America has been dubbed “the melting pot” because so many international visitors have come to live in our nation. During a stroll down the streets of New York City or San Francisco one can meet individuals from almost every nation in the world – from Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, and Europe. Whenever we see all the distinctly unique races and nationalities represented in the world, we are reminded that the nations are a testimony of a creative God who desired individual diversity when He created man.
Some modern scientists and anthropologists believe that the diversity among the races resulted from a process of evolution rather than creative design. Evolutionists suggest that certain races gained characteristics which allowed them to develop into a “superior” race over other “inferior” people. Early 19th century evolutionists were convinced of “the evolutionary superiority of the white race and the inferiority of others, especially the Negro.“1
Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolutionary theory, was opposed to slavery on moral grounds, but he also adhered to the idea of white supremacy. He wrote, “I could show fight on natural selection having done more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit … The more civilized, so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races throughout the world.“2
Another leading evolutionist in the 19th century, Thomas Huxley, who was responsible for the widespread acceptance of Darwin’s evolutionary ideas, wrote this shortly after the American Civil War: “No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is equal, still less the superior, of the white man.“3
This problem of racism was further fueled by other scientists who based their views on evolution: “After 1859, the evolutionary schema raised additional questions, particularly whether or not the Afro-American could survive competition with their near-white relations.” We are horrified to hear their answer: “no … The African was inferior. He represented the missing link between ape and Teuton.“4
Adolf Hitler’s “social engineering” policy, which resulted in the deaths of millions, was an example of the evolutionary view of races. “Hitler believed in struggle as the Darwinian principle of human life that forced every people to try to dominate all others; without struggle they would rot and perish. Even in his own defeat in April 1945, Hitler expressed his faith in the survival of the stronger and declared the Slavic peoples to have proven themselves the stronger.“5
Today, almost 130 years after Darwin’s claim, we do not find one superior race, nor do we find particular ethnic groups becoming extinct. Instead, we find different nationalities gaining respect for their individuality and the diversity of their cultures. As we learn more about the development and diversification of man’s culture, we realize that society has not evolved into its present state, but that man has used unique gifts and knowledge from God to improve living conditions.
All of us, as members of the human race, are descended from the first original family presented in the biblical narrative of Genesis – Adam and Eve. Every race and nationality is traced to this common source. This line of ancestry passed through Noah when God saved his family from the flood. Discoveries in science are providing support for this as well. Scientists recently analyzed and compared a small fragment of DNA isolated from various human placentas. According to reports in Newsweek and Discover, the genetic differences were very small and few distinctions between races were found.
One of the researchers, Berkeley biologist Mark Stonkeking, said, “We’re a young species, and there are really few genetic differences among cultures. In terms of our mitochondrial DNA, we’re much closely related than almost any other vertebrate or mammalian species.“1
Stephen Jay Gould, the Harvard paleontologist and a leading evolutionist, remarked on the significance of this discovery: “It makes us realize that all human beings, despite differences in external appearance, are really members of a single entity that’s had a very recent origin in one place. There is a kind of biological brotherhood that’s much more profound than we ever realized.“2
But Where Did Races Come From?
If Adam and Eve were the parents of the human race, then how did the diversity in humans come about? The answer is really quite simple: it is the result of genetic variation that existed in Adam and Eve. It is not, as some scientists propose, the result of mutation and evolution over thousands of years.
Evolutionist Francisco Ayala has estimated that humans are heterozygous for 6.7 percent of their genes on the average. This 6.7 percent variety would enable Adam and Eve to produce 10 2017 before they would reproduce a twin identical to another born previously. Since the estimated number of particles in the universe is10 80, nothing can compare to the potential variety within two people.
An example of this variation is skin color. We all have the same skin coloring agent, melanin, but in differing amounts. Skin color depends on two genes; let’s name them genes A and B. Dark skinned people would have genes AABB as their genotype, while light skinned people would have aabb. If we started with two medium colored people (AaBb), we can theoretically produce all the variation in skin color within one generation. There have been reports of the birth of twins, one of which was light skinned and the other dark skinned. Adam and Eve, created in the perfect image of God, would have had the right genotypes to allow all the skin tone variations that we see today.
The Key Is Language
If human diversity can be explained by very small genetic distinctions between races, then the real fundamental difference between people groups is language. The basic cause of racial or tribal differences must be language, and it usually enforces segregation. However, the origin of languages is still unknown.
Evolutionists, in particular, have no explanation for the origin of languages. They’ve tried to explain it on the basis of gradual development of communication forms, starting with the early grunts of cavemen and, over time, resulting in our complex form of communication. However, man’s unique ability for communication has always posed a problem.
Anthropologist Ralph Linton has stated: “The use of language is very closely associated with the superior thinking ability of humans. In his ability to communicate, man differs even more from other animals than he does in his learning or thinking … However, man is the only species which has developed communication to the point where he can transmit abstract ideas. … It is a curious fact that there is not a mammalian species other than man which imitates sounds … In this respect, humans are truly unique. We know absolutely nothing about the early states of development of language.“3
Vastly different and highly complex languages have been in existence as far back as historical evidence goes. As Linton explains, “The so-called primitive languages can throw no light on language origins since most of them are actually more complicated in grammar than the tongues spoken by civilized people.”
As far as ancient languages are concerned, evolutionist George Simpson admits, “The oldest language that can reasonably be reconstructed is already modern, sophisticated, and complete from an evolutionary point of view.“4
There is no explanation for the origins of different languages except in terms of the special purpose of the Creator. God desired that man should be fruitful and multiply in order to inhabit the entire earth, proclaiming His glory over the entire globe. However, we are told in the biblical record that, shortly after the flood of Noah, men tried to unite themselves into a very centrally located political system around the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 11). We are told that God confused their language, and that mankind was then scattered over the face of the earth.
The earliest record of the Chinese language is thought to have been around 2500 BC, the approximate time that God confused and multiplied the languages at the Tower of Babel. The Chinese people at this time were God-fearing and worshipped Shang Ti, or “the heavenly emperor.” China remained a monotheistic culture until the introduction of Confucianism around 500 BC. As a result of having an accurate knowledge of early events, the written Chinese language is composed of characters uniquely adapted and containing the stories found in Genesis.
The Chinese word for tower seems to be a shorthand record of the story of the Tower of Babel. The first root is “dirt or clay,” of which the bricks were made to build the tower. The people were all of one speech and united in their rebellion against God, as is seen in Figure 1. The Chinese character for tower most certainly refers to the Tower of Babel, since the Chinese built no towers or pagodas until the Buddhist era.5
The Chinese word for rebellion also means confusion. As seen in figure 2, the story is told in just two root words, tongue and man (right leg).6 When God changed the language of the rebels, the tongue was confused. The right hand part of the character portrays the right leg extended for walking. Since their tongues were speaking new languages, there was nothing left to do but to walk to a new place of their own. Once again, in the very roots of the Chinese language we see an accurate reflection of the Genesis account of the origin of languages.
The Tower of Babel demonstrates God’s sovereignty over the nations. Each nation represents a unique characteristic and personality of God. In His eyes, all men are equal in stature, though perhaps different in appearance. One group of people is not superior to another as the evolutionists would try to depict on the basis of natural selection.
Even as scientists today are realizing, all nations have their origin in one family. God considers all men as from one blood: “He made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might seek Him and find Him” (Acts 17:26-27). God established the nations so that each one would fulfill His purposes.
Even as God has a unique destiny for each nation, so God has a purpose for each individual. We must simply seek after Him to discover that purpose for which He created us.
1 John S. Haller, Jr. Outcasts from Evolution: Scientific Attitudes of Racial Inferiority 1859-1900. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971).
2 “Charles Darwin: Life and Letters. Letter to W. Graham, July 3, 1881,” p. 316: cited in Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, by Gertrude Himmelfarb, (London: Chatto and Windus, 1959), p. 343.
3 Thomas Huxley, “Lay Sermons,” Addresses and Reviews. (New York: Appleton, 1871), p. 20.
4 John C. Burnham, Science, 1972, 175:506.
5 P. Hoffman, Hitler’s Personal Security, (Pergamon Press, 1979), p. 264.
1 “The Search for Adam and Eve,” NewsWeek, 1/11/88.
3 Ralph Linton, The Tree of Culture, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1955), p. 8 and 9.
4 George Gaylord Simpson, “The Biological Nature of Man,” Science, 152:477.
5 C.H. Kang and Eythel R. Nelson, The Discovery of Genesis, (St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1979), p. 106.