A Holy Land for Religion and Science – Issue 101: In Our Nature

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On a recent reporting trip in Ethiopia, I was struck by how evolution and religion coexist peacefully in the nation. Every day on my walk to Ethiopia’s National Museum, which houses the ancient bones of ape-like human predecessors, I passed a throng of women praying outside of St. Georges Cathedral, across the street from the museum. I was moved because the scene stood in contrast to the United States, where grandstanding debates, like the one this year between Bill Nye the Science Guy and creationist Ken Ham, seem to be a regular occurrence. In the video (above), you can hear chants from the cathedral bellowing into the museum courtyard.

A distinguishing feature of Ethiopia is that both religion and science are bred in its bone, and the union doesn’t seem to be a matter of either side compromising. A mosaic at the museum’s entrance pictures Lucy, our famous human-like ancestor from over 3 million years ago, and an Orthodox Christian cross. Soon the Ethiopian government will open The Human Origin Museum, devoted to our evolution.

Generally speaking, Ethiopians are devout Christians or Muslims,…
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