Darwin Comes To Africa, by Olufemi Oluniyi ★★★★★
I received this book from the Discovery Institute and promptly put down all my other books to read it. My wife and I had worked as medical personnel in Maroua, Cameroon, located in the extreme north of Cameroon in the Sahel, adjacent to Northern Nigeria, which is the region of this book’s focus. It was the Fulani people with whom we interacted. During our time of service among the Fulani people (in 2009), we were oblivious to their history. What we observed were a very remarkable people, intelligent, innovative, musical, and pleasant to be around. In many ways, they had social structures of caring for each other that is superior to what is found in the west. Our experience confirms what the author Oluniyi describes as the nature of African people.
This book is in two sections, the longer describes British rule in Nigeria as representative of how the African people were treated by their overlords. The later section then offers a brief polemic against Darwinism and in support of intelligent design. Finally, a defense against the notion of Africa being nothing but bands of warring tribes is capably sustained.
The arrogance of the British was witness against the Christian faith, and the logical result of their Darwinist Weltanschauung. A look at European colonization behavior demonstrates the global behavior of holding different races as evolutionary inferiors to their European counterparts. The British treatment of the aboriginal tribes of Africa, China, India, Australia, the south Pacific islands, and the Americas would leave any observer disbelieving that Great Britain actually was a Christian nation. Oluniyi’s analysis of British behavior in Nigeria convinces me that the British were nothing but civilized savages with no concern for their Christian roots. British behavior in India and with China similarly can easily be attributed to the same Darwinist notions that Oluniyi writes about regarding British behavior in Nigeria that guided the Brits to oppress anybody that was not European in origin. An example gleaned from the cinema can be found in the movie The Bridge Over the River Kwai. The substance of the movie was that the Japanese captors were incapable of designing a reliable bridge and only the superior intellect of the captive British officers could accomplish the task. The Japanese are now getting the last laugh.
Oluniyi gives a historical perspective. The Brits viewed the less dark Fulani of the North to have a superior genetic structure than the darker southern Nigerians. Through the administration of Lord and Lady Lugard, the black populations were treated with an inferior human status, unworthy of receiving an education or promotion within the British system. Population control, world hegemony, and harvesting the African wealth was the British summum bonum. Oddly, these supposedly Christian Brits gave precedence to the Islamic populations of northern Nigeria. The British militia in northern Nigeria (just as William Carey experienced in India) erected formidable roadblocks for missionaries, preventing the gospel from being taught freely to the inhabitants. Imagine if St Patrick were prevented from preaching in England or St Boniface in Germany! History can be the Darwinist’s worst enemy—within 50 years of the first European missionaries to the savage illiterate Teutons, the Teutons had become Christianized and were establishing schools, monasteries and the civil structures which we commonly identify as defining “superior” western culture. The only reason to believe that such a phenomenon could not happen in Africa, India, China, among the Australian aborigines, and many many other people groups is Darwinian hubris. This is not an affliction of just Caucasian colonists; every civilization does this. But, as Oluniyi points out, what’s new is that the Darwinist Weltanschauung served as a methodological rationale for diminishing other races.
Part 2 of the book departs from a historical review of the British in Nigeria. He offers a very brief chapter defending intelligent design and follows with a chapter discussing how the genetic composition of all the various human families of earth are essentially the same. Science cannot defend the notion that genetic traits allow for superior intellect. Oluniyi ends with a chapter detailing how there is great evidence of advanced culture and education from the past even in the heart of Africa. What caused Africa to lose that intellectual advantage is probably the same events that are leading to the demise of Western culture.
The reader of this book would be disadvantaged if they were to leave thinking that the Europeans were alone to blame for the non-Christian travesties committed against peoples of the world. A reverse discrimination is happening in America where Black lives seem to matter, but white (or Asian) lives do not. Again, Darwin is to blame, but that is the topic of another book. Two sins do not correct a problem, and the Christian notion of forgiveness, identification of our own personal sin, and repentance for that sin has always been successful at advancing true civilization. Reverse discrimination doesn’t solve problems. Christianity and the eradication of a Darwinian worldview is our only hope.