The Australian Aboriginal
One very old tribal Aboriginal from north Queensland who had become a Christian, recalled for me a conversation he had with his father when only a young boy. He asked, ‘What is God like?’ his father replied, ‘I don’t know—we have forgotten.’
by Ken Ham
When Captain Cook arrived in Australia some 200 years ago, he encountered a dark-skinned race of nomadic people with a stone age culture. Evolutionists say these Aborigines came to Australia at least 40,000 years ago from unknown origins. The evolutionary view which is taught in schools and promoted in the media is really saying these were a people who hadn’t evolved as fast as other types of man. Because of this, most people including many white Christians, regard the Aborigines as primitive—especially in the sense of being not as good as the Europeans. It is little wonder there is racial discrimination when people’s minds are pervaded by such a false view of aboriginal history.
But what is a true view of their history?
According to the book of Genesis, God created only two people (Adam and Eve) whom He told to be ‘fruitful and multiply’. This event took place around 6000 years ago. This couple were the original and only ancestors of all humans who have ever lived. In fact we are told that the woman was called Eve because she was to be the mother of all living. Genesis chapter 5 informs us that Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters. After this, presumably, their sons married their sisters (or perhaps nieces). In the early days of man the children from the union of a brother and sister would not have been deformed as often happens today, since Adam and Eve were physically perfect in every way. It was only after the fall of man, when sin entered the world and God therefore placed a curse upon it, that everything started to degenerate. As time proceeded, man's body suffered more and more from the effects of the curse, until the time came that God forbade the marrying of brother and sister, since their offspring were now likely to be deformed. (The more closely related you are to someone the more defects you have in common, which may show in your offspring.) The laws of incest were not given until the time of Moses. Abraham, for example, was married to his half sister.
For about two thousand years after Adam and Eve, people multiplied on the Earth. They also increased in violence and evil and the Bible records that God saw that ‘the wickedness of man was very great’. Only one man sought to please God—Noah. Noah was commanded to build a large boat to carry representatives of every kind of animal as well as food, and his family. All people on the Earth except Noah and his family were drowned by the world wide flood God sent upon the Earth as a judgment. After the Flood, only one family of eight people remained. These were the ancestors of all races today. God commanded the descendants of Noah to move out over the Earth. They refused, and instead, congregated together to build a tower—the tower of Babel, about 4,000 years ago. God became very angry at this, so He confused their language and forced them to move apart. Different languages resulted. One nation and culture was split into many groups. People with similar language would have moved together to various parts of the Earth. Soon after this the world would have been populated by groups which spoke different languages and lived in different places. These would eventually produce different cultures. Because of the different climatic conditions, the variations of skin colour, etc., among people, the isolation and inbreeding of different groups of people, differing races of man with minor variations of skin colour, eye shape, etc., came into being. New nations were being born.
We can say in summary that:
All people of the world today have their ancestry in a man called Noah, and further back to Adam, whether they be the Australian Aborigines, the American Indians, or the Eskimos.
The differing cultures separated by different languages have only arisen since the time of the Tower of Babel. The physical differences between the races (e.g. skin colour, eye shape) are only minor.
In the mythology and legends from cultures around the world, you would expect to find their ancestry in Noah reflected in their stories about a world flood, or how man was created, etc.
The above account is totally different to that told normally through the media or school textbooks. We are told that as man evolved so did his culture. He first learnt to use stone tools, then developed the bronze age, and so on until he arrived at where he is today. On this basis, the obvious implication about different cultures throughout the world is that some have not evolved far at all.
Now 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.
What then has happened?
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. Instead of being a culture regenerated by God’s standards, they have degenerated from them. Now, before you start shouting racist, take into consideration the fact that the European culture in Australia is little different. Despite its background of Christianised history, it has turned its back on God and is increasingly an anti-God degenerate culture. Many Australians can’t see it because they have become immune. White people point to natives who have been head hunters known to cut people up and eat them while the victim was still alive to see it. Such people they label as primitive savages. The white society forgets that it also cuts people up alive, millions of them, but it's called abortion and legalised.
Societies get this way, because they turn their back on God and degenerate away from His standards. They no longer have a respect for the life of man made in the image of God, because they no longer respect God. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome that when people turn their back on the Creator God, or deliberately leave Him out of their knowledge, God turns them over to foolish and perverse ways.
When cannibals turn back to God, they stop their perversions as they come to Christ. They have no option but to leave their old culture behind and conform their way of living to that which is acceptable to God.
Whenever people from a European culture become Christians, they must turn away from their culture’s worship of material greed and power with its basis in evolutionary immorality and its anti-God degenerative activities. Similarly when aborigines become Christians they must also separate themselves from any anti-God culture.
Christians of all races are not to live under the influence of the culture they have come from, but rather they are to influence it for good, because they are to influence it for God.
There has been much discussion in Australia recently on the issue of land rights for Aborigines (and many demonstrations as well). Several senators, as well as many others, use as the basis for their arguments for land rights for the aborigines, their belief that the Aborigines have been in Australia for 40,000 years. How is anyone to know what to think about 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.2
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 they need to turn to the true God of history and turn their back on pagan worship?
A Christian aborigine from Western Australia said ‘much of the land rights arguments are a reversal of the dominion God gave to man. If we want land rights because of sacred sites, sacred kangaroos, etc., then the land and animals have dominion over man. God made it the opposite to this.’ The aboriginal knowledge of their own history is only vaguely preserved in their dreamtime legends, a mixture of fact and fiction, but which nevertheless still tells them man was created. Evolution destroys this dreamtime story and removes from their society any basis it had whatsoever.
If evolution is adopted by the aboriginals it will destroy their culture totally, but in doing so it will create an intense racial problem between the blacks and whites of Australia as they vie in a struggle for the survival of the fittest, free from any real morality or possible respect for each other based on the fact man is made in God’s image.
The harsh reality which faces people from all cultures is simply this: man must serve the God who made Him and reject any culture as degenerate which does not have this basis.
Creation evangelism and aborigines
There is a tremendous response from aboriginal students in schools when they are told of their rightful place in history; when they are shown that their own cultural legends indicate they have a common ancestry with Europeans in Noah and they are not primitive, lesser beings. Their culture has many stories about the creation of man after the animals and woman after man. They need to know they have a common ancestry with all mankind in the first man Adam, and more importantly, because of this they, like all men, need to accept the salvation offered by the last Adam who is Jesus Christ. Only this frees men of all races from hatred, from greed and from every other evil which destroys man and nation alike.
*This is calculated assuming a literal reading of the Biblical genealogies, without any gaps in the chronology, and this assumption is justified.
1. 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.
2. EDITOR’S NOTE: It is not CMI policy that Australian Aboriginals should necessarily have or not have land rights, since we are an apolitical ministry. CMI believes that attitudes concerning land rights should be developed on a Biblical basis.
NOTE RE TERMINOLOGY (added December 2009)
When this article appeared on the web, we have had responses claiming that "Aboriginal" is an adjective, rather than a noun. The matter is not simple. The propriety of usage is something that changes in a society, and several sources indicate that the word 'Aboriginal', though indeed originally only an adjective, has over time through usage become accepted as a noun, as well.
See e.g. www.dictionary.com, or http://www.dictionary.net/aboriginal.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that since this 1983 article was written, both words (Aborigine, Aboriginal) have been changing in their propriety of usage in other respects. They are often regarded by Australia's Aboriginal people as having derogatory associations. These days, most would prefer to be called 'indigenous Australians'. In the alternative, most would probably prefer the noun 'Aboriginal' over 'Aborigine' -- while nonetheless preferring 'Aboriginal' to be used as an adjective, e.g. "[CW] an Aboriginal person".
If we were writing the article today, we would probably modify the terms, but this item forms part of our historical magazine archives.