The Origin of the Races


     It would appear that Adam and Eve were of the same "race" (Gen. 1-4). Actually, there is no indication of any "racial" differences until about 2, 000 years later (Gen. 10, 11). The "mark of Cain" argument is not plausible (origin of Negro race) for a number of reasons (Gen. 4: 15). There is an area of small uncertainty, however, what is known by geneticists and then our deduction of their inductions appear to be sound. We known that melanin controls skin coloration. In humans, the production of melanin is controlled by two pairs of genes. Geneticists refer to these genes as Aa and Bb. The capital letters represent the dominant genes (dark color) and the small letters the recessive genes (lighter color). If Adam and Eve were AABB (all dominant genes), they would have been black to the degree black can be black and they would have produced only children with the darkest of skin coloration. AABB genes in the first couple would have appeared to have only produced black coloration throughout all generations of their offspring. On the other hand, if Adam and Eve had both been aabb (only the recessive genes), they would have produced offspring with the lightest possible skin coloration. Therefore, it appears safe to conclude that Adam and Eve possessed a balance of the skin coloration genes. In other words, AaBb (Geneticists refer to this as heterozygous, the perfect balance of the genes producing melanin). If Adam and Eve were AaBb, this seems to be a necessary conclusion, they would have been middle-brown in skin color. Based on the AaBb condition of Adam and Eve within a short time (perhaps one generation) skin color variations would have occurred.

     The sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Most scholars point to Shem, Ham, and Japheth as the progenitors of all the races of earth (Gen. 10). Shem is said to be the father of the Semite races (Jews, Arabs, etc.), Ham the father of the dark-skinned (blacks), and Japheth the father of the Caucasian races (whites). Such a position is based, in part, on the names of some of their descendants and where they later located. For instance, Ham was the father of "Cush" (Gen. 10: 6). The "land of Cush" is later called "Ethiopia" (Num. 12: 1, see footnote). However, the Shem, Ham, and Japheth answer is not free of attendant problems.

     The tower of Babel. Another historic event which seems involved in the origin of nations is the tower of Babel (Gen. 11, just a few years subsequent to the events of Genesis 10). The people populating the earth were of one language and were mostly located in the same area. However, with Babel came different languages and the scattering of the people (Gen. 11: 1, 7, 8). Such an occurrence, in addition to the three new progenitors, would doubtless contribute to a significant measure to cultural and environmental influences.

     Beloved, there is an element of uncertainty in the explanation as to the origin of the races. Some things we are not told (cp. Deut. 29: 29). One thing we do know for sure is that with God national descent absolutely does not matter (Gal. 3: 26-29). "…Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons," preached the apostle Peter, "but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10: 32, 35).