Origin of the Races

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Does the Bible state what the origin of the races is?

The late Dr. Henry Morris, a leading creationist scientist, makes reasonable points about the origin of the races in his book "The Biblical Basis for Modern Science."  He states that God placed within Adam and Eve the genetic material to create a large variety of humans.  This ability to create a diverse population of humans survived in Noah's family through the great flood. 

We know that a small, isolated group of animals can evolve more rapidly than a large, generally mixed population.  It could be the origin of groups of people (what we call 'races'), having a particular set of physical characteristics, developed after God confused the languages of mankind at the Tower of Babel and then various small groups broke off from the rest of humanity.  Various physical characteristics that had been prominent in a more general population now became concentrated in a relatively few geographically segregated groupings.

Surprisingly, although the Bible talks quite a bit about nations and families, the word "race" is not found within its pages. According to Morris, the division of mankind described in Genesis 10's "table of nations," as derived from Noah's three sons, does not correspond to what many believe are three distinct racial categories. 

"Contrary to common opinion among Christians, the three sons of Noah - Shem, Ham, and Japheth - did not form three "races," but three streams of nations. There are, for example, both light-skinned peoples and black-skinned peoples to be found among all three groups. The various tribal or national (not "racial") characteristics could have developed rather quickly as the tribal units were separated and forced to propagate to considerable extent by an inbreeding process among themselves." (The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Chapter 15, section "Language, Race, and Evolutionism")

Evolution's explanation of mankind's existence and its division into certain groups is contrary to the Bible. For example, from a Christian viewpoint, mankind is deemed qualitatively (i.e., fundamentally) different from the animals, not merely quantitatively (i.e., marginally) different.  A huge gap looms between even primitive men and (say) chimpanzees intellectually, morally, and spiritually from a Biblical perspective.

Is RACISM found in the Scriptures?
Learn timeline of the Bible through the life of Noah!
Did God use evolution to perfect life?
Map showing man's migrations after the flood

Evolution's evil shadow

Few people know the FULL title of Charles Darwin's controversial book that became the foundational basis of evolutionary thought. Its full title, which emphasizes its author's fascination with races, is the following (emphasis added).

On the origin of species by means of natural selection
or the PRESERVATION of FAVORED RACES in the struggle for life.

It should be noted that the theory of evolution, in the nineteenth century, was a major impetus to racism.

"This natural association of racism with evolutionary philosophy is quite significant and has been the pseudoscientific basis of a wide range of racist political and religious philosophies that have wrought untold harm and misery over the years." (ibid. Chapter 15, section "The Confusion of Tongues")

In its original form, evolution teaches that "races" and peoples should compete for dominance and that only those "strong enough" earn the right to live and procreate at the expense of "the weak" (e.g. survival of the fittest). This perverted, demonic thinking led to the justification and wholesale slaughter of Jews and countless others deemed "inferior" during World War II. Adolf Hitler was so enamored with evolutionary thought that he was more than willing to risk the lives of Germans in order to assert a view of racial superiority.

"Hitler believed in struggle as a Darwinian principle of human life that forced every people to try to dominate all others; without struggle they would rot and perish . . . " (P. Hoffman, Hitler's Personal Security, London: Pergamon, 1979, page 264)

"Hitler's campaign to destroy the Jews was, in his thinking, merely good science, applied Darwinism." (The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, section "Language, Race, and Evolutionism")

In conclusion

The Bible is fundamentally silent on the issue of the origin of the races (as most people define the term today). It is logical, however, to assert that God planned for a wide variety of physical variations to develop among the descendants of Adam and Eve.  Unfortunately, we today tend to attribute a great deal of significance to these superficial dissimilarities when they should not matter more than (say) variations in the colors of cats and dogs. 

Additional Study Materials
How does Science prove Scripture's credibility?
Does science say the earth is young or old?
Is it God's will that "different races" marry?
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