Saturday, 5 April 2008

Australian Aboriginals and Darwinian Racism

Recently the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, made a speech in which he apologised for past transgressions against the Aboriginal peoples.

It's a curious idea when people apologise for things that they didn't do, to people who didn't have the wrongs done to them - the idea that our ancestors' guilt transfers down the generations to us, and that the wrong received by other peoples' ancestors transfers to their descendants too so that we can apologise to them. But we'll leave that aside.

Prime Minister Rudd's speech's draft, contained some very revealing sections. Firstly, it points the finger at the then-accepted "science" of eugenics, saying:
"that the crime committed against these children and their families was 'on the base [sic] of a supposedly scientific principle of the superiority of one race over another … eugenic principles were behind the policy of taking away Aboriginal children from their families and breeding out the Aboriginality from their physical and mental lives.'"
Eugenics owed a good deal to Darwinism and the spin-off ideas which Darwinism led to. But the draft went further than that, fingering Darwinism directly:
"Prior to 1861, missionaries were prepared to accept according to the principles of their religions, that Aboriginal people were every bit as capable as Europeans. But with the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origins  [sic] of the Species in 1859, a new theory starts to take hold and the conception that Aboriginal people are a “disappearing race” starts to take hold in Australian public life. This had equally catastrophic consequences for Aboriginal people and communities."
Today's Darwinists happily reject eugenics and racism as profoundly mistaken ideas. This is good; what they do not have, though, is any rational basis to explain why these ideas were profoundly mistaken on the assumption that Darwinism is true. If nature advances through selection pressures leading to the survival of the fittest, then eugenics and racism are perfectly logical ideas. That's why they came up in the first place - the rational thinkers of the day realised that after you've said A, B, C and D then you really ought to proceed on to E as well. As a Christian, believing that man - and so therefore all men - was made as a unique creation in the image of God, I can give a rational account of why eugenics and racism are wrong. I'm glad that contemporary Darwinists do, mostly (some don't), think that these ideas are wrong, even if they can't explain why.

Predictably and sadly, these overly candid, politically incorrect sections of Prime Minister Rudd's speech were erased before the final version was given.

Read CMI's full-length article, from where the above quotes came, here:

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