Dreaming the Dreamtime By Brian Simpson

    An article that was mentioned briefly before in these pages, needs to be remembered: https://cairnsnews.org/2015/09/25/dreamtime-a-cruel-delusion-of-british-anthropologists/. The article makes the argument that following anthropologist Alfred Cort Haddon’s book, The Races of Man (1909), the Aborigines are likely to be new comers, compared to a Negrito people who allegedly originally inhabited the country. Pre-1770 explorers such as William Dampier who visited West and Northern Australia in the late 1600s saw these people. He described a race of people with hair “curled like the Negroes,” which the modern Aborigine does not have. The Aborigines may displaced them, for where else could they have gone?

    Anyone supporting this theory will need to address arguments such as that given by R. Tobler (et al.), “Aboriginal Mitogenomes Reveal 50,000 Years of Regionalism in Australia,” Nature, (2017); doi:10.1038/nature21416, which allegedly found “evidence for the continuous presence of populations in discrete geographic areas dating back to around 50 [thousand years], in agreement with the notable Aboriginal Australian cultural attachment to their country.”

    This paper details the analysis of mitochondrial DNA from 111 hair samples collected during expeditions across Australia from 1928 to the 1970s. It was found that the people from the samples were descendants of a single founding population that arrived in Australia 50,000 years ago.

     Now, I am no expert, but if I had to make an objection to all this, I would claim circular reasoning; sure, the mDNA samples may show that the people were part of a single founding population, but does not show that this group was in Australia at that time. Perhaps the founding population migrated much later? It is also somewhat amazing that the genetics of this population remained stable for such a long period, given that modern humans are, according to the standard theory, only 100,000 years old. The geneticists keep pushing towards that magical figure for Aborigines.

    A more scholarly examination of the Australian pygmies is given by Keith Windschuttle and Tim Gillin: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/history-wars/2002/06/the-extinction-of-the-australian-pygmies/.
Clearly, in the lead-up to the Aboriginal constitutional referendum issues like the fate of the Australian pygmies will need to be addressed, since the question of origins has been taken to be of importance.

 

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Saturday, 24 February 2024

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