Natural history museum in Jerusalem covers exhibit on evolution to avoid offending ultra-Orthodox Jews

UPDATE:

A kind reader sent me the email for the Natural History Museum, muzteva@gmail.com, and if you want to write to them about this, feel free. Here’s my email:

*********

To whom it may concern:

As an evolutionary biologist of Jewish ancestry, I am deeply offended at your practice of covering up the human evolution exhibit lest it offend the Haredi Jews who go to your museum. Why would a museum hide the truth, even if it’s offensive to some religious believers? Is this proper in a largely secular state like Israel?

I hope you realize that by literally hiding the evidence for human evolution, you are misleading people: in effect, lying by omission. The truth is the truth, regardless of whether some people are offended because it goes against their upbringing; and by catering to the false beliefs of creationists, you are, in effect, censoring whatever science that some people find unpleasant. This kind of behavior makes me ashamed of my Jewish background.

I have written about your Museum’s activities on my website, which has 55,000 readers:

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2018/04/28/natural-history-museum-in-jerusalem-covers-exhibit-on-evolution-to-avoid-offending-ultra-orthodox-jews/

I hope that in the future you can just present the plain scientific truth about human origins and not worry about who it offends. Your blatant censorship offends me–and has offended many others–but of course you’d prefer to offend scientists and truth-seekers than those who harbor religious superstitions.

Sincerely,
Jerry Coyne
Emeritus Professor
Department of Ecology and Evolution
The University of Chicago

_________

From the Times of Israel we have this article (click on screenshot) showing three things: not all Jews accept science; that the ultra-Orthodox Jews (Haredim)—a reclusive, fundamentalist, and extremist branch of the faith—are creationists; and finally that the largely secular character of the Israel government will nevertheless censor real science to cater to this group.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Natural History Museum in Jerusalem has been keeping an exhibit on human evolution covered under a sheet to avoid offending ultra-Orthodox visitors, and a staff member earlier this month asked a customer to leave when she inquired why the museum was censoring the display.

“I was saddened by it and rather shocked,” the visitor, Chaya David, told The Times of Israel following the incident. “It’s unwarranted and illegal.”

The Hebrew-language display, titled “The beginning of human evolution and culture,” details the stages of the gradual transformation from apes to the modern homo sapiens [sic], complete with various skulls, models and ancient hunting tools along with written explanations.

It is kept under a pink sheet that blocks it from visitors’ view.

Here’s that sheet:

Photo: Michael Bachner/Times of Israel

 

Here are two photos of what’s behind the sheet. The article describes the exhibit as outmoded—not updated for decades—so it will surely be wrong. But despite that, it still describes the key fact of human evolution over millions of years (both photos by Michael Bachner), something that the faithful must come to terms with:

What’s equally offensive is that the local government approved this covering (the Jerusalem Haredi Education Division) and that the exhibit is funded by Israeli taxpayers:

The museum said it had received approval from municipal authorities to hide the exhibit, along with two other displays on dinosaurs and on the human body and sexuality, during visits by ultra-Orthodox groups.

. . . [A] 31-year-old mother of two visited the museum during the Passover festival earlier this month with her three-year-old son.

“Why are they covering this? It’s totally inappropriate,” she said. “And then it dawned on me: I realized it was probably being covered due to some sort of social and political agenda.”

An employee that she asked told her that “Haredim don’t like to see these things,” David recollected.

“I was totally shocked because there weren’t any Haredim there to be offended. It wasn’t making anyone upset at the time,” she charged. “You can’t just choose one exhibit you think might offend someone and self-censor in that manner. It’s sad and unwarranted, and it’s also illegal.”

The employee then recommended that she leave.

The excuse the Museum gave is pathetic: they don’t want to offend the Haredis and doing so would reduce Museum attendance:

When a Times of Israel reporter visited the museum almost a week later, the exhibit was still covered by the sheet.

“The curtain is closed only when there is a Haredi group that reserves an activity ahead of time,” the museum said. “Due to shortage of manpower, the curtain was mistakenly not opened [afterward].

How much “manpower” does it take to open a curtain, for crying out loud?

“The Natural History Museum has existed for 60 years and serves all populations in the city,” the museum added. “We are interested in attracting as many visitors as possible.”

Well, that’s not excuse for a state that’s modern, science-friendly, and largely secular. Scientific truth is scientific truth, and shouldn’t be hidden from the public by the government because it offends religion. Such censorship would never stand in the U.S.

It’s as if the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. covered up its evolution exhibit permanently (or eliminated it) because 39% of Americans are young-earth creationists. A religious museum can promulgate whatever lies it wants (viz., the Creation Museum in Kentucky), but a public museum in a secular state can neither lie to the public nor censor exhibits (lying by omission) because they go against the religious dictates of any sect.

I tried to find the email address of the Museum so I could protest, but the site is in Hebrew and also seems to lack email contact information. If you can find it, please let me know.

h/t: Diane G.

52 Comments

  1. BobTerrace
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    A secular group should organize a protest outside asking people to boycott the museum.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly the kind of thing that FFRF fights every day. Unfortunately they do not work on this outside of U.S. jurisdiction. When people ask, what is this separation of church and state business, you can point to the closed curtain.

  3. Posted April 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    And by not offending certain people, you offend others. As if that makes any sense.

  4. Posted April 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Ridiculous! What about offending the “enlightened-im” or “science-im”?

  5. Posted April 28, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve written a letter to the Museum (a reader sent me the email), a copy of which now appears at the top of this post. Feel free to email them if you have a beef with what they did.

    • Jimbo
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 4:20 am | Permalink

      Perfect tenor to your letter. Though claiming offense is an infantile tactic, it appears to be taken as a serious form of protest and be effective in the hyper-offended world so it’s high time we claim the same right. Our offense should trump theirs because truth > censorship and a citizen’s right to see something > the right of an offended citizen’s right not to because both dignify freedom: we can choose to see it and they can choose to not to.

      • Jimbo
        Posted April 29, 2018 at 4:23 am | Permalink

        ugh! should be “citizens right to learn something”.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      I like your email. It will be interesting to see if you get a response, and what it is.

      Whenever situations like this arise, the organisation always, quite reasonably, makes the assumption that the people who will be most offended and cause the most trouble relating to that offence, will be the most religious. At the same time, the most religious always portray themselves as the Best People.

      There are several questions that arise from that. One of course is, “Does being part of a group that is known for being the least reasonable really make you one of the Best People, or just an Entitled A$$ho£€?

  6. Expedition into the Unknown
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The same thing could happen here in the United States. There is a separation between church and state for a reason if a museum is funded by tax payer money it should not be censored to appease a minority of people that can’t look at something for fear of being exposed to a different point of view that you don’t agree with. To put it simply if you don’t like it don’t go see it

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps not liking it is a good reason to go and see it. How often is it that those complaining about a book/film/exhibition have never read or seen what they’re complaining about?

      And if their faith is so weak it can be threatened by a single book/film/exhibition, maybe they need a bit of serious introspection.

  7. Posted April 28, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    “Haredim don’t like to see these things,”

    Why don’t they just put their hands over their eyes like the proverbial monkeys?

    • Posted April 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      I think the Haredim are more concerned with other people seeing these things. I do not believe the museum officials that the curtain was supposed to be temporary. All religious fundamentalists known to me (I am not sure about the Amish) shamelessly try to impose their superstitions on others.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    This shows just how shaky the faith of even the most hard-lined faitheists is. If evolution is not true and disproved by their holy books why are they offended by it? Perhaps every religious person deep-down knows their beliefs are tenuous at best. When I was a religious child and teen, I always struggled with faith in the face of what I learned about the natural world. Glad I won that struggle and freed my mind of all the god bullshit.

  9. Historian
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    The article linked below provides some useful information regarding the haredi, the extreme of ultra-orthodox Judaism. At least, as far as I can tell, they do no try to impose their views on others by physical force. But, as the article notes:

    “The state of Israel currently has the largest haredi population worldwide, with an estimated 800,000, with the U.S. trailing behind at about 500,000. With the most explosive birthrate of any Jewish group, haredi Judaism may very well come to dominate the population of the Jewish world in years to come. According to The Jerusalem Post, the current Israeli haredi population alone is set to double within the next decade.”

    In other words, the status of Israel as a secular state is in extreme jeopardy. It’s anybody’s guess as what will be the ramifications if the haredi control all the levers of Israeli government, particularly in regard to its relations with its neighbors.

    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/haredim-charedim/

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted April 28, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      This is interesting. I wonder if in general secular folks have fewer children. If so, trends toward secularism might be reversed in other places as well.

      • Posted April 28, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        I think this is exactly the case. Some people think that the regression of Turkey to theocracy was caused at least partly by the deeply religious, shallowly educated rural folk outbreeding the educated, urbanized moderate and secular Turks.

        I suppose the same process will take place in other countries as well, including European countries and the USA. In Israel, the fundamentalist Jews (Haredim) will compete with the Arabs, many of whom hope to destroy Israel by outbreeding the Jews.

        “The future belongs to those who show up.”

  10. Posted April 28, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    My only quibble with your email is one that I have in general: the fact that we even USE expressions like “even if it’s offensive to some religious believers”. I think we should stop giving credence to the notion that such things are “offensive.” I think it would be more appropriate to say something along the lines of, “even if some religious people find their unscientific beliefs threatened by it.” I think we should stop dignifying the concept of religious offense.

    • Posted April 28, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you on not using “offensive” but I wonder if they are really threatened by these ideas. My guess is that it is more about power. Sure, they have unscientific beliefs, but isn’t it more about letting everyone know that they can assert themselves in this way? After all, the ideas portrayed by these exhibits are available from many sources.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted April 28, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      There is the issue that some things are widely or near-universally considered offensive, but others are seen so only by select groups.

    • Jimbo
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 4:36 am | Permalink

      I agree but claiming offense is proving an effective tactic. In principal, censorship is incongruent with free inquiry (3rd person) and offensive to it and to those pointing out the incongruety (1st person).

  11. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I was for a time thinking that maybe the museum could rearrange things to cordon off the sections on evolution and sexuality. This way visitors could enter or not. But then I decided the hell with that. Being nice does not earn you anything in these sorts of conflicts!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 28, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      I’d just put up a screen in front of it with a notice saying “Haredim prohibited from entering”.

      Surely that would satisfy their demands?

      cr

  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    The only other stuff in Judaism I know of that is behind a curtain is the veil concealing the Torah from the congregation.
    (Occasionally, a few orthodox gender-segregated synagogues will place a curtain in front of the women’s balcony, though this is not universal.)

    Then there’s the real man behind the Wizard of Oz….

    • Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Isn’t “Oz” a relatively common Hebrew name? 😉

  13. Hempenstein
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    My colleague David Feingold lived in Jerusalem in the early ’50s and got his PhD from Hebrew U there. He also shared the Israel Prize in 1957. He used to refer to that period as the “Heroic Period, before he religious fanatics got hold of the place.”

  14. grasshopper
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    A couple of links to stories about yeshivas/haredi schools not providing knowledge about the world, and an excerpt from the Jerusalem Post article.
    https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/New-York-to-investigate-haredi-schools-for-lack-of-secular-studies-410505
    https://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Back-to-the-core-for-haredi-education-469513

    Like many bright and ambitious young men and women, 28-year-old Menachem Estryk of Jerusalem wants to become a doctor. And while the road to and through medical school is a challenging one even for the best and brightest of students, Estryk is faced with what one might say is a “learning disability.”
    He is not dyslexic, nor does he suffer from an attention deficit disorder.
    And though he attended school, Estryk is simply one of tens of thousands of men, educated in the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) system, who was not taught English or math past the fourth-grade level.

    • nicky
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 12:29 am | Permalink

      If you combine the terrible quality of haredi education with their great demographic growth, possibly inching towards a majority, the very existence of Israel appears to be at stake.
      The Israeli govt should make secular education one of it’s top priorities.

      • nicky
        Posted April 29, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        I mean, why does Israel, the only democracy in the area, where gays are more or less safe and women’s rights -and minority rights-protected, still exists?
        Because of technological and military superiority. You need a well educated population to maintain that.

  15. ladyatheist
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    The Orthodox avert their eyes a jillion times a day. What’s one more time?

  16. eric
    Posted April 28, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Given that human evolution deserves more than just a couple of posterboards, I have a solution that might please both mainstream folk and the orthodox: give a whole single room in the museum over to human evolution.

    Us regular folk will be pleased it’s getting a more thorough coverage, and the orthodox can just avoid going into that room.

  17. Posted April 28, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  18. Posted April 28, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I have read articles about school age Jewish orthodox males in the U.S. who are only taught religious documents like the Torah. It is said that they are not prepared for anything else and, therefore, are unemployable and may live on welfare or the employment of women in their families who receive up to an 8th grade education.

    If Jesus lived, these are the kinds of Jewish
    people he tried to counteract with his teachings.

    • DANA RON
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Nothing will help! Israel is NOT a democratic country. It never was BTW – it is was a pseudo-democracy at best and now it is becoming a theocracy. Israel NEVER had a human rights charter (like other countries in the west have) and It is becoming more and more fundamentalist like the rest of sh’aria middle eastern countries. Israel’s fundamentalist population has taken over the country together with this Netanyahu government and the secular people are flocking to live in western countries in their droves. Israel has effectively been hijacked by these religious fundamentalists in collaboration with the Israeli government and nothing will be returned to the way Israel used to be. It is now just another “hole” in the middle east.

    • DANA RON
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Nothing will help! Israel is NOT a democratic country. It never was BTW – it is was a pseudo-democracy at best and now it is becoming a theocracy. Israel NEVER had a human rights charter (like other countries in the west have) and It is becoming more and more fundamentalist like the rest of sh’aria middle eastern countries. Israel’s fundamentalist population has taken over the country together with this Netanyahu government and the secular people are flocking to live in western countries in their droves. Israel has effectively been hijacked by these religious fundamentalists in collaboration with the Israeli government and nothing will be returned to the way Israel used to be. It is now just another “hole” in the middle east.

  19. Posted April 29, 2018 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks for covering this. This is new and wasn’t there when I visited the museum, years ago.
    The good news is that the outcry helps. In some natural reserve, a sign said that a cave was created in a “thousands of year long process” (when it actually took millions).
    After public rage that was fixed.
    Jerusalem has a large religious community, so things may be more difficult there, but I prefer to be optimistic.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      The good news is that the outcry helps. In some natural reserve, a sign said that a cave was created in a “thousands of year long process” (when it actually took millions).
      After public rage that was fixed.

      Yeah, speaking as both a geologist, a caver, and a person who has been seen rolling on the ground, helpless with mirth at the deserted offices of a “biblically directed” oil exploration company, I’d read that sign carefully before choosing whether or not to pick that fight. Probably some caves have multiple million year histories, but good evidence (e.g. thorium-series dating of speleothems) is hard to find. Multiple hundreds of thousands of years age is much easier to demonstrate.
      Without getting up-close and personal with the literature of Levantine cave and karst studies, I wouldn’t like to make a comment on that particular cave. I do know that no serious challenges have been made to the dating of various hominid fossils in caves in Israel, some fossils being in the 100,000 year age range. Much more ink has been spilled over where the animal in question were in the human family tree.
      There’s a semantic question too. In an area of substantially variable rainfall, it is quite possible that a cave could be formed over a few tens of thousands of years during high-rainfall periods, but those tens of thousands of years of active formation to be spread through a million years of stasis during low-rainfall periods.
      I’d look very carefully at the details of that “hill” before deciding to fight hard on it.

      Jerusalem has a large religious community, so things may be more difficult there, but I prefer to be optimistic.

      My experience of Israel is slight – only one job, with only one day off from the rig – but I’d heard that there has been a major influx of Russian “ethnic Jews” who are not exactly fundamentalist on the religious front. Certainly, I heard more Russian on the street than I did Hebrew. My wife (Russian herself) has several friends from the Ukraine who have emigrated to Israel on the basis of family links without attached religious belief.

      • Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:38 am | Permalink

        In regard to the cave, I’m not a scientist, but the signs first stated millions of years, than “thousands” and now “millions” again. Unable to judge it myself, I think that the first change being made under religious pressure, at least suggests that it wasn’t scientifically justified.
        Jerusalem has a proportionally bigger religious population than the rest of the country. This is what I meant. This doesn’t mean that all Jerusalemites are religious.

  20. Posted April 29, 2018 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Jerusalem had been getting more and more religious. Secular people have been moving out and religious have been multiplying rapidly. This has been going on for years.

    Jerusalem is a lost cause IMO. It is turning into Bnei Brak but with a lot more money being spilled on.

    • Posted April 29, 2018 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      Bnei Brak was unknown to me until now. Wiki told me the following:
      In the Knesset elections in 2006, 81% of Bnei Brak’s population chose ultra-Orthodox parties, and another 7% elected religious-Zionist parties.
      The city has the highest population density in Israel and is one of the poorest cities in Israel.

  21. Barney
    Posted April 29, 2018 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Why would creationists be going to any Natural History Museum anyway, since the whole concept of evolution of all organisms is going to be central to the museum’s displays?

    It’s particularly galling that this is in Israel, where some of the most important finds about the expansion of humans out from Africa have been made.

    • nicky
      Posted April 29, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Yes, I guess ‘galling’ is the operative term.

  22. DANA RON
    Posted April 29, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing tat can be done. Israel is gong toward becoming medinat halacha ( sha’aaria state – same s_it, only a different smell – but its exactly the same).. Israel has not been a secular state already for many years and is becoming more and more fundamentalist. All of the secular people are leaving in droves and all that are left are the very poor ones who cannot escape the madness. The people that cannot escape to countries in the west and ones that are left are left are the poor and the religious – many covered from head to toe in Islamic hijabs and can be seen on Israel’s streets now. Israel is not the same country as it used to be, its essence has changed forever. Israel is just another hole in the middle east and not different than any other fundamentalist non-democratic country in the middle east !

  23. DANA RON
    Posted April 29, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing tat can be done. Israel is going toward becoming medinat halacha ( sha’aaria state – same s_it, only a different smell – but its exactly the same).. Israel has not been a secular country already for many years and is becoming more and more fundamentalist. All of the secular people are leaving in droves and all that is left are the very poor ones who cannot escape the madness. The people that cannot escape to countries in the west and ones that are left are the poor and religious – many of them covered from head to toe in Islamic hijabs and can be seen on Israel’s streets now. Israel is not the same country as it used to be, its essence has changed forever. Israel is just another hole in the middle east and not different than any other fundamentalist non-democratic country in the middle east !

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Hey Dana – if this is your first comment here, I assume you posted four times because (a) WordPress is confusing about what is a ‘reply’ and what is a standalone comment, and (b) your comment didn’t appear on the page so you tried again. I think the reason for that is that first-time comments get held up in ‘moderation’ for a while. See Da Roolz (top left), no 2.

      cr

      • DANA RON
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        No. I just pressed it twice by mistake because this was the first time that I am using the site and didnt realise that it takes a few minutes to appear. The moderators did not delete my first comments which I think is very good of them as this shows that they are receptive to getting a variety of comments without censoring them. They allow for freedom of speech, which is the correct democratic way to behave 😉

      • DANA RON
        Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        and yes you are probably correct! —->> They must have been “held” in moderation for a short while before they had appeared and this is why when I did not see them I pressed again.

  24. Posted May 1, 2018 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Following this post, the story was published in many Israeli scientific FB pages and later by the main media companies. All of them had mentioned your letter. So thank you!

    https://www.haaretz.co.il/gallery/art/1.6045232

    https://www.mako.co.il/news-channel2/Channel-2-Newscast-q2_2018/Article-0ef12662a181361004.htm

    Dr. Ori Palevitch

  25. Posted May 2, 2018 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Dr. Coyne,
    I am the director of the Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh, Israel (not the same museum in the article). I completely accept the evidence for evolution, and I even published a book showing how evolution and the Bible can be reconciled (which was banned in ultra-Orthodox communities!). However, in our museum, we do not mention anything about evolution. In part, this is because our museum specifically focuses on the natural world of the Biblical period, not on biological origins. But in addition, it’s because we want to reach the anti-science ultra-Orthodox communities. If you have an exhibit on evolution, they won’t come, and they won’t learn anything at all. Isn’t it better to be able to teach them something, than to teach them nothing? Do you want these communities to be completely closed off from the natural world? The Jerusalem museum has its evolution exhibit on display for all the regular groups. Your analogy to the Smithsonian is therefore incorrect.
    I understand your distress, but there is a reality on the ground that has to be acknowledged.
    I would be happy to continue this discussion – you can reach me via the museum website, http://www.BiblicalNaturalHistory.org

    • Posted May 2, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I’m curious whether “If you have an exhibit on evolution, they won’t come, and they won’t learn anything at all.” is an assumption, or has been demonstrated to be true? It sounds like a bluff to me, to see if they can get you to bow to their demands. If all the museums called their bluff and refused to comply, you might find that they will visit anyway, and simply avoid that exhibit.

      • chai
        Posted May 2, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Its not a bluff. You have yet to be introduced to these people. If all museums had evolution exhibits they wouldn’t go to any of them. Many of them don’t go to any zoo in the world, don’t own TVs or VCRs an etc. because they believe them to be antithetical to their religion.

        So it has been demonstrated to be true.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted May 3, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      Your comment prompts some obvious reactions:

      – Evolution and religious texts obviously cannot be reconciled, which is the root of the problem. Species and humans evolved, there were never global extinctions and bottlenecks with just a few species, humans have no religious ‘soul’ (which also medicine and recently physics also concludes), et cetera. A modicum of science study tells anyone this; theologians disagree for their own reasons separate from the truths of our existence.

      – There are by the nature of society tensions between secular human rights such as equal rights and opportunities and freedom of religion. For example locally the university where I write this from Sweden allow head dresses for medical and religious purposes despite the regulations for ID/class room behavior. Secular people are discriminated for no good reason. The same happens at the museum in Israel we discuss.

      – Religion has its problems, but it is not the responsibility of society to solve them. Who cares – except for those who suffer under it – EU is now dominantly secular and the youngest generation effectively non-religious. People grow up and let go of their comfort blanket from when the population were dominantly poor, simple as that apparently.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted May 3, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        Mea culpa. I meant to write that we do not care about religion as phenomena, as much as about those persons who suffer under it – those we do want to help. But if we cannot the problem will – apparently – solve itself as the world progresses.


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] days Prof. Jerry Coyne of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago published an open letter addressed to the museum, saying he was deeply offended by the practice, which amounted to […]

  2. […] standing outside the museum with placards. Prominent American biologist Jerry Coyne has published a public letter, writing as “an evolutionary biologist of Jewish ancestry,” slamming the museum for […]

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