People over the ages have placed great emphasis on race and skin color. Eugenicist-minded Darwinists have used it as the basis for much ill-conceived mischief.1 Even Darwin himself proposed that darker-skinned human populations were more primitive. However, we now know that all people groups share the same basic genome comprised of a well-documented set of common genetic variants. Darwin was mistaken—no people group is more primitive than another.
Additionally, the rare genetic variants that arose via random mutation and are mostly associated with human disease and degeneration, show that the current state of the human genome cannot be more than about 5,000 years old. This timeframe matches up with the world being repopulated after the global flood by Noah and his sons and their wives.2-5
Despite our increasing knowledge of the human genome, little is known about the genetic basis of skin color. Up until now, most of what scientists understood about skin-color genetics came from research using European people groups. Researchers originally discovered that variations in a gene called SLC24A5 influenced skin cells to produce less pigment. This appeared to provide a basis for pale skin.6 However, this single gene was only a small part of a much more complex trait.
To more fully explain the genetic basis of human skin color variation, a group of researchers recently went to Africa—the most genetically diverse continent on Earth.7 Contrary to conventional thought, Africa contains a huge amount of variation in human skin color across its different people groups. To scientifically measure the variation in skin color, the researchers measured light reflectance from the skin on the underside of the wrists of 2,092 people in the countries of Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana. This area’s skin is largely protected from sunlight and these readings provide a good indirect estimate of pigmentation levels (skin color). Then the researchers analyzed the DNA of 1,570 of these individuals for genetic variation in their genomes related to skin color.
The scientists identified four major regions of the human genome that contained six different genes. Together, these genes accounted for about 30% of the observed skin color variation. The study reported on DNA variants associated with light skin and variants causing dark skin, both of which are abundant in the African populations. The genetic variant causing light skin is commonly present in East Africans, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will have light skin, because multiple genes interact with each other to determine skin color. These results countered the long-held evolutionary belief that the original ancestral humans in Africa were all once dark-skinned.
This research has even broader global implications. For example, it shows that other dark-skinned people in southern India, Australia, and New Guinea did not somehow separately develop their skin color because the mystical forces of evolution favored it. They simply inherited the already existing ancestral dark variants as people groups dispersed around the world. And while evolutionists are constantly debating where and how humans actually dispersed after they supposedly evolved, the Bible indicates that human global migration happened shortly after the global flood at the tower of Babel when God confused their languages and forced them to disperse.
Once again, human genetics confirms the Bible’s account of history and befuddles imaginary evolutionary speculations about mankind’s origins.
- Bergman, J. 2014. The Darwin Effect. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
- Tomkins, J. P. Human DNA Variation Linked to Biblical Event Timeline. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org July 23, 2012, accessed October 13, 2017.
- Tomkins, J. P. Genetics Research Confirms Biblical Timeline. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org January 9, 2013, accessed October 13, 2017.
- Tomkins, J. P. 2014. Genetic Entropy Points to a Young Creation. Acts & Facts. 43 (11): 16.
- Tomkins, J. P. 2015. Genetic Clocks Verify Recent Creation. Acts & Facts. 44 (12): 9-11.
- Sturm, R. A. 2009. Molecular genetics of human pigmentation diversity. Human Molecular Genetics. 18 (R1): R9–R17.
- Crawford, N. G. et al. 2017. Loci associated with skin pigmentation identified in African populations. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8433.
*Jeffrey Tomkins is Director of Life Sciences at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.
Article posted on November 2, 2017.