Also Available in:
This article is from
Creation 19(1):52, December 1996

Browse our latest digital issue Subscribe
Editor’s note: As Creation magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this. For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles below.

‘Ape-woman’ statue misleads public: anatomy professor

The St Louis zoo in Missouri, USA, has a $17.9 million exhibition majoring on evolution, which includes a statue, purportedly a reconstruction of the famous australopithecine part–skeleton ‘Lucy’, showing remarkably human–looking feet (see photo below).

Associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the nearby Washington University, Dr David Menton (interviewed in Creation 16(4),16–19) says that these feet are not based on the fossil facts.

ape foot

The usual artistic licence in reconstructing the fleshly features of ‘apemen’ from bones allows evolutionary bias enormous free rein. However artists do not usually misrepresent the bones. This statue’s feet and hands are simply wrong and mislead the public.

Menton cites evolutionary sources which show that creatures in this species had hands and feet which were ‘not at all like human hands and feet; rather, they have long curved fingers and toes’—even more so than apes today that live mostly in the trees.

Canadian school teacher David Buckna has weighed in on the debate by posting an Internet challenge to this ‘misleading’ statue. He says that if people visiting this exhibition were to see an accurate replica of Lucy in the trees, with features typical of tree–dwelling primates, it would make them question the whole notion of human evolution; Lucy would be seen as just some sort of extinct ape.

Dr Menton, who first complained about it in 1989, says, ‘I think the zoo owes it to all the people who helped pay for that exhibit to give (Lucy) an honest presentation.’

Bruce Carr, the zoo’s director of education, has no plans to alter the exhibit. ‘We cannot be updating every exhibit based on every new piece of evidence,’ he says. ‘What we look at is the overall exhibit and the impression it creates. We think that the overall impression this exhibit creates is correct.’ Dr Menton points out that if Lucy’s feet were accurately shown, it would be obvious they could never fit into the famous Laetoli fossil footprints. These are ‘exhibit A’ for evolutionary belief in upright walking by Lucy’s kind, whereas in fact they are identical to bare-foot humans.

Professor Betsy Schumann, evolutionist expert at Menton’s university, admits that the statue’s feet ‘probably are not accurate’, but when asked whether the statue should be changed, she says, ‘Absolutely not’.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if people get indoctrinated into evolution by wrong evidence, because ‘evolution is a fact’. Christians need to realise that we are facing a full–scale religio–cultural war!

Deceptive museum displays contribute to the worldwide push to replace the Christian worldview with that of evolutionary naturalism (‘everything made itself—we are answerable to nobody’). Sadly, many millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money support such museum displays.

Based on information from Dr Menton and the St Louis Post–Dispatch , July 22, 1996.