A woman in Minnesota shared that she had been to the Smithsonian National Museum in early 2009. After watching a movie on the origin of man, she asked one of the staff where the movie on Creation could be viewed. After being told the museum had no such movie, she asked to see one of the directors to protest this one-sided portrayal of origins. After many excuses about the unavailability of any of the directors she was given a Visitor Comment Form to fill out with her complaints. Eight months after submitting the form she received this letter from the Smithsonian National Museum, which she allowed me to share:
Dear Mrs. O….
Thank you for taking the time to complete a Visitor Comment Form during your trip to the Museum of Natural History. Your feedback provides us with the opportunity to understand your experience, take appropriate action, and respond to any questions you might have.
Let me apologize for my lateness in responding to your comment form. The Museum has undergone some staffing issues and I have been tasked to clearing up the backlog of forms.
I was very sorry to hear how sad the Museum’s portrayal of evolutionary theory made you. The Museum’s policy on evolution, as stated on its website, is as follows:
“All living beings have developed over time from ancestors through a series of changes. That life has evolved over long periods of time, with all forms of life related to one another, is a scientifically well-established fact. Along with researchers throughout the world, scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have contributed significantly to understanding the patterns and processes of evolution in humans and other species of animals and plants.
As one of the world’s leading research museums, the National Museum of Natural History has the responsibility to share with the public the latest research on the process of evolution. It is not the Museum’s responsibility or intent to determine how visitors relate this information to their own religious or personal views.”
Thus while the Museum does not presume to interfere with its visitors’ beliefs, it strives to convey theories which its scientists believe are backed up with scientific evidence. Since all of the scientists who work at the Museum believe in the theory of evolution and have studied it closely, the Museum exhibits must support the research which these people do.
Thank you for your comments and for coming to the Museum. I hope your disappointment in the Museum’s display of evolutionary theory will not deter you from visiting again soon.
Office of Guest Services
Isn’t it amazing that the theory of evolution is stated as a well-established fact. Thousands of scientist (Creation and secular) certainly don’t think so! As to all of their scientists believing in the theory of evolution – Ben Stein’s movie Expelled revealed that those who believe in a Designer are fired from their positions, so of course all of their scientists would believe in the theory of evolution. Perhaps the excuse of staffing issues which delayed the response to the comment form was rousting out all those “non-believing (evolution)” personnel.