from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
Me thinks PC comrades are mocking Aboriginal traditions, whatever is left of them, by replacing them by their own, misunderstood, traditions of North American Indians. Understandably, for it saves the hard work of thinking, which was never their forte.
Some time ago I watched for a short while a program about Tasmanian devils (animals, not any disadvantaged and thus severely aggrieved homo sapiens), specifically about their release onto an island off the Australian coast, where they never lived before. Apparently they are not having a good time in Tasmania, a large island, with highest unemployment, highest union membership, and until last month, a Labor government.
But I digressed. It was all done with the best, though not exactly Darwinist, intentions, of course, and if I remember correctly, a “scientist” (he, or was it she?) said so more than once. She/he devoted four years of life to the project. The subject of scientists playing God and defying the basic principles of evolution is one thing, but waving burning twigs around poor animals’ nose to ward off the evil spirits should be too much even for 21st century politically correct Australia. That’s what attracted my attention and that’s why I used those inverted commas.
So called smoking ceremonies are a way of making fun out of Aborigines, and a way of taking money from guilt-ridden white people, those who did murder, rape and maim Aborigines; and those who are to frighten to think. Of course, the painted whites performing the farce get paid usually by a taxpayer.
In the published literature there is hardly any mention of such ceremonies – maybe it is another secret pseudo-Aborigines business?[Sydney Morning Heralld – Still no room for the truth on Hindmarsh] Maybe it is just another ab initio fabrication, just like so many modern academic-generated faux-Aboriginal myths? [The Quadrant – Traditions invented yesterday]
There is no mention of them in my, admittedly not the latest edition of Josephine Flood’s Archaeology of the Dreamtime, an authoritative and almost non-PC book. A search of Internet reveal mostly the stuff about dangers of smoking by Aborigines, which is a fault of white invading colonists, of course, though some do mention Macassans. There is hardly any mention of the ‘pre-invasion’ native tobacco Pituri or Mingkulpa – nicotiana occidentalis, perhaps because it was mostly chewed.
I have read books and a few scientific papers concerning Aboriginal pre-history and history. Possibly my memory is not what is used to be, for I cannot recall anything about smoke ceremonies, with the exception of the funeral rites in the Arnhem land and the north-western Australia. However, for access to Dennis Gray – Aboriginal Mortuary Practices in Carnarvon 1976 I would have to pay $15, so I gave it a miss. If any reader can spare the less than the cost of a packet of cigarettes, she/he may kindly send it to me. The article, not the money. The Taxation Office would go, as always, berserk.
If smoking of corpses did indeed exist, it was not prevalent, not Australia wide and certainly had nothing to do with ‘welcoming’ to the land of living; rather the opposite. Perhaps that’s what those charades really mean.
“Does science believe in evil spirits? That ought to be an easy question.
Of course it doesn’t, nor can scientists—who must test and quantify to hypothesise any “belief” or statement about what is and what isn’t—believe in anything whose existence is not, at least theoretically, empirically demonstrable. Metaphysics is not the business of science.
You would therefore expect the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation to be a pillar of scientific orthodoxy in this regard. Ask a CSIRO scientist whether spirits, good or evil, exist, and surely the answer will be a dismissive no. The S in CSIRO does not stand for superstition. You might even be told that for an enlightened and august body of the CSIRO’s stature to have any truck at all with non-provable beliefs would be unthinkable.
Well, it’s thinkable all right. For the CSIRO, along with all the rest of the right-on and culturally on-message of our nation, has discovered the Aboriginal smoking ceremony. And where Aboriginal matters are concerned, the canon of Western sceptical thought goes out the window and the CSIRO abandons scientific rigour for feel-goodery.
Imagine the shrieks of protest from within the CSIRO if a service of Christian blessing were proposed at the opening of a new laboratory. And not only from within the CSIRO but from the secular media and the humanists and the Greens and all the other stern invigilators against religion in the public sphere. But perhaps the CSIRO is no longer committed to a purely physical view of science. Perhaps that view is now held to be a “racist” and Eurocentric heresy designed to exclude what cultural relativism tells us are the equally “valid” sacred stories of “oppressed” peoples. Perhaps there is now a CSIRO department devoted to the scientific investigation of spirits. Does it employ theologians? Is computer modelling conducted to try and resolve the conundrum that supposedly defeated the Scholastics of how many angels—angels are spirits and they come in two types, good and evil—can dance on the head of a pin?” / Christopher Akehurst
I think the last question can be answered easily; it has been resolved by some Vatican congress long time ago: As angels are incorporeal, an infinite number of them can dance. The question whether CSIRO employs theologians is also easy. The people there can not be possibly scientists, as I believe that no real scientist would wish to work for so superstitious organisation. Further, the organisation’s religious adherence to the AGW faith confirms it.
I have nothing against the Tasmanians, angels or devils. Yet I feel that tinkering with evolution by creating non-indigenous species is getting close to playing God. The theory of evolution seems to have evolved into a stick to bash the ‘superstitious’ people with. But not all superstitious people obviously.
If you happen to be present at any such “cleanse the place of the ‘white’ evil spirit” tragicomedy and cannot just walk out, there is the only advice I can offer – (from the authorised manual of St John Ambulance Australia) Management of smoke in the eyes:
1. Ask the casualty not to rub eyes