Last night our PM waffled on about offence at Robin William’s comment that Australians are basically English Red Necks, and failed in an attempt at humour himself suggesting Robin should visit Alabama. All Americans know all to well about red necks, no visit to Alabama is required. What probably annoyed our PM was a reference later in the interview, I’ll let you find that yourself. In the context of the interview with David Letterman Robin’'s comments were actually funny (see full interview You Tube video below) although so many of the notations are just wrong (flying snakes, scrums in aussie rules etc). The more interesting part is Robin’s take on Australian Animals and Darwin (it starts at the 4:10 minute mark)
Well Charles Darwin did actually visit Australia. If only Robin knew that it was on the exact same day he helped shoot a platypus and watched a conical sand trap created by an ant on a sunny river bank. He noted these strange animals were so different to English fauna yet they behaved and filled a familiar ecological niche. He wrote in his notebook -
"Two distinct Creators must have been at work; their object, however, has been the same, and certainly the end in each case is complete."
Several scholars believe this is the first time he commits to paper his growing beliefs that are moving away from belief in a single creator (strict biblical interpretation) and the Immutability of species (the jargon of the day for all species where created at the same time and are permanently the same).
I know all this because I have been researching and have retraced Darwin trip from Sydney Bathurst in 1836. I am having an exhibition of photographs and painting at the Gecko Gallery in Fish Creek from April 18th to 15th May, inspired by what Darwin saw.