Answer by John Mackay
Mankind! This word has been a great description down through the years of who we are, and what we were made to be. It is derived ultimately from the old English Mann Cynn, back though several thousand years of traditions in Sanskrit about the hero Manu who survived the big flood along with his seven spiritual helpers. Manu is the ancestor of all living people so we are named after him. Hence the Anglicised description ‘the Kin (old English Cynn) of Manu’, which with typical English word play became Mankind, and then to the more common mankind, which surprise, surprise originally included women.
What most English speakers don’t appreciate, is that the second part of the word Cynn, (now ‘Kin’), is a Biblical concept. It is provably based on the Biblical teaching revealed by the Creator God in Genesis 1, that He made each group of creatures (humans included) as separate ‘Kinds’. Additionally, it is important to note: this history and meaning of the word kin, whether it be in the Hebrew, Greek or English languages is conceptually quite different from ‘race’.
In our Evidence News 03/2020, (sent out on 4 March 2020) we deliberately put a challenging series of statements, with the question: Which of the following are True or False? One of the statements was “There is only one race of men?” We then shared that all statements in the challenge list were false, including the ‘one race of man’ concept.
(see full list at the end)
Why the need for this challenge?
The belief “There is only one race of men?” is incredibly popular amongst Evangelicals, particularly those in the USA who follow Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. There is no doubt that the applaudable aims of such a statement are to deal with the evil extremes of American racism, and reject Adolf Hitler’s racist concept of superior Aryans, which was firmly based on evolutionism. Yet the backgrounds of both racisms are poles apart.
In the American situation it was white Europeans who enslaved black Africans, who were regarded by many as an inferior race. Hence it is incredibly unpopular to actually remind people that the racism of South Africa, the old UK, and the more modern USA, had nothing to do with evolutionism, but was usually justified by a misguided semi-Biblical concept about Noah’s three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth, tied to belief that black people (the Hamites) were eternally cursed by God to be servants. (see full story in Genesis 9:18-27)
So, today’s Ham-ite claims attempt to refute racist behaviour by claiming there is only one ‘race of man’ which includes all humanity descended from the created first man Adam. It has become incredibly popular, as it runs parallel to the currently popular political stand in the west against racism. The One Race concept blames most racism on Darwinian evolution, whereas most evolutionists insist there is no link between evolution and racism, although Charles Darwin’s views would certainly be considered racist if expressed these days. (See quote from Darwin at end.)
Despite the anti-racist appeal of the term “human race,” to cover all living people, those who really want to take a Biblical as well as a long term effective stand against the evils of racism, must start by admitting that the Biblical record insists God made only ‘one Kind’ of man, not ‘one race’!
Let’s start by reviewing the traditional meaning of the word ‘race’, as reflected in the Oxford dictionary as well as in the history of the word as used in science. Race has a real and distinctly scientific meaning, but it is not the one being used either by white Australian Ken Ham’s or black African American Voddie Baucham’s in their popularisation and politicisation of the ‘one race’ concept.
The Oxford English dictionary defines the word “race” as:
Noun: Each of the major groupings into which humankind is considered (in various theories or contexts) to be divided on the basis of physical characteristics or shared ancestry.
The dictionary also gives a biological definition:
Biology: A population within a species that is distinct in some way, especially a subspecies.
The dictionary gives the origin of the word as: “Early 16th century (denoting a group with common features): via French from Italian razza, of unknown ultimate origin.” (Item in brackets in original)
Reference: OED https://www.lexico.com/definition/race
If these definitions were applied to humanity, we could say there is only one Genus and one species of living humans, but there are populations within our one species which have distinguishing characteristics and shared ancestry so they can be easily grouped as distinct from other human groups e.g. Pygmies, Eskimos.
To really understand where ‘race’ fits into humanity we need to look at the real history of man from Genesis, as well as the history of biological classification, for both are strongly connected.
God made the first human beings, male and female, as fully separate living beings, unrelated to any other creature. All people who have lived since then are descendants of that first couple, Adam and Eve. As such, all humans are Biblically one Kind, a ‘naming’ factor which 5,000 years later played a provably significant part in the history of biological science.
Back in the days when scientists actually used the Biblical framework, a Swedish Botanist by the name of Carl Von Linne (1707-1778), later known by the Latin ‘Linnaeus’, invented the biological classification system still used today. Linnaeus is famed for his very workable two-part classification using the terms genus and species. His fully Biblical outlook shows in the fact that he actually borrowed the word ‘genus’ from the Latin version of Genesis chapter 1:11, where you read God made plants after their “genus,” or to use the old English, in separate ‘Kin’, derived from the old Anglo-Saxon ‘Cynn’, meaning related to each other but not to other ‘kin’. The Latin word ‘genus’ is used 10 times in the first chapter of Genesis, and is provably what the Hebrew author had in mind, as this is the same in Greek version of Genesis in the Bible translation called the Septuagint, translated by Hebrew speakers in Egypt in the 3rd century BC.
Linnaeus also noted there were recognisable subsets within the ‘genus’ and invented the biological concept of species (as in distinct or special). Then with closer observation, we have discovered that even within a species, there are distinguishable variations that are labelled “races”. This term applies across all living species, plants or animals. The term “race” was originally used to distinguish various subsets of grapes and wines that had distinctive characteristics. Later it was used to describe identifiable subgroups within any species of living things. For example: Equus caballus, i.e. domestic horses. Horses that were selected for their running ability, became a subgroup called racehorses, but strong pulling horses are called draught horses.
Now let’s return to the history of mankind. Adam and Eve were created as a separate Kind or Genus unrelated to apes, monkeys or any other living thing. By the days of Noah (approx. 1,600yrs After Creation), Adam’s descendants still belonged to the ‘one Kind ‘of man. But even the names of Noah’s three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth, indicate obvious factors we could use to distinguish them and their descendants. Ham’s name would come to mean dark, and Japheth’s meant fair, both indicating increasing variation in skin colour.
After Noah’s Flood God instructed the people to spread over all the earth, but within a few generations they rebelled, gathered together and started building the Tower of Babel “to make a name for themselves” (Genesis 11:1-9). God punished them by splitting them into different language groups, which forced them to move away from one another. This achieved God’s purpose of getting humanity to spread out and fill the earth, but it also meant the subgroups would, from then on, only breed amongst themselves for many generations, thus reinforcing whatever distinctive genetic variations already in the initial subgroups, e.g. skin colour, hair type, etc. As the environment degenerated more genetic mutations occurred in all populations, but there could be differing mutations in each group, so differences would increase, even though all people are still one Kind and one species.
That period of separation has resulted in distinctive clusters of features that are still useful describing people, even in police reports e.g. the robbery was by an African-American, or the murderer was a male Caucasian, or the suspect was of Asian appearance. While these terms are currently more politically correct than black man, whitey or slant eyes, they nevertheless reflect real differences by which subgroups within the human Kind can be distinguished, and within which historically separate ‘breeding choice groups’ have socially and biologically strengthened such traits. Some of these are just harmless variations such as thick subcutaneous fat that gives Asian eyelids their shape. Some are serious problems, e.g. Tay Sachs disease caused by a mutation carried only by Ashkenazi Jews. This post-Babel separation followed by geographic isolation from other groups of mankind began to end in the mid 1700’s when the coming of world exploration (e.g. Captain Cook’s voyages) began a new genetic mixing of the ‘races’.
So, the present-day classification of mankind includes only one genus Homo, and one species sapiens, giving the scientific classification of humans as Homo sapiens. But within that ‘sapiens’ species there truly are groups of people who share distinctive characteristics that are definitely and provably real and ‘racial’ The fact that we are all one species is seen as modern-day mobility has allowed different people groups to mix, marry and have children. The offspring of such marriages are still often referred to as being of “mixed-race”.
So, do we gain anything by taking an American political situation, falsely blaming it on Hitler or evolutionism, then justifying that claim via a true Biblical stand against the mistreatment of our fellow humans, then finally claiming the one race concept is Biblical or Christian? The answer is no! To repeat: those who really want to take a Biblically factually accurate stand against the evils of racism, must start by admitting that God made only one Kind of man, not one race.
The well-intentioned attempt to make the word “race” equal to the word “kind” is not only false, it’s an attempt to turn real knowledge into a warm fuzzy and false philosophy, which is doomed to fail Biblically, theologically, scientifically, and politically.
The true solution to evil including that of mistreating fellow humans for any reason, is to deal with the original problem that led to humanity being split up. Our ancestors at the Tower of Babel rebelled against God because they had inherited the sinful nature brought into world by the ancestor of both them and us, the man Adam. Only the Creator of Adam, and therefore of every human being, can solve this problem, which He historically did when the Creator came to earth as the man Jesus, Saviour and Christ who paid the penalty for sin. Therefore, all people, whatever their ancestry, can be freed from the penalty of sin if they repent and put their faith in Christ, who will also return as the Judge and coming King of all.
Darwin on Races
“Lastly I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilisation than you seem inclined to admit. Remember what risks the nations of Europe ran, not so many centuries ago of being overwhelmed by the Turks, and how ridiculous such an idea now is. The more civilised 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 will have been eliminated by the higher civilised races throughout the world.”
Charles Darwin, Letter to William Graham, 3 July 1881
Darwin Correspondence Project, Letter DCP-LETT-13230
From Evidence News 03/03 4 March 2020
Which of following are true or false?
* Aboriginals have been in Australia 40,000 years or more.
* Wearing a face mask is useful in preventing Corona virus.
* The Big Bang is scientifically accurate.
* God made only one race of man.
* In today’s world you can be anything you want to be!
* The Aboriginal ‘Welcome to Country’ smoking ceremony is a harmless cultural event.
* Genesis presupposes the existence of God.
They are all false, no matter how popular they are with scientists and the general public, Christian or non-Christian. Some are even too politically incorrect to mention, as the violence that erupted shows when the West Australian RSL tried to raise a motion wanting the Aboriginal ‘Welcome’ smoking ceremony removed from Anzac Day ceremonies. This is a move we would agree with, and this author would go even further, as all immigrants are forced to accept a ‘Welcome’ ceremony as part of their ‘nationalisation’ when they become citizens. Why object? Because the ceremony is not just cultural, but totally pagan, as well as demonic, and it locks Australian futures into the same Satanic delusion that took Aboriginals down into the stone-age, when they moved first to India and then to Australia. But of course, none of that can be mentioned in our politically correct culture that prefers myth to real history.
HUMAN RACES: If all races originated from Noah’s sons, why are there such big
differences between the races? Answer here.
NOAH: What Race was Noah? What colour was he? Where in the Bible can I find
out? Answer here.
APES AND HUMANS: Can they breed, or have they interbred? Does this explain
racial features in man? Answer here.