I find it incredible how often secular scientists get so close to the truth and yet end up right where they started – rejecting the authority of God’s Word. I recently came across an article in National Geographic (NatGeo) that disturbed me. The article was There’s No Scientific Basis for Race – It’s a Made-Up Label by Elizabeth Kolbert. Now the title is a statement I agree with. As I believe in the Bible, I believe that all people are created in the image of God, descended from Adam and Eve through Noah and his sons, who spread throughout all the earth after Babel (Gen. 1-11). I believe that we are all of one blood; race is a human invention (Acts 17:26-28). The problem, however, is that this article does not believe its own title. It does not actually think all people are equal, are really one, or are human. In fact, no evolutionist does or can.
This article by NatGeo defines why people are more or less evolved by where they come from, breaking them up into races, and making some more or less equal to others. This is achieved by their starting with the presupposition that mankind evolved from lessor beings. Thus, some of those beings, as they evolved, have to be lower on the chain than others. How do I know? Because the opening image for this article includes this caption: We all have African ancestors. While it may not appear so at first glance, this is actually a racist conclusion. Why does this equal racism? Because to state that mankind came out of Africa is to state that Africa has to be lowest on the chain of evolution. This is why nearly every “proto-human ancestor,” which are not human, has been found in Africa.
That has revealed the second deep truth: In a very real sense, all people alive today are Africans.
Our species, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa—no one is sure of the exact time or place. The most recent fossil find, from Morocco, suggests that anatomically modern human features began appearing as long as 300,000 years ago. For the next 200,000 years or so, we remained in Africa, but already during that period, groups began to move to different parts of the continent and become isolated from one another—in effect founding new populations.
This is a racist presupposition because it makes the claim that Africans are less evolved. The article notes that they do not know when mankind evolved in Africa, but they know that mankind did. Why? Because they need mankind to have come from Africa. Africa has to be lowest point in the tree. In fact, they remained while other groups left Africa. First left the Neanderthals and Denisovans, they say, to become their own people in the Middle East and Europe. Then eventually the other Africans traveled to Australia, South America, and Siberia (Kolbert). Notice anything eerily familiar about that order? That is the hierarchy of man that has been used for centuries and became most popular in the last two.
The first is that all humans are closely related—more closely related than all chimps, even though there are many more humans around today. Everyone has the same collection of genes, but with the exception of identical twins, everyone has slightly different versions of some of them.
Christians know that we are not related to chimps, but evolutionists simply assume it although there is no evidence that this is true (more links provided below). However, NatGeo comes to the conclusion that humans are so similar with surprise. How are we so closely related? How could that be possible if we evolved in different places and at different times? The answer is simple: because we did not evolve and are all part of one, human family. Nothing else could be true as different kinds cannot reproduce together. Instead, each reproduces after its own kind (Gen. 1).
NatGeo and secular scientists do not accept that, cannot accept that. So, they came up with an unbiblical idea that fit the process they needed to be true: mankind started from ape-like ancestors, evolved into lower humans, and eventually some became the great beasts they are today. Christians should be wary when reading such articles – Evolution and the Bible are not compatible. Though research like this comes out and is in harmony with the Bible, the researcher’s conclusions are not Scriptural.
The NatGeo article also unscientifically states that mutations somehow leads to macro-evolution, or molecules to man evolution. This is not true. Additionally, beneficial mutations are not really something that happens. A mutation is a mistake in copying the genetic code. This is either neutral or harmful to the thing whose genes have been mutated. No one has ever observed a chimp turn into a human or visa versa. No one has ever observed one kind changing into another kind. Can people or animals change because of separation and narrowing of the gene pool? Of course. This is called natural selection, but it is not Evolution.
By analyzing the genes of present-day Africans, researchers have concluded that the Khoe-San, who now live in southern Africa, represent one of the oldest branches of the human family tree. The Pygmies of central Africa also have a very long history as a distinct group. What this means is that the deepest splits in the human family aren’t between what are usually thought of as different races—whites, say, or blacks or Asians or Native Americans. They’re between African populations such as the Khoe-San and the Pygmies, who spent tens of thousands of years separated from one another even before humans left Africa.
This is the most blatant the article gets. The author basically admits that these particular African people are among the lowest on the chain because they are closest to the original ancestors. Such claims have been made about various nations over the course of human history, but nearly all end up pointing to Africa as the lowest as time went on. Much the same was said about Ota Benga’s people when he was captured and put in a zoo at the turn of the 20th century (Ham 77-86). Cruelty, eugenics, slavery, and racism are the only things produced by ideas that begin with the assumption that some groups of mankind are closer to the “original” than others.
To be fair, the article opens with a history on a man named Samuel Morton who was one person who classified different levels of humans. Caucasians were on the top, then Mongolians, then Asians, Native Americas, and finally Ethiopians. The author rightly denounces his work. But Morton’s ideas were not new, nor were they entirely shunned. Before and during his time, people craved the information and science Morton discovered and presented. The worldview had been around for centuries: the worldview that some races of men were more highly evolved than others. These ideas can be found in the writings of India, Greece, France, Africa, the Middle East and in many books, such as Stewart’s Geography for Beginners and Cram’s Cram’s Unrivaled Family Atlas of the World. These ideas were found in the minds of intellectuals of that time and are found in our time.
But Morton should not be the only one known as the “father of scientific racism” as Kolbert calls him. Scientific racial distinctions were not made widely accepted by Morton. Instead, this line of thought is found in Charles Darwin’s books On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life and The Descent of Man. The great achievement of Darwin’s publications was that he promulgated and made acceptable the idea that there was no God nor a need for Him.
It was the legacy of people like Erasmus and Charles Darwin, Samuel Morton, Francis Galton, Ernst Haeckel, Adolf Hitler, Margaret Sanger, and so many more that “developed the ‘science’ of race to suit [their] own prejudices” (Kolbert). Man was an animal and evolved to be “human,” though there are some groups who have not fully attained human status yet. These ideas were not new, but Darwin published and became known for them because the time was ripe for these ideas. People wanted to believe evolution was true because it got rid of God and put the worth of people on a scale. They were actively searching for this. Evolution and Naturalism justified the beliefs already held.
Unfortunately, like many before, NatGeo conveniently ignores the work by Gregor Mendel. Mendel was a contemporary of Darwin and had already shown how traits were passed down. Mendel is the father of genetics, not Darwin. Yet NatGeo presents this argument:
Morton thought he’d identified immutable and inherited differences among people, but at the time he was working—shortly before Charles Darwin put forth his theory of evolution and long before the discovery of DNA—scientists had no idea how traits were passed on. Researchers who have since looked at people at the genetic level now say that the whole category of race is misconceived.
Yes, of course the commonly held ideas on race were and are misconceived. They are false! They are anti-God and anti-Scripture. But the only reason that so many scientists and then laypeople had come to this conclusion, and still do, is because the opposite needed to be true.
Why is there racism? Why eugenics? Why the maltreatment of certain humans – the unborn, the wrong color, or what else? All this is because of evolutionary teachings. This was the goal. Though many pieces and people make claims that they are against or “progressed” from this type of thinking, their conclusions prove otherwise because it is impossible to believe anything else. In turning from God, they rejected what He teaches – that mankind is fully human and of one blood. He did not make some men higher or lower on a naturalistic scale. Yet as they studied His creation, they found His handiwork and what was known to be true from the beginning (Rom. 1:20). If only they would take the next step!
What is most intriguing is that this article and evolutionary scientists get so close to the truth, yet do not take that next step. The article includes a graphic describing how they perceive mankind’s evolutionary journey across the globe. In each map that I have seen, naturalistic scientists make mankind go from Africa and though the Middle East, starting off other groups near the northern Middle East. Why is that? That is not where the famous proto-man fossils are found, as deceptive as they are. No, secular scientists have early man go this way because that is how man traveled. They did not come out of Africa – they came out of the Ark from Babel. They left the Middle East and took the paths they did because those were the paths mankind took after Babel.
All people alive today are not Africans. We are, however, one kind – mankind. God already told us how we are so similar; we did not need science to tell us. We are all one human family. This is not surprising to Christians. We are all descended from Adam via Noah’s sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. How is it that every single person’s DNA is so similar to every other single person’s? God made us of one blood in His image at the creation of the world, and He desires for us to know Him.
Blessings to you and yours,
Ham, Ken. “Darwin’s Plantation.” A Pocket guide to Charles Darwin: His life and impact. Hebron: Answers in Genesis. 2009. pp. 77-86. Print.
“Types of the Human Race.”. Stewart, K J. A Geography for Beginners. Richmond: J. W. Randolph. 1864. 32.
“Types of the Races of Man”. Cram, George F. Cram’s Unrivaled Family Atlas of the World. Chicago: A.C. Shewey & Company, 1883. 94. Print.