If you take a globe of the world, spin it, close your eyes and point randomly, odds are that when it stops spinning you will be indicating somewhere warring tribes and nations have killed each other over land.
It's not pretty, but it's a reality our soy-munching society is all too eager to forget about.
No, we prefer a narrative where whites started it all about 500 years ago, enslaving, colonising and genociding all the other peoples, who till then were busy making daisy chains and inventing ever more innovative ways of being spiritual and close to nature.
Well, here's one little problem with that:
After decades of debate, Australian researchers say they have finally proven a theory that all Indigenous languages descend from one common language.
Experts from Western Sydney University and the University of Newcastle have spent three years investigating the origins of Indigenous languages in Australia.
Their findings have been published in the historical linguistics journal, Diachronica.
Western Sydney University Associate Professor of linguistics Robert Mailhammer said there were about 250 Australian Indigenous languages spoken at the time of European settlement.
"The question that we asked was did all of those languages come from a common source," he said.
"Our team have been the first to be able to demonstrate this through the evidence gathered."
The researchers studied Indigenous languages across the country, discovering the sounds of words showed recurrent systematic differences and similarities.
The team said its findings suggest Proto-Australian would have been spoken about 12,000 years ago, suggesting the languages recorded today were not spoken by the first inhabitants of Australia.
"We think the language would have spread from areas in the north [of Australia] and then all across Australia, either in one big wave or in two smaller waves all around the continent," Dr Mailhammer said.
"The interesting question for us is why did this one language spread and why did it supersede all of the other languages that were there?"
The research has been welcomed by other experts in the field, including the University of Newcastle's Dr Ray Kelly.
Dr Kelly said the research might be able to help Indigenous languages survive in the modern world, as new generations could theoretically borrow missing pieces of their ancestral tongues from neighbouring regions' dialects.
"It says to Indigenous people, if we do actually come from a single family language, then we're in a good position because we've got neighbouring languages that are doing better," he said.
"Can we learn from each other and borrow from each other which we would have done naturally over the last many thousands of years. Can we do it again?
"As Indigenous people we have to be involved in that deep analysis."
I was going to assume that this Kelly guy must be white or nearly so, like the majority of "Indigenous" academics. But no it's looks like he's a real proud black man (TM) as opposed to a self-hating 90% white man.
In that case, I'll just point out that he probably needs to do some soul-searching to come to grips with the fact that his ancestors conquered and genocided the TRUE first Australians who lived on this continent prior to the end of the last Ice Age.
Anyhow, looks like the claim to being the "World's oldest Continuous Culture" has to go.
It really is a weird thing that whites all over the world have allowed ourselves to be browbeaten into thinking that (1) we were the first and only people to engage in territorial conquest, and (2) that to atone we have to write a blank cheque to surviving populations and anyone else with black, brown or yellow skin.
Maybe it speaks to some inherent, unworldly goodness about us. If so, then it's a goodness that's bad for us, and must therefore be chucked.
There never was any equitable, caring and sharing distribution of land at the beginning of time; until very recently in history it was uncontroversial that you had to fight for whatever you had or wanted to have, and premodern conquests were seldom dressed up in the sort of ridiculous moralism that we see today. There were no gassed babies or poisoned spies needed to justify any of the Islamic incursions into Europe, for example.
Time was, people believed in their own people and way of life, and their morality was crafted to serve those interests.
Imagine if other peoples carried on this way! Reminds me of a certain thought-experiment:
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