Science and Technology
How Many Races Are There?
race question is one of the most divisive issues in the world today. It
has led to hatred and violence in many parts of the world, not the
least being the United States. But as is true with many such questions,
if the facts from the Bible and science were understood and applied the
problem would simply disappear. For both the Bible and science tell us
clearly and unequivocally the same thing, there is only one race, the
human race. All so-called racial divisions are completely invented and
The Bible tells us in Genesis 3:20 that Eve is the mother of all humans and Acts 17:26 tells us that God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth". God has made all people of one kind, one family, one blood and one race. From this we know that all humans are at least cousins to each other.
The science of genetics is just as clear in its findings as to the race of all people. The genetic differences that do exist between people account for only .2% of all the genetic information and the so-called racial differences amount to only .012% ("The Destructive Nature of the Term Race: Growing Beyond a False Paradigm," Journal of Counseling & Development, vol. 76, 1998, p.277-285). All of the so-called racial differences are simply a matter of genetic mixing of the same kind that occurs every time a baby is conceived.
If everyone in the world has the same genetic material, then why do people look different from one another? The primary reason for the differences we see is because of adaptation thru natural selection. The best example of this is seen in the different shades of skin color.
Skin reacts to sunlight in two significant ways. Darker skin gives protection from the harmful effects of the sun. Lighter skin is more efficient at producing vitamin D, necessary for good bone development. Knowing these two characteristics of skin color it then becomes clear how the different skin shades developed after Babel.
Some families moved to high sun areas and had some children that were born with darker skins then others. These children then had a competitive advantage over the lighter skinned children, because their darker skin made them less susceptible to skin cancer and other skin diseases. The reverse situation would be the case with those families that moved to low sun areas. In those areas lighter skin had the competitive advantage because light skin is more efficient at producing vitamin D for healthy bones. Over many generations these competitive advantages in the different areas led to one shade becoming dominant. But thru all of it no new genetic information was formed, the genes were simply rearranged in different ways.
We can see this adaptation by observing that the historical distribution of skin shades gets darker as you go from the low sun areas of Scandinavia to the high sun areas of the Equator. What happens when this distribution is reversed can also be seen in what has happened in Australia over the past 200 years. Light skinned people were taken to that high sun area with the result that light skinned Australians have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Different shades of skin color are a gift from God that allows people to live healthfully in different parts of the world.