How a missionary family gave rise to the top name in ‘apeman’ research (Louis Leakey)!

Most people have heard of anthropologist Louis Leakey, best known as the man who changed the way that evolutionists think about the place where mankind supposedly evolved. He did this by finding ape-like fossils in East Africa and declaring them to be older than those that had been found in Asia, such as Eugene Dubois’ Java Man in Indonesia and Davidson Black’s Peking Man in China. However, most readers may not know of his once-strong Christian background.

Louis was born in 1903 at Kabete Mission Station, near Nairobi, British East Africa, now Kenya, where his English parents were missionaries with the Church Missionary Society. He grew up ‘more African than English’. As a child, he was fluent in the Kikuyu language as well as in English. He played African children’s games, built his own three-roomed mud-and-wattle hut, and learned to track animals and hunt with spear and club. Later he would claim that this training in observation and patience was the key to his proficiency in finding fossils. He was initiated into the Kikuyu Tribe as a junior warrior at age 11. The elders gave him the name Wakuruigi, meaning Son of the Sparrow Hawk, and from then on treated him, as with the other initiates, like an adult.

At age 13, he made a collection of obsidian (a type of rock1) flakes, and learned that they included some actual stone axe-heads and arrow-heads. His biographer says: ‘From that moment Louis became addicted to prehistory.’2

He attended Cambridge University from 1922 and graduated in archaeology and anthropology in 1926. He received a Ph.D. in 1930, and later various honorary doctorates. He now abandoned his youthful ambition to follow in his father’s footsteps as a missionary in East Africa, and from then on devoted his life to attempting to prove Darwin’s assertion that human evolution began in Africa, not Asia.3

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