1. Human pride is the usual cause of racial prejudice and every ethnic group has been guilty of believing themselves to be somehow superior to all others: Christians of the past have been no exception. Modern genetics has well established the fact that all colors of the human race will have derived from a single mating pair; the color of that pair would have been brown and, in fact, that is the predominant color of the human race today. Scripture reminds us that all men are of the same blood (Acts 17:26) and nowhere speaks of race although it does speak of families. The important thing to remember is that all human genetic information must have been present in the original pair and loss of that information has continued since the Fall of man. Down-hill loss is normal but there is no known mechanism whereby genetic information can be gained. Blue eyes are a result of loss of some of the genetic information required for brown or black eyes. Although this full compliment of genetic information will have been present in Adam and his cloned mate Eve, a good part of it would also have been present in Noah and his family. Thus, Noah was undoubtedly brown in order to have provided for all the shades of brown we find among mankind today. Noah's descendant's, also brown, began to multiply at one geographic location, around Mt. Ararat in today's Turkey.
2. In addition to all the genetic information being on the ark in eight persons, much of the knowledge accumulated by man during the 1656 years from Adam to Noah, would also have been on board the vessel. Thus, the knowledge of textiles, metallurgy (Genesis 4:22), agriculture etc. were on board together with the patriarchal genealogies. They also had knowledge of the evil practices carried out before the Flood although these were not likely recorded on tablets but rather committed to memory. As men began to multiply, they sought out these practices once again and finally God had to intervene at the Tower of Babel and physically divided man by language. Each family set out on their separate ways carrying with them their specific portion of the human gene pool and a baggage of true and false knowledge. The descendants of some families sought more earnestly the false knowledge and quickly degenerated losing the true knowledge, not only of their Creator but also of their technology. By the fifteenth century many, including the North American Indian and the African, had completely lost the art of making textiles and were naked when discovered by the Europeans.
3. In the late 1700's and in spite of the Church's teaching, it was believed by many that mankind had originated at various geographical locations and, as a result, had given rise to the different racial characteristics. Even in Darwin's day it was argued that mankind had as many as fifty origins (polygenism) and intersterility existed between the black and white races implying they were separate species. Experience has shown this to be totally untrue yet the belief in polygenism is still alive today.
4. Another false notion was that as physical exercise developed the muscles so use of the brain would develop brain areas and it was believed that these could be detected as bumps on the head (Craniology). Another false notion said that these acquired characteristics (the developed brain areas) could be inherited by the offspring; the idea was developed by Lamarck (1744-1829) and laid the ground for the super-race. Individuals with larger heads were assumed to have larger brains and thus be more intelligent than those with smaller heads. Intelligence was actually measured with calipers and tape measure. Of course, intelligent individuals with large heads could always be found to confirm the theory while the dim-wits with large heads were not reported! Franz Gall (1758-1828) developed a lucrative Parisien practice of "reading heads"; Fowler's head was a famous teaching device of the day. Paul Broca (1824-1880), also a Parisien, attempted to put craniology on a more scientific footing by use of the craniometer. The numbers generated gave the practice the appearance of being scientific. In Philadelphia, Samuel Morton (1799-1851) was determined to find once and for all if the colored races were indeed less intelligent than the Caucasian. He gathered together over a 1000 skulls, often from Indian cemeteries, and carefully measured the cranial capacity of each with lead shot. Published in 1839 his work showed that colored people did have smaller heads than white people but when reanalyzed 140 years later by taking into account the height of the individuals, there was no difference: big people tend to have bigger heads.
5. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) introduced his theory of evolution in 1859 and from the sub-title of his On the Origin of Species ..and the preservation of favoured races (1859) Darwin greatly promoted racist ideas that could now be solidly founded on "science." Although he never mentioned man in his Origin', the implications were there that man had derived from the animal kingdom. He was more explicit in his later book The Descent of Man published in 1871. Here he spelled out the particular family of the ape from which man had descended (1:204). Darwin also made a number of contradictory statements about the origin of language (compare 1:54 with 2:391). In his next book, The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animal (1872), Darwin left no doubt about his racist ideas and head measuring became a full-time occupation. Teams of hunters set out to obtain specimen heads from aboriginal Australian and Tasmanian owners whether they had ceased to use them or not; entire tribes were shot down and the museum cases of the "civilized" nations became filled with neatly graduated rows of heads giving proof of evolution. To this day, no museum is without an exhibit of a human and an ape skeleton together. Science knows that there are greater differences than similarities between the ape and human yet by placing two skeletons together, even without an explanatory text, this is sufficient to convince those willing to believe in a relationship.
6. Racism has always been part of the unsung American heritage; there are certain foundations today that still actively sponsor research to "prove" the superiority of the WASP. At the turn of this century when immigrants were flooding into North America, there were certain groups very hostile to Roman Catholicism and they were looking for justification for excluding Catholics on scientific grounds. Obviously, to have excluded them on religious grounds would not have upheld the boast of "the land of the free" and would in any case have violated the Constitution. Franz Boas, a German anthropologist and immigrant Jew, was asked to set up a team on Ellis Island where immigrants could be scientifically screened. Screening was carried out by measurement: head size, distance from finger tip to knee cap etc. all on the presumption that man had evolved from the ape and that those closer to the ape's proportions were to be excluded. The "dark races" included especially those from Catholic countries. Many immigrants were turned back on the dubious grounds that their lower intelligence would dilute the general gene pool. We may scoff at this nonsense now but it is still with us. Professor Philippe Rushton (1943—) of Western University, Canada, is convinced that the Black races could outbreed the Caucasians; his work is funded by a racist foundation.
7. Nature or Nurture? This question has puzzled man ever since he first began to study his own family. The Nature school has always been dominant and argues that it is the individual's biological make-up that solely determines his physical and mental characteristics. The Nurture school argues that each person begins as a blank slate upon which his environment (nurture) writes and that biology plays little or no part. The Nature school was forcefully promoted by Count Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882) who wrote The Inequality of Human Races (1853-55) in justification of his position as a superior person who, for the good of the French Republic, should be reinstated to his former position of authority. The notion of inherently superior people was picked up by Darwin's cousin Francis Galton (1822-1911) who wrote Heredity Genius in 1869 in which he listed all the great English men of genuis (Darwin was included) who should rule the others. He proposed selective breeding rather than the normal random process associated with marriage. It was Galton who introduced the word "eugenics" meaning pure born to the racist lexicon. In Germany, the eugenical banner was carried by composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) and zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). Houston Chamberlain (1855-1927), an Englishman living in Germany, proposed the Aryian race in his Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (1899). This was the grist for Adolf Hitler's mill. Hitler became head of the German National Socialist Party in 1931 and one of the first government enactments was to make the sterilization of those unfit to live mandatory. Prior to this it was voluntary and intended for the feeble-minded. In less than a decade, the notions of assisting evolution by selective breeding programs was augmented by extermination of those considered unfit to breed and this now included those ideologically opposed to biological determinism. In America, Henry Goddard (1866-1957) carried forward an active campaign to sterilize the feeble-minded. School children were sorted out on the basis of Binet's IQ test rather than tape measure, and those falling below certain criteria were sent to special schools. The idea was separation of the sexes and if possible sterilization to prevent breeding. In England, psychologist Cyril Burt (1883-1971) carried out IQ tests on sets of identical twins, thus having the same genetic background but separated at birth. He reported identical IQ's thus confirming Biological determinism. This all fell into disrepute however, when it was discovered that Sir Cyril Burt had invented his data!
8. Nurture is the school driven by B.F.Skinner (1904 - 1990). His famous experiments with the "Skinner Box" in which he conditioned pigeons by punishment and reward led him to propose that children could be similarly conditioned; he did this very thing with his own daughter. In 1928 Margaret Mead claimed in her Coming of Age in Samoa that Chritianity caused neuroses and social problems by frustrating the normal urges in evolving man. She promoted this message and advocated free love for half a century before it was shown to be absolute nonsense. Today, responsible scientists concede that both nature and nurture play a part in making us what we are.
Photo: Adolf Hitler. (CC-BY-SA)
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