Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The minister may have come from apes, but we've always been human

In 2010, the government in Quebec, Canada “ordered some private evangelical schools to teach evolution” as fact (Schultz). As a result several parents in a remote Inuit (Eskimo) community on Ungava Bay complained that their children arrived home from school claiming their ancestors were apes.

When the local principal reprimanded his new science teacher for teaching evolution to an increasingly evangelical population, the minister of education himself stepped in to order the provincial science curriculum restored, an intervention that won no applause from at least one aboriginal mother in the town of Salluit. “The minister may have come from apes,” Molly Tayara told the Montreal Gazette, “but we’re Inuit and we’ve always been human.” (McDonald, 2010, p. 196)
The Inuit have been a target of evolutionists before...

Not long after Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, an Inuit from Canada became a zoo exhibit in Germany, to serve as an example of primitive savage people that evolutionists judged were links to lower animals.

"Savages" On Display.
Abraham Ulrikab, an Inuit from Hebron, Labrador, along with his wife and two daughters plus four other Inuit, were lured into coming to Germany by Adrian Jacobsen on behalf of Carl Hagenbeck's Zoo, in Hamburg, Germany, and on September 24, 1880, they became a zoo exhibit. Moravian missionaries desperately tried to persuade Ulrikab not to go, but he let himself be persuaded by the local Hudson Bay trader, Mr. Ford, to disobey the missionaries, and to join Jacobsen’s enterprise.

They had agreed to be in a display partly because they were misled to believe the display was set up only to show the Inuit’s native way of life. The zookeepers instructed them to simply walk, talk, wear their fur parkas, and throw harpoons. The Ulrikab group, though, soon became aware of the real purpose of their being displayed: “They know fully well that they are being exhibited” wrote an article in the Magdeburgishe Zeitung of October 21, 1880 (quoted in Lutz, 2005, p. 23). A literate man, and an accomplished violin player, Ulrikab was a devout Christian and became the natural leader of the eight Inuits.

Within weeks of arriving in Europe and taking up residence in the zoo, the families realized they had made a big mistake. Their European keepers concluded that “the Inuit were incapable of progressing” socially and intellectually because they were the dullest of all savages. Furthermore, they were “a vanishing, feeble race” a fact that their keepers believed justified displaying them in a zoo (Hegel, 2000, p. 43). The “exhibit” was a big success — some 16,000 people had visited the display in Berlin alone (Lutz, 2005, p. xxii).

One fatal mistake their hosts made was, prior to leaving Canada, the Inuits were to be vaccinated against smallpox. Lack of facilities in Hebron forced the authorities to promise the required vaccination would be done in Germany. It never happened. The Inuits were vaccinated only after three of them died, but by then it was too late. Just five months after their arrival they all had died of smallpox.

The struggle against forcing Darwinism on groups of people still goes on today, not only with the Inuit, but with other ethnic groups (Sewell, 2009).

(based on Jerry Bergman, Humans on Display, published in Creation Matters, a publication of Creation Research Society, Volume 17, Number 1, January/February 2012, to appear at

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References (selected)

Hegel, G. W. F. 2000. Anthropology, Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences, pp. 38–44, in R. Bernasconi and T.L. Lott (eds), The Idea of Race. Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett.

Lutz, H. (editor). 2005. The Diary of Abraham Ulrikab: Text and Context. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

McDonald, M. 2010. The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada. Toronto, Canada: Random House.

Schultz, Gurdrun, no date. Quebec Government Forcing Evangelical Private Schools to Teach Sex Ed, Darwinism. Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

Sewell, D. 2009. The Political Gene: How Darwin’s Ideas Changed Politics.London: Picador.

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