It seems lots of big name folks are up in arms over a display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science over a new display.
HMNS is exhibiting “Lucy,” the supposed early human ancestor found in Ethiopia. The critics accuse the museum of sensationalism and of “prostituting” the fossils. A decade old UN policy says it is OK to take fossils out of a country for scientists to study them in labs, but not for people to see them. Said Richard Leakey: “It’s a form of prostitution. It’s gross exploitation of the ancestors of humanity, and it should not be permitted.”
“Advance ticket sales, about 3,000 so far, are on par with Body Worlds 3, the museum’s most popular exhibit ever. The Lucy exhibit costs $20 for adults.”
And that brings me to my point about hypocrisy. Did any of these scientists criticize Body Worlds? That was the macabre exhibit of partially dissected human bodies arranged in surreal poses (riding a horse, playing cards, etc.). No, none of them uttered a word. And while European Catholics unanimously condemned it, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, in the voice of Msgr. Frank Rossi, said that was a perfectly fine use of a human body. (Fr. Daniel Callam of UST gave a very good sermon blasting this desecration of human bodies, but his was a lonely voice crying in the wilderness).