Comments on Wieland and Weston
Dr Colin Groves
Dr Wieland begins well enough: racism, he notes, "has never required much excuse". But the claim which follows, that Darwinism "gave it a tremendous impetus", is false. His quotes from Aborigines in White Australia: A Documentary History of the Attitudes Affecting Official Policy and the Australian Aborigine 16971973 (by Sharman Stone; Heinemann Educational Books, Melbourne, 1974) are selective in the extreme. I myself have recently documented the influence of religious, specifically Christian (creationist), rationales for whites' treatment of Aborigines in 19th century Australia. There was not, contra Wieland, "a distinct change for the worse after 1859", nor does the book make this claim; in the passage he quotes, the editor merely notes that a new rationale ("Social Darwinism") began to be offered after 1859, along with the continuation of the old ones, which referred to religious assumptions, the terra nullius concept, and of course the white colonists' unabashed self-interest.
Dr Carl Wielands article Evolutionary Racism (first published in Creation Ex Nihilo 20(4):1415, SeptemberNovember 1998) and Paula Westons The fallacy of racism (first published in Creation Ex Nihilo 20(1):52-53, December 1997 - February 1998) cannot be permitted to stand unchallenged.
Were early massacres justified by reference to "evolution"? The white settlers and colonists had never heard the word. Was the attempt, nearly successful, to exterminate the Tasmanian Aborigines thus motivated? If any pseudo-intellectual excuse was offered, it was that Aboriginal people were, like other blacks, the Children of Ham, doomed by the curse placed on them by Noah. To "stress that we all go back only a few thousand years, to Noah's family", would by no means have refuted racism: it would have reinforced it (and did).
Perfectly true, some Christians and church institutions did try to protect Aborigines from the full impact of the colonists attempts to exterminate them; but at a cost. Some made it clear what that cost was: they must become Christians, and if that meant losing their land, so be it.
Paula Weston has similar misunderstandings, beginning with what "evolutionists
teach" (as if there is some standard dogma which is fed to all believers!). The idea
that "races" - peoples, ethnic groups, what you will - evolved independently for
tens of thousands of years is likely to be only partially true; the general sharing of
genes across most or all of humanity implies that there has always been interbreeding.
There is no implication here "that some 'races' have developed and become more
'sophisticated' faster than others, leading to the ultimate conclusion (often
subconsciously) that certain 'races' are superior to others", as she claims: that is
a reading which is imposed on the model by a few perverse interpreters, not a necessary
part of it in the way that the curse on the descendants of Ham is a necessary part of a
literal reading of Genesis.
And does Ms Weston really think that the Ku Klux Klan is "evolutionist"? That the Apartheid regime in South Africa, which justified itself as "Christian Socialism" (modelled on Germany's National Socialism), was "evolutionist"? See It's Official! Racism is an Integral Part of Creationist Dogma.
History, Ms Weston; history!