Darwin, Darwinism, naturalism – and ethnocide

For a brief account of a very well-developed understanding of the practices of ethnocide, see the section headed “Robert Jaulin and ethnocide” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnocide

There can be little argument that Charles Darwin, probably like all Englishmen of his time, had an ethnocidal attitude towards First Peoples when he visited Australia in 1836.

Naturalists of those times also had a sense of identity which promoted them as carriers of civilisation.

Darwin’s comments in relation to his place in the British empire and to First Peoples make his attitude explicitly clear.

Of more lasting concern must be:

1. “To what extent did his ethnocidal attitude inscribe itself – consciously and unconsciously – into his great master works?”

2. “What is the ethnocidal legacy of Darwinism (in its various guises)  and naturalism for First Peoples today?”

Anyone out there addressing these hard questions during the Darwin 200 celebrations?


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