American Natural History Museum: Hall of Human Origins

Posted on 19th October 2008 by Ryan Somma in Adventuring

I overheard a woman at the museum remark to her kids upon seeing this exhibit, “Look at that. It’s a cast of a skeleton, not the real thing. And that’s a recreation. They don’t know people really looked like that. This is all just made up and these people don’t even care!” I lurked around the family for a few minutes, hoping to hear the woman mutter, “$%#*in’ sheep,” but it never happened.


Australopithecus

Australopithecus

Yes, the majority of skeletons at the museums are casts, meaning someone wrapped the original skeleton in plaster, and then poured a mold of it. Yes, the models of our ancestors, the dioramas showing them walking through the savannahs, are best estimations, models to help us visualize the information we have about them based on the footprints they left behind. I don’t understand how creationists can view these honest efforts to find the truth as evidence that all this is just guesswork, or even worse, that these efforts are all part of a vast intellectual conspiracy, which, when confronted with the overwhelming body of knowledge presented in just one room of a museum, requires a suspension of disbelief of incredible willpower… or simply willful ignorance.

You can check out the complete flickr set here.

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