According to John Stear of No Answers in Genesis, Carl Wieland of Creation Ministries International has claimed that his organisation is in possession of an 8-page draft of the Apology to the Stolen Generations tabled in Parliament by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. In an article in which he also lauds the denialism of Andrew Bolt on this issue, Wieland claims that the draft contains the following paragraph, excised from the final version of the speech:
‘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.’
Wieland celebrates this passage as supporting the Biblical view that “we are all made in God’s image,” against the “Darwinist” view that “some [humans] must be more ‘highly evolved’ than others.” But he also bemoans, for obvious reasons, a reference to “over 50,000 years of Aboriginal wisdom and knowledge that has never been properly acknowledged or understood by Australian governments,” describing this statement as “inherent[ly] racis[t].” He asserts:
A biblical framework of history, where Australia’s indigenous population arrived here a relatively short time ago, having lost some ‘know-how’ due to the dispersion at Babel and the resulting migration/dispersal, makes more sense of the facts while at the same time intrinsically assigning greater dignity to indigenous peoples.
Wieland then goes on to tell lies about evolution and those who accept it . . .
Whereas the eugenic/racist viewpoint is not only consistent with a Darwinian history of man, it is its logical corollary. So where modern Darwinists shy away from racist views, it is in spite of their Darwinism, not because of it.
. . . and says that he is “grateful that the draft apology at least recognized the role that Darwin had to play in causing much suffering.”
So, what does a YEC account of Aboriginal history look like? Stear quotes Ken Ham:
… let us apply a Biblical perspective on history to the Australian Aborigines (hopefully with sensitivity). Their ancestor Noah had the knowledge of the true God. He also had ship building technology, farming ability, knew how to work alloys, etc. Remnants of this true knowledge of God, of creation and of Noah, can still be seen in their mythology, e.g. they have many legends of a world wide flood. All of which means that somewhere in their history, this knowledge has been forgotten, lost, or deliberately discarded. The culture Captain Cook discovered was spiritist. They did not have the knowledge of the true God and only had a ‘stone age’ culture. [. . .] Someone, somewhere in their history, has turned away from the true God, devised their own religion and successfully persuaded their fellow Aborigines to accept it. They have suffered the consequences of this…
From this unsubstantiated garbage, Stear notes, Ham derives his opposition to indigenous land rights:
It should be obvious that unless you have a correct view of the Aborigines’ history— you will be unlikely to have a correct view about land rights.For instance, on the basis of a literal Biblical view of world history, aborigines have been in Australia less than 4,000 years (not 40,000). Many want land rights so that Aboriginal sacred or religious sites can be kept. Is this valid? Again, before we can decide, we must have a correct view of why they want sacred sites preserved. Is it that they want to preserve all things associated with their religion? If this is the case then to understand their religion, you have to understand their true history. Isn’t their religion anti-God? Shouldn’t Christians rather be telling the aborigines [sic] they need to turn to the true God of history and turn their back on pagan worship?
The concept of ‘land rights’ (or ownership of land) is not known in traditional Aboriginal culture. It is a terminology introduced from European materialistic culture and imposed upon the Aborigines.
Back to Wieland’s claims about being in possession of the draft: as Stear points out, if that is the case, Creation Ministries International should produce it so that its allegations about missing pro-creationist paragraphs may be verified. Stear also mentions that he wrote to the Prime Minister on behalf of Australian Skeptics seeking verification of CMI’s claims, and remarks that the reply was “less than helpful”: denying that a draft version of the speech was released prior to its delivery in Parliament, but saying nothing about whether the paragraph cited by Wieland had been purposely edited out.
Via NRT in the comments at Pharyngula.