Where did all the ‘Races’ come from?

There is only one human race. God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17v26). We have all descended from Adam and Eve.

There is only one human race. God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.”

Acts 17v26 KJV

God created Adam and Eve with the ability to produce children with a variety of characteristics. This ability was passed on through Noah and his family.

After the Flood, there was only one language and one culture group until the time of Babel. Thus, there were no barriers to marriage. This would tend to keep the skin colour of the population away from the extremes.

Once separate languages were imposed at Babel, there were instantaneous barriers to marriage. People had to marry within their own family group or clan. 

Dispersion from Babel was in family groups (Gen 10v5, 20,31-32). They were forced to move apart and live in different environments. They became isolated from the other groups. Each group had genes for a certain combination of characteristics – e.g. skin and hair colour, eye and nose shape, etc. As people had to interbreed within their own language group, the variations in the outward appearance of people were no longer averaged out.

The dispersion at Babel broke a large interbreeding group into small, inbreeding groups. This ensured that the resultant groups have different mixes of genes for various physical features.

As people spread out from Babel, they took with them different amounts of information for certain characteristics, and so many different people groups/cultures developed.

It is interesting to note that scripture does not divide the peoples of this world by their skin colour, but rather by their tribes and nations.

There is no doubt that as people dispersed from Babel to fill the earth as God desired (Genesis 9v1), some groups were better suited than others to certain conditions.

God guided the dispersion of people across the earth, despite personal choices and ability to adapt to their new environments.

Physical Differences

Today, we have many different people groups (often called ‘races’) in the world with what seem to be greatly different features, e.g. skin ‘colour’ and eye shape. How could we all have descended from one man and one woman? This is a stumbling block to some people believing the Biblical account. Sadly, as a result of evolutionary indoctrination, some people have racist thinking that people of a different ‘colour’ are inferior because they are supposedly closer to animals. Such attitudes are completely unscriptural (Acts 17v26; Colossians 3v11).

Concerning Skin colour and Eye shape, please note:

When God confused the language at Babel, it caused a breakup of the population into smaller groups, which scattered over the earth (Genesis 11v8-9). Modern genetics shows how that following such a break up of a population, variations in skin colour, for example, can develop in only a few generations.

Melanin

We all have the same dark brownish pigment in our skin called melanin. (Albino people have none because they suffer from a mutation-caused defect, so that they lack the ability to produce melanin). People who produce lots of melanin have dark brown skin. People who produce a little melanin have pale skin. And in between are all the shades of brown.

Melanin protects the skin against damage by ultraviolet light from the sun. So, people with little melanin in their skin would be more easily sunburnt and at greater risk of skin cancer in very hot climates. But people with lots of melanin in their skin need more sunshine for the production of vitamin D, so in climates with little sunshine they may be more likely to suffer vitamin D deficiency, resulting in a bone disease known as rickets. These factors may have contributed to where particular people groups survived in the world.

Asian eye

The Asian eye gets its appearance largely by having an extra amount of fat than the Caucasian eye. It does not mean the eyeball is a different shape!

Just because some else has a different skin colour or eye shape from us, it does not mean that we are not related. The genes for all these physical features were present in Noah’s family but the emergence of visible differences between various groups is only a side effect of the scattering from Babel.

Inter-Racial Marriage

Is it wrong to marry someone from a different nationality or skin colour? In the Old Testament, God distinctly forbid His people Israel to marry the heathen nations around them (Exodus 34v11-17). The reason was to prevent His people from turning to idolatry (Judges 3v5-7). But consider some marriages that obviously had God’s approval:

Moses

Moses married a Cushite or Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12v2). The Cushites were descendants of Ham (Genesis 10v6). God smote Miriam with leprosy for speaking against Moses.

Rahab

Salmon must have married Rahab after her deliverance from Jericho (Matthew 1v5 cp Joshua 6v25). Rahab was a Canaanite and they were descendants of Ham (Genesis 9v18; 10v6) but she is noted in the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1) and listed for her faith (Hebrews 11v31).

Ruth

Ruth a Moabitess is also mentioned in the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1v5) but she chose the true God as her God before her marriage to Boaz (Ruth 1v16).

God does not forbid us to marry someone from a different people group but He is displeased with marriages between Christians and non-Christians (2 Corinthians 6v14).

What about cavemen?

Cavemen supposedly lived thousands of years before modern man came on the scene. But God tells us the true history of these people in His Word.

When God confused the languages at Babel and the various groups split up, people took with them their individual knowledge of technology. Some knew more about farming, some (such as those working on the Tower of Babel) knew more about building, and some knew how to use metal to make tools. Those groups who did not know how to do any of these things would be forced to ‘begin again’ – learning these skills on their own. Those who did have these skills were able to use them once they found a suitable place to settle.

Many families who were not expert builders would have found caves a good place to quickly make their homes. However, there was nothing ‘primitive’ about them. They used musical instruments, drew fascinating pictures on cave walls, knew how to make stone tools, could make their own clothes and hunted their food with great skill. When their bones are found, they are similar to our bones, showing that they really were people like us!

Evolutionists believe that the evidence they find of those who lived in caves points to us having less-than-human ancestors. However, seeing things from a Biblical perspective helps us to rightly understand that these people were descendants of Noah and were our relatives!

The Neanderthals of Europe were once classified as ‘ape-men’ but are now recognised as having been fully human. They are now extinct but they showed evidence of vitamin D deficiency in their bones. This accounts for their stooped appearance. Could they have been a dark-skinned people group who were unfit for the environment into which they had moved because of their skin colour genes?


For further information on creation/evolution issues visit:

Answers in Genesis
Creation Ministries International