Science, Race, and the Bible: Coming to Terms with a Messy History

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thanks for this article, Brad.

You wrote:

Christians like Jones grossly overestimated their ability to distinguish between the voice of Scripture and their own opinions, born of a racist cultural ethos.

That thought leaped out at me as a particularly sobering and illuminating one. Of course it is generalized beyond the slavery issue to other issues of interest to Biologos, but then beyond those as well. How do we tease apart whether we are giving in to culture or being led by the Spirit and scriptures? That is not a trivial question, but I suggest that it becomes even more significant in its absence than in its presence.

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Ever read the 12 Affirmations at the back of Ken Ham’s books? Talk about racism! Affirmation XII claims that the diversity of languages and skin color came about as a result of divine judgment at the Tower of Babel.

XII. We affirm that all people living and dead are descended from Adam and Eve…and that the various people groups (with their various languages, cultures, and distinctive physical characteristics, including skin color) arose as a result of God’s supernatural judgment at the Tower of Babel…"

Also see this:

Woah… that’s messed up!

So… giving him the benefit of the doubt, we white folks must be the cursed ones, since dark skin was the evolutionary norm. :slight_smile:

I suppose it’s possible to see this as saying that diversity of skin tone, and not any one skin color, resulted from judgment. It’s still an unfortunately negative and limiting view, to be sure…

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Actually, the full range of genetic diversity appears to have existed in archaic human populations. The Neanderthals are an example.

One of the more intriguing discoveries at Nekhen on the Nile (3800 BC) was the recovery of an almost complete beard of a redheaded man in Burial no. 79. The facial hair of the man in Burial no. 79 had been trimmed with a sharp blade. The presence of long wavy natural red hair and a full beard suggests a connection to the 3200 year red haired ruler known as Ur-David buried in a pyramid in the Tarum Valley of China.

Nekhen is the oldest known site of Horite hebrew worship. The Nekhen News (p. 7) reports, “The vast majority of hair samples discovered at Nekhen were cynotrichous (Caucasian) in type as opposed to heliotrichous (Negroid).”

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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