‘A Prisoner in Darwin’s Garden’
is a poetic and compelling phrase coined by Ken Ham in his book One Blood, One Race to describe one particular victim of racist ideology which found a soul place in evolutionary thought.
“Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory”
Steven Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny , 1977
The victim was an Australian Aborigine named Ota. His family was slaughtered by the Belgian government in an assault against “the evolutionary inferior natives”. Ota was made a prisoner for public display as an example of an inferior race.
Ota was first displayed as an ’emblematic savage’ in the anthropology wing of the 1904 St Louis Worlds Fair. Treated as a zoo animal, he was subjected to public humiliations and base treatment for years before gaining his release.
Sadly, worn down with despair and stress, concluding that he would never be able to return to his homeland, he took his own life in March of 1916.
Ham writes: “Ever since the Darwinian theory of evolution became popular and widespread, Darwinian scientists have been attempting to form continuums that represent the evolution of humanity, with some ‘races’ being placed closer to apes, while others are placed higher on the evolutionary scale. These…are still used today to justify racism…” (pp. 21,22)
Darwin himself compared pygmies to ‘lower organisms’ declaring them to be “the low, integrated inhabitants of Andaman Islands”
Racism in the Church