Smithsonian Exhibition—Deception and Atheism

by Ken Ham on July 26, 2010
Featured in Answers Update

The purpose of this exhibit on the origin of man is not only to indoctrinate children and adults in evolution, but also atheism!

Deadly Disclosures

What if the Secretary of the Smithsonian, a recently converted Christian, is mysteriously murdered? Find out in this heart-pounding novel, Deadly Disclosures.

The National Museum of Natural History, funded by donations and tax money, recently opened its new exhibition on human origins. The NMNH in Washington D.C. is one of the famed Smithsonian Museums.

To build this exhibition, called the Hall of Human Origins, the Smithsonian spent almost as much money as we did to build the entire 70,000 square-foot, high-tech Creation Museum near Cincinnati!

The purpose of this exhibit on the origin of man is not only to indoctrinate children and adults in evolution, but also atheism!

In a CNSNews report,1 with a headline that included the words Devoid of References to God, we read the following about the new exhibit:

The stages of human development also are highlighted, but visitors will not find any references to God, creationism, or pre-natal existence. The exhibit’s Web site says fossils “provide evidence that modern humans evolved from earlier humans.”

The report continues:

. . . Richard Potts, curator and director of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program, said the Smithsonian Institution has a “deep commitment to the study of evolution” and that the new permanent exhibit will answer “profound questions” about human origins.
When asked by why the exhibit does not include any reference to God or address the debate—even in scientific circles—about Darwinian evolution, Potts replied that the Natural History Museum ‘is a science museum, and all the objects that a museum can possibly display about the origins of humans have been uncovered in the context of doing the science of evolution.’

Note two very telling admissions here:

Regarding his quote “. . . all the objects that a museum can possibly display about the origins of humans have been uncovered . . .” well, that is simply not true. “All” that can be “possibly displayed”? What about the Bible’s account of human origins? The Bible is a document that claims to be the Word of the Creator concerning how humans came to be on this planet.

Why won’t Potts and his researchers include that? Well, they have arbitrarily defined science (which means “knowledge”) as having nothing to do with God. They will only allow explanations according to their view of naturalism, the religion of atheism.

It becomes even clearer in the second admission:

. . . in the context of doing the science of evolution.

Evolution, in the Darwinian sense (using naturalism and no supernaturalism), is their bottom-line presupposition. It’s used to interpret the evidence of the fossils they display as they attempt to reconstruct the unobservable past.

In an interview with the Washington Post,2 Potts was asked whether creationism would be found in the Hall of Human Origins. He replied: “There’s no Adam and Eve here.” He continued: “If you believe that the world—and man—was created in seven days, and that it’s only thousands of years old, you might have a little problem with an exhibition that talks about a process of 6 million to 8 million years.”

Later in the Post article, when asked what he hopes visitors will take away from the exhibition, Potts replied: “A sense of the sacred.” That almost sounds as if he wants the hall to be a kind of a temple, where visitors can be worshipful of the fossils of their apelike ancestors!

The American public has largely been duped into thinking that by not mentioning God or the Bible, something like the Smithsonian is being “neutral.” But there is no neutral position; one is either for Christ or against (Luke 11:23). This museum is imposing a religion on generations of Americans: the religion of atheism. It’s the same worldview that is being thrust at generations of children in the public schools.

One of the methods used to impose an atheistic religion on children is deception. For instance, in the educator guide for grades 5–12 that was designed to help reinforce the evolutionary teachings of the Smithsonian’s human origins exhibit, there is a list of so-called “Misconceptions About Evolution.” Under one of them, it states: “humans were definitely not the last organism to evolve. Numerous other species have evolved since the onset of human evolution.”

The word evolution is not defined. In the first instance, evolution is being used in the molecules-to-man sense, with eventually ape-like creatures evolving into humans.

Now, when the museum states: “Numerous other species have evolved since the onset of human evolution,” the word evolution is being used in the sense of change that relates to speciation. Indeed, certain new “species” have formed in recent times (e.g., various species of fish), but speciation occurring within a “family” or “kind” is very different than one kind of creature evolving into a totally different one.

Unsuspecting students and adults don’t know the difference, and so they are led to believe by the museum that speciation (change within a kind) is evolution, and thus molecules-to-man is true!

On our website, we have many articles that reveal how speciation and natural selection are actually observed. But when understood at the genetic level, this is solid evidence against molecules-to-man evolution!

So, here we have tens of millions of dollars (including your tax money) that have been spent on deception and ultimately to promote the religion of atheism! We pray that with God’s blessing, our Creation Museum and other outreaches will continue to help undo the terrible damage done to the hearts and minds (with eternal consequences) of countless children and adults.


  1., Thursday, March 18, 2010.
  2. Washington Post, March 19, 2010.


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