It's Official! Racism is an Integral Part of Creationist Dogma
[Revised and updated 8 April 2005]
Note: Some months after I wrote this article, AiG removed "A Wakeup call to Christians" from their web site but not before I'd made a copy of it. The article was, for a time, available on the Internet Archive. Not surprising, AiG has now removed it from the Archive.
In light of Answers in Genesis' (AiG's) continuing insistence that evolution and racism are linked it comes as a considerable surprise to find a document from the South African Archaeological Bulletin 53: 135- 137 1998, Evolution: "the forbidden word?" on their web site. The document was written by Amanda Esterhuysen and Jeannette Smith of Educational Archaeology, Archaeology Department, University of the Witwatersrand and reveals the reality of the fundamentalist/creationist induced racism that was inherent in South Africa's Christian National Education (CNE) system.
According to the SAA Bulletin document the CNE system was officially in place in South Africa from 1967 to 1993. I quote from that document:
Christian National Policy stated, amongst other things, that white children should "receive a separate education from black children to prepare them for their respective superior and inferior positions in South African social and economic life, and all education should be based on Christian National principles ... "
The SAA Bulletin document is appended to an AiG article "A Wakeup call to Christians" [see note above] which, according to the author Joshua Gilbert, is -
An open letter to Christians to awaken them to the seriousness of the threat of the theory of Evolution to the Christian Faith! Our children are being targeted by evolutionists!
It's incomprehensible that Joshua Gilbert and AiG were not aware of the extremely damaging disclosures in the SAA Bulletin document which clearly show that creationist dogma was employed as a weapon to instil racist ideals in South African children for more than a quarter of a century.
Below is the introduction to the SAA Bulletin document:
The Christian National Education (CNE) system continued in South Africa until as late as 1993. In 1994 the education system underwent radical change when the African National Congress came to power. The ANC's education policy required a "reconstruction" of school curricula to "rid the education and training system of a legacy of racism, dogmatism, and outmoded teaching practices". Under this more enlightened government hominid evolution was made a part of the interim History syllabus.
The document comments that:
The teaching mode adopted was one of "open conversation", a running dialogue rather than transference of information. This not only allowed us to establish and evaluate what the pupils already knew and understand but also enabled students to question what we were saying. Our presentations were loosely structured so that we could address specific issues, for example their understanding of distant time, but at the same time remain flexible enough to allow them to fully explore interest and problem areas. For black children, for example, the issue of whether early humans were black or white was of importance. The concept of a single ancestor was significant. They enjoyed the fact that "blacks and white people are from the same person" (Moira Mabuya, Grade 5), and that skin colour is simply an adaptation to environmental conditions: "I learned that we a [sic] one human being child, our skin changes from the wether [sic]" (Cynthia. Grade 5). These simple insights led to interesting discussions about race as a social construct, which helped to break down some of the norms and expectations associated with "whiteness" and "blackness" that had been promoted by Christian National Education.
One must wonder just what goes on in the minds of creationists when they see fit to post on their web site irrefutable evidence that racism is more likely to be a product of fundamentalist Christian teaching than the evolutionary process. Perhaps it simply demonstrates the utter contempt they hold for those who swallow their distortions of history and science. Or perhaps they didn't read the offending document, merely assuming that the title Evolution: "the forbidden word?" was sufficient for their purpose. And it's clear the incriminating document wasn't included accidentally because the letter asks readers to -
See enclosed a copy of the article "Evolution, the forbidden word" from the South African Archaeological Bulletin 53: 135-139: 1998.
Sadly, it's unlikely that many of those addicted to creationist rubbish will make a connection between AiG's "evolution is racist" claims and the fact that in South Africa at least racism was, for many years, part and parcel of creationist teaching in schools.
What say you Ken Ham, Carl Wieland et al.? Will AiG remove from its web site all the highly offensive, inaccurate and inflammatory material which wrongly accuses evolutionists and the evolutionary process of being racist or inspiring racism?
Such is the perfidy of creationists that those of us who understand and accept the validity of evolution won't be holding our breaths!
For more on this controversy, see Answers in Genesis slips deeper into the mire.