Where Did the Races Come From?
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
Waiting in airports and long airplane rides have become a way of life for the ICR staff scientist. Imagine my appreciation when two black servicemen engaged me in a delightful conversation about creation the other day.
As it turned out, both men were dedicated Christians, but had no previous teaching on creation, although both knew evolution had to be wrong, based on the clear statements of Scripture.
Finally, they asked the question which they had always wanted to ask, but had never dared to: Where did the races come from?
Perhaps I was reading too much into their comments, but I felt like weeping (and still feel like weeping) as I recognized what generations of racial prejudice had done to these two men. From Darwin on down, evolutionists have preached that the Negro race was lower on the evolutionary scale, much closer to the apes than the Caucasian. As a matter of fact the whole concept of race is evolutionary, not Biblical, for"God hath made of one blood all nations of men" (Acts 17:26). All of mankind springs from our first parents, Adam and Eve, and then through Noah's family. The Biblical distinction is between national groups, and especially languages, not skin color or other physical characteristics. These two men, and probably many blacks, had been bludgeoned by evolutionary dogma into questioning their own self-worth, wondering if their standing before God was equal to that of other ethnic groups.
Actually, the Biblical model regarding the origin of physical characteristics is easily the best historical and scientific explanation. Starting with Noah's family, the creation model postulates a "racially mixed" population, with much biological potential for variation. As family groups were isolated by language barriers, environmental factors allowed particular traits already present to be expressed more frequently, while genes coded for other characteristics were not favored and were eventually suppressed.
Genetically speaking, the differences between the various races are extremely small. All are of the same species, are interfertile, and produce fertile offspring. The most noticeable difference is in skin color, but the fact is, we are all the same color; some people just have a little more of that color than others. Skin shade is due to the amount of a substance called melanin in the skin; the more melanin, the darker the skin. Racially mixed individuals can parent children who are all the way from quite dark to quite light, or anywhere in between. The predominant shade for freely interbreeding individuals would be brown.
While prejudice, persecution, and racial hatred follow directly from the application of evolutionary teaching, some have even proposed racism in the name of Christianity. The Christian must not allow himself or herself to think this way. The Lord Jesus certainly didn't. He was likely neither white nor black, but somewhere in between. He died to provide all men the opportunity for eternal life (II Peter 3:9, for example). Indeed, heaven will be populated by "a great multitude . . .of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues (who will) stand before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes" (Revelation 7:9), all redeemed by His blood. In the end, all racism, as well as racial distinctions, will be abolished.
*Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.
Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 1989. Where Did the Races Come From?. Acts & Facts. 18 (2).