our animal origins,” Mr Morris said.

 He added, it was even more disturbing that 0.15% of scientists rejected Darwin’s Theory.  Most recently, Adelaide’s Prof Graeme Southers said on ABC radio, “whilst I can respect the atheists view (of human evolution) it doesn’t ring true to me.”

 Mr Morris went on to highlight the overwhelming scientific view and referred to a recent comment made by Dr Paul Willis, director of RiAus where he said, “Australia risks becoming an economic fossil if it fails to cultivate the sciences.”

 “I agree wholeheartedly with Dr Willis, but science needs to be cultivated even more, from early childhood.  The point remains; is today’s science curriculum adequate to instil into children the wonder and excitement that science discovery can engender.”

“And what could be more fascinating and exciting than to learn about our own evolution over millions of years? “

“It is for this reason I’m shocked that the SA Museum has failed in its duty to display a comprehensive human evolution exhibition…  For the sake of science, where else can children see and touch, first-hand, this scientific evidence,” Mr Morris said.

Contact:   Brian Morris, President, Atheism SA Inc