Some social considerations

The opposite of a ‘heliocentric’ cosmology is said to be a ‘geocentric’ cosmology, as though it was centred on the earth.

This misleads the mind to thinking that those cosmologies which are not heliocentric may be, in some way, ‘centred’ on the earth (as we know it in modern ways).

The evidence from Australia’s First Peoples leads to other conclusions.

The factors which can be seen to be at work (so we imagine, anyway) in shaping First Peoples cosmologies are not those of geography.

Social considerations play a large role in shaping cosmologies,  and ‘social’ involves human and non-human dimensions. The role of these social considerations produce an entirely difference cosmos to the kind modern, secular science is fashioning for us.

Western minds – convinced they and they alone have privileged access to reality – are conditioned to dismiss the existence of these other cosmologies. Western minds are, however, prepared to share – with anyone who accepts the same preconditioned view of the privileged place life has reserved for European cultural masters. Can we afford that price?

The  history of European expansion out of Europe over the last 500 years clearly demonstrates the inability of Europeans – in their imperial haste – to engage in balanced exchange relations with indigenous peoples – and, for that matter, with indigenous life in all its forms.

We have to ask, taking a cue from the social considerations which are at work in shaping the cosmologies of First Peoples, how different Western cosmology would now be if it had been the product of decent human behaviour?

While modern cosmology may take the view that it is not subject to the operation of social considerations, or that these have no relevance to the task, this does not mean that social considerations have no relevance, nor that the cease to operate and shape and influence what modern cosmologists create.

We have to ask –  to what extent is modern cosmology and  the ‘expanding universe’ tainted by the underlying genocidal and ethnocidal acts of the  practices which support it?

Is it indeed a simple account of what is – or itself an ideology which declares in advance the whole of space a playground for those same forces which declared Australia to be terra nullius and an extension of the estate of King George III of Great Britain?

Is modern cosmology merely an extension of the mindless geography of the imperial and colonial age – mapping the ‘physical’ features but systematically excluding those features which fail to comply with presumptions of privilege?

And, in so doing, laying down a blueprint for a ‘colonisation’ of space as disastrous for life as that the expansion of European life out of Europe over the last five hundred years?

Many, of course, see this next phase of colonisation as the high point of human destiny. The same was probably thought by those who participated in European colonisation – wrecking indigenous life to create "new Europes".

Until modern science learns – and incorporates into the core of its practices – the lessons of the last five hundred years we can have little reason to accept that it is well-formed from the viewpoint of its ability to treat the fabric of life with the respect necessary.


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