Race and Racism: Understanding and Coping
Race is not a biblical but an evolutionary concept that dangerously suggests some groups are more advanced than others. ...The Bible emphasizes that we are one race. Evolution emphasizes the development of our "differences." 1
Our nation and society continue to suffer from strained race relations and subsequent racism. This is evidenced by the increased racial tensions experienced with tragic consequences such as killings, destruction of property, and general social unrest over the last two years in cities such as Ferguson/St. Louis, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; New York, New York; etc. For our reference and understanding on the terms of race and racism, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines race 1: family, tribe, people, or nation of the same stock 2: division of mankind based on hereditary traits; racism: discrimination based on the belief that some races are by nature superior. 2
This article will attempt to provide some understanding on the divisive issues of race and racism and how we can cope with these issues, with considerations from a creation and creation science or naturalistic evolutionary perspective. To help us understand and cope with the issues of race and racism I will address a number of important distinctions between creation and evolution as they relate to man or mankind and our social, moral relations.
To begin with, was man created by God or did he evolve by chance as espoused by naturalistic evolution? Creation from the Bible says that God created man in His image with rule over the animals and stewardship of the earth. To do this and from the Biblical record, man was obviously smart from the beginning as opposed to evolutionary thinking, which is that man evolved from lower animals and apes as theorized by Charles Darwin and other evolutionists. God also created mankind as male and female from the beginning and purposed that they unite as one. This established marriage. Then they were able to have children as a family and spread out and fill the earth. Adam and Eve were the first family of mankind. Noah and his family of eight were the only humans who survived the worldwide flood. As humans, we all descended from them. Adam and Eve disobeyed or sinned, bringing on what we refer to as the “Fall” with penalty of struggle, disease, and death. With repentance and honoring God along with their descendants, they were to turn back to follow God with his righteous guidelines and expect to be reunited with Him. Noah and his family, after the punishment of the worldwide flood, were also to follow God and were to use God’s righteous commandments by which to live. These commandments were later communicated by God to Moses and became part of the Bible, known as the Ten Commandments, for mankind to obey, thereby enabling mankind to get along together as God’s human creation in His image. Today, we also are to follow God under His new covenant with mankind, the New Testament from the Bible, through His gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, who is also our Creator and Savior (From the Bible, KJV: Genesis chapters 1-11, Exodus 20, Acts 17: 24-28, Colossians 1: 12-17).
Which of the cities from the above introduction do you think acted on their racial tensions with this creation understanding of how to cope with each other based on righteous, Godly standards? I think Charleston, as you might. There were believers in God our Creator and Christians who interacted together there observing Godly standards and guidance. They respected each other in a Godly way, regardless of skin color, and did not act unrighteously toward each other as in the other cities. Black and white people and people with any other degrees of skin color met together, prayed together, and purposed how to cope and get along together to solve the issues related to race and racism that were about to separate them further. This they did by calling on God’s guidance to continue the progress they had made in the past in developing their good human relations rather than set this progress back. The Charleston example lays groundwork for an appropriate, righteous coping with race and racism from which we all can learn. The people groups (not “races” as race is an evolutionary term; it is not a creationary or Biblical term) 3 in Charleston respected each other as all being truly human (i.e., one human race, if race is to be used, not of different races, which brings up racism) in a righteous way. This Charleston example represented a creationary way of coping, in contrast to the way of those who would strike out over “differences” from an evolutionary standpoint as Hitler and some other world leaders have in the past, causing death and destruction to their nations and their people groups. Perhaps we could use “people groups” as a more suitable term (or perhaps a politically correct term) or righteous term rather than “races,” which tends to fuel the fire of racism. This change of terminology could be a way of coping to cool the fire during these divisive times. I also inject here that we should not blame the evolutionary indoctrination going on in our society entirely as or reason for unrighteous action although evolutionary indoctrination can influence us to give up our moral standards as one denies God as our Creator. God is also the one from whom we get our moral standards. The overall problem is a sin problem, regardless of whether you are on the side of creation or evolution. A coping way for all of God’s children, “red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight,” as the Christian hymn says, is to quit the sin reaction towards each other and love each other as He loves us. Then, as we repent, we can gain a better understanding of race and racism, resist over-reaction, and hold to the moral standards from our Creator God to better our human relations.
How might the reactions from those in the other cities have reflected an influence from evolutionary indoctrination and thinking? Some of those people appeared to have been thinking, “We are different “races,” rather than one human race, or “people groups,” having evolved with proposed superiority of one race relative to another.” Although in America we have used “political correctness” to try to moderate the tensions based on race and racism, the widespread teaching of atheistic evolution as fact in our schools continues to cause many of our citizens and Christians to discontinue belief in God and His moral standards by which we must use to cope with race and racism. Like trying to swim from the treacherous sea to the safety of the shore, the undertow of evolutionary influence and thinking keeps pulling us back from progress and contributes to tragedies such as we are experiencing. This provides an even stronger challenge for all to deal with race and racism appropriately as well as other related problems. This also sounds a warning to believers in God who are weakened in their faith by evolutionary philosophy and are giving in to those who are pulling down His moral statutes. Thus, there is the need to understand this issue and how to truly deal with it appropriately. One solution is providing education in our churches to children and adults on creation and creation science compared with the theory of naturalistic evolution being taught in our public schools as fact. This education equips us to stand and protect our faith in God and to act on our faith appropriately to help us solve our nation’s sin problems and keep us a nation under God. Another solution is to be righteously courageous and participate in our civic/public affairs to hold on to our right of free speech in the public arena, freedom of religion, and other rights under our constitution in this nation that was founded upon Godly standards and law, with our leaders courageously standing for them.
Let us continue to try to gain an understanding and coping. After the Tower of Babel recorded in Genesis of the Bible, humans were determined by God to spread out over the world to form nations or people groups. Humans were not developed as different races from ape ancestors as evolution contends, but with variety as expressed in their genes by God and still fully human. With what we know now from objective science of genetics and the human genome, we are endowed from our Creator with tremendous potential for variety within the human family. Varieties of human people groups, not races, from all over the world have come to America, thus coming back together. Although they may be considered different races by the secular world, they are more correctly people groups or tribes from a Biblical perspective. Once harmonizing over any cultural differences, they can fall in love, marry, have children and have a family just like God intended from the beginning. Humans are truly one human race as creation and creation science upholds, not many races from an apelike ancestor as evolution proposes. 4 (Also see my TASC articles, “Racism: Human ‘Races’ or ’One Blood’?” from April 2004 and “Man or Ape, Which Are You? Which do You Choose?” from March 2007 at www.TASC-CreationScience.org for more information and discussion on the above.)
To continue to make progress on proper understanding and coping with race and racism, it is important that we continue to refute evolution and support creation as supported by the following quotes:
Most of us have been exposed to the illustration depicting the ascent of man from an apelike ancestor to a modern human. This concept has been taught to generations of young people as scientific fact and is now so integrated into Western culture that not only the vast majority of people but also the vast majority of scientists simply accept it as fact without bothering to investigate the actual observational evidence that supports or refutes it. ...In summary, the fossil record and ancient history effectively falsify the hypothesis of the macroevolution of humans. Man first appeared on the scene as fully formed man just as the Bible unequivocally states. Creation is the best scientific explanation of the fossil record. 5 Vernon R. Cupps, Ph.D. Nuclear Physics
Despite 137 years of searching, there are no fossils that have convincingly established man’s descent from any other creature but man. 6 Isaac Manly, M.D.
The differences are too vast for evolution to work...for us to evolve from a chimp-like creature or a primate. It’s just not possible—the genomes are that different. 7 Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. Genetics
This image of God does not boil down to biology....This image of God is what allows you, as a human being, to know and to understand God. 7 Randy Guliuzza, P.E., M.D.
What we think about the origin of our own species has a dramatic impact on our morality and worldview because it answers the questions of who and what we are and why we exist. The secular and biblical views of our origins are diametrically opposed and must come to totally different conclusions about our place in the universe. ...The Bible teaches we were made in God’s image and designed to have fellowship with Him both now and forever. Recent results in the field of genetics have been remarkably in accord with the biblical model for human origins and inimical to evolutionary scenarios. 8 Dan Reynolds, Ph.D. Organic Chemistry
In the end, the vast physical, mental, and spiritual differences between humans and apes refute human evolution and enable us to seek the Creator who became our Savior. 9 Brian Thomas, M.S., is science writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Continuing, let us address skin color as it has been a source of much prejudice. This will also help us distinguish further “races” from an evolutionary perspective or more appropriately “people groups” from a creation/Biblical perspective. I will draw from some summaries from my previous article on the subject, “Racism: Human ‘Races” or ‘One Blood’?” published in the April, 2004, TASC newsletter.
In Genesis, chapter 2, we find that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, are the ancestors of mankind, and therefore would contain the foundation of information in their genetic make-up to provide the variety for all future generations of humans. They would hold in their genetic make-up genes for varying degrees of production of melanin, which determines skin color. Most likely they were a brown color, not the white color so often depicted in books and films that have promoted racist attitudes towards people of darker skin or whiter skin. After the worldwide flood, we note in Genesis, chapter 10, that the only human survivors of the flood, Noah and his three sons (Japheth, Ham, and Shem) and their wives would then provide the genetic variety for determination of amounts of melanin for skin color in humans inherited from Adam and Eve. Genesis 10: 32 tells us, “These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.” Please grasp the understanding and point from the Old Testament as well as the New Testament that we are all of “one blood” (Acts 17: 26, KJV) divided into nations, people groups, or tribes from a Biblical creation perspective rather than evolving from ape ancestors into different “races” from a naturalistic, evolutionary, “Darwinian” perspective with supposed superiority of one race over another as Hitler adopted as an excuse to kill and destroy the Jews and other “races.” Hitler was especially angered by our black American athlete, Jesse Owens, due to his winning Gold Medals over other Olympian athletes at the 1936 Olympics. Fortunately, two of our American leaders who were known to be Christians, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, understood that we were all humans created equally from God and did much to help our country to make progress to grow out of racist attitudes and racism with rights endowed by our Creator and to be established for all. Their courageous, righteous, and appropriate efforts in the church and public arena are examples we can follow as Christians and citizens. Still, to help continue progress to overcome race and racism with subsequent misunderstanding and violence toward one another, we must continue to help our nation remain a nation under God and select leaders that will truly honor His standards. We as Christians and/or citizens, as well, must be willing to do the same.
Briefly, genealogists and historians that have studied the dispersal of humans from Babel, as recorded in Genesis, chapter 11, link Japheth with Europe and India, Ham with Phoenicia, Sumeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Southern Arabia, and China, and Shem with Israel and the Arabic countries. 10 We find, scientifically, that the biological differences between these nations or people groups are not very great at all. In fact, we are biologically the same species, and while people groups’ genetic make-up provides for genotypic and phenotypic variety, the total DNA foundation differences are trivial. 11 The most notable difference is in skin color, but the fact is, we are all of the same color; some people just have more of that color than others based on the amount of melanin produced by their genetic variety. The predominant shade for a well-mixed group would be brown, 12 probably more similar to our original parents, Adam and Eve and then Noah’s family. The fact is, most of the world’s population is still mid-brown. 13 For an understanding of development of other traits among people groups, you may wish to read some of the materials cited in references 11-18, which can be acquired from the Institute for Creation Research at www.ICR.org/store.
The dispersion at Babel broke up a large, interbreeding group into small, inbreeding groups. This ensured that the resultant groups would have different mixes of genes for various physical features. By itself, this dispersion would ensure, in a short time, that there would be certain fixed differences in some of these groups, commonly called “races,” now preferably called “people groups.” In addition, the selection pressure of the environment would modify the existing combinations of genes so that the physical characteristics of each group would tend to suit their environment. 14
There has been no simple-to-complex evolution of any genes, for the genes were present already. The dominant features of the various people groups result from different combinations of previously existing created genes, plus some minor degenerative changes, resulting from mutation (accidental changes which can be inherited). The originally created (genetic) information has been either reshuffled or has degenerated but has not been added to. 14
As we conclude on the effort to understand and cope with the issue of race and racism and its relation to some of the social tensions and violence we experience in our society, we should remember that the whole concept of race is evolutionary, not Biblical. 15 We can be helped if we will take note and heed to the following statement from Zig Ziglar’s foreword to the book, One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism.
Racism is morally, socially, scientifically, and Biblically wrong. It is an ugly blot on our society. When we look at the ugliness of racism and the impact of evolution, we realize there is a solution to the problem of racism—and that is Biblical principles and scientific facts. In God’s eyes, all of us are equally loved and equally important. Christ shed His blood to cover the sins of all of us. 16
I hope you have gained some understanding on race and racism and how to appropriately cope from this article. Also, hopefully you will be motivated to help others to understand and be able to cope appropriately with the challenges we still face to get along as a people, a nation, and the world. Understand that we have the ability for much variety programmed into our DNA by our Creator God, not evolved accidentally by naturalistic evolution. If we can understand that we are truly one human race created by God and use His moral standards to help each other rather than give in to the constant indoctrination of evolution to separate us by “races” and use it as an excuse to be inhumane to each other, we can have hope of survival and a truly meaningful life.
- 1Unlocking The Mysteries of Genesis, Viewer Guide (2014) Institute for Creation Research, www.ICR.org, Dallas, TX, 74-75
- 2Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary (1995) Merriam-Webster Incorporated, Springfield, MA
- 3Morris J, Phillips D (2002) Straight Answers to Tough Questions. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 36
- 4Cupps VR (2015) No bones about it! There’s no evidence humans evolved. Acts & Facts. 44(8):14
- 5Cupps VR (2015) No bones about it! There’s no evidence humans evolved. Acts & Facts. 44(8):14
- 6Manly I (1999) Slaying the Dragon of Evolution. Searching for Uncle Ape. College Press, Joplin, MO, 78
- 7 a b Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis, Viewer Guide (2014), 28
- 8Reynolds D (April 2015) On the origin of humans. Triangle Association for the Science of Creation Newsletter. www.tasc-creationscience.org. Research Triangle Park, NC, 1
- 9Thomas B (2015) Did humans evolve from ape-like ancestors? Acts & Facts. 44(4):15
- 10Morris HM (2002) God and the Nations. Master Books, Green Forrest, AR, 50-56
- 11Ham K, Wieland C, Batten D (2003) One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism. Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 53
- 12Morris J, Phillips D (2002) Straight Answers to Tough Questions. Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, CA, 37
- 13Ham K, Sarfati J, Weiland C (2002) The Revised & Expanded Answers Book. Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 228
- 14 a b Ibid., 231
- 15Morris J, Phillips D, 36
- 16Stated by Zig Ziglar in Forward to: Ham K, Weiland D (2003) One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism. Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 7, 9