This article is from
Creation 23(4):6, September 2001

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Dingo days down under (again)



Fraser Island, off the coast of south-east Queensland, has been described as a slice of Eden. Tourists are stunned to see magnificent stands of tall timbered rainforest unexpectedly growing right out of the island's clean white sand, framing some of the clearest, cleanest lakes imaginable.

But the paradisiacal comparison fell down badly when a 9-year-old Brisbane boy was attacked and killed in April 2001 by some of the majestic-looking wild dingoes which freely roam the island's beaches, forests and campsites. The brutal episode made national headlines-Australians are used to camping in the open with no fear of attack by carnivores of any kind.

Memories of the 1980 'dingo baby murder case' (subject of the Meryl Streep/Sam Neill movie A Cry in the Dark, a.k.a. Evil Angels) surfaced with a jolt. Most of the nation did not believe Pastor Michael and Mrs Lindy Chamberlain when they claimed a wild dingo had taken their infant daughter, Azaria, from their tent at Ayers Rock in Central Australia.

Eyewitness testimony was that the baby was alive after the time at which the Crown Prosecutor claimed that Azaria's mother had murdered her, but this was ignored. Instead, the opinions of scientific experts, offering their seemingly 'irrefutable' interpretations of painstakingly-gathered forensic evidence, ruled the day.

Lindy Chamberlain was serving a life sentence for murder when the happenstance discovery of further evidence confirmed an aspect of her story, giving enough 'reasonable doubt' to trigger her release from prison. Despite a subsequent official exoneration of the Chamberlains, there was always a sizeable residue of Australians who never believed their dingo story. Received wisdom taught them that 'dingoes don't attack people', and 'a dingo isn't strong enough to carry a baby'. The horrific Fraser Island attack showed just how plain wrong that was.

On review, the misinterpretations of the forensic evidence seem almost laughable. 'Irrefutable' patterns of sprayed arterial 'blood' had been found inside the Chamberlain car-later found to be various compounds sprayed during manufacture.

The parallels with evolutionary/long-age brainwashing in our culture are interesting. The eyewitness testimony of God, recorded in His Word, is ignored in favour of interpretations of evidence by fallible people who were not present. Other trained scientists, looking at the same evidence, conclude that it is consistent with the eyewitness account.

At the time when the Azaria mass hysteria had sent an innocent woman to jail, pleas to re-examine the evidence were repeatedly ignored. Similarly, our culture is not motivated to re-examine the evidence relating to the real history of this world. The Bible tells us in Romans 1 that people do not like to retain God in their knowledge; our fallen sin nature would rather believe that 'no-one made us, because then we will not be accountable to anyone'.

The fraser island tragedy also starkly underlines the fact that death, bloodshed and tragedy stalk this cursed remnant of the once-perfect world. When I read the heartbreaking reports of how the young lad, apparently from a solid Baptist family, was being chewed upon by the feeding canines, tears filled my eyes. I wondered about those churchgoers who defend long ages, with all sorts of contrivances that fly in the face of the Biblical text. Could they look this family in the eye? Because if 'millions of years' were fact, then fossils would be millions of years old. And that would mean that death, violence and bloodshed, apparent from the fossils, came long before man, not after the sin of a literal first man, Adam.

Animal violence and carnivory would not be a horrific daily reminder of sin's abhorrence to God, but a part of what God called 'very good' (Genesis 1:31). Try telling the boy's parents that this tragedy was somehow 'natural', the way things were meant to be.*

In a world that increasingly believes that humans are just evolved animals, it is no surprise that many people, rather than weep with the family, fervently defended the dingoes' right to regard tourists as 'just part of the food chain'.

Even Queensland's Premier, not known for emotional fragility, said he was 'appalled and angry' at the many communications he had received which basically put 'dingoes ahead of children'. But this is a logical outcome of western society's increasing 'evolutionization', i.e. abandonment of its Biblical foundations. If both children and dingoes have evolved from pond scum, why should one be more important than the other?

I trust, therefore, that this issue of Creation will do more than just encourage you. I hope it will motivate and equip you to help spread its message far and wide, wherever God has placed you.

* The owner of a 'dingo farm' for tourists on the mainland told the media that when hand-reared, dingoes are as tame as any household pet.