SURELY there is a variety of peoples on earth, with strikingly different physical features. Do you view them all as belonging to one human race, as persons to be accepted on their individual merit?
We should. It is the way that our Creator wants us to view people. How do we know? Because he inspired one of his servants, the Christian apostle Paul, to say: “The God that made the world and all the things in it . . . gives to all persons life and breath and all things. And he made out of one man every nation of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth.”—Acts 17:24-26.
Really One Family?
Some people even distort the Bible, and try to show that it teaches “that the Negro, the lower apes and the quadrupeds, all belong to ‘one kind of flesh,’ the ‘flesh of beasts.”’ Professor Charles Carroll made this assertion in his book “The Negro a Beast” or “in the Image of God,” which received wide distribution in the early twentieth century. On the other hand, some evolutionists say that blacks are ‘a lower race of the human species.’
But some blacks argue in an altogether different way. The book Black Nationalism—A Search for an Identity in America says: “The Caucasians were not the original inhabitants of this earth, but were ‘grafted’ from the black people. . . . Contrasted with the Original Man (the so-called Negroes), the white is inferior physically and mentally. He is also weak because he was grafted from the black. He is the real ‘colored’ man, i.e., the deviant from the black color norm.”
What do the facts show? Are we really one human family? Is there any truth to the claims that we are not?
The Differences Superficial
Consider the flesh and blood. Some argue that it is different in blacks and whites. Yet The World Book Encyclopedia says: “Scientists state that cells which make up the human body are the same for all people. . . In the same way, a biologist can tell human blood from that of lower animals. But all the many types of human blood can be found among all the stocks and races of mankind.”
Much has been written about the differences in body structure of blacks and whites. But what are the facts? Anthropologist Ashley Montagu writes: “A close anatomical study seems to show that the physical differences are confined to quite superficial characters. I may best emphasize this by saying that if the body of a Negro were to be deprived of all superficial features such as skin, hair, nose and lips, I do not think that any anatomist could say for certain, in an isolated case, whether he was dealing with the body of a Negro or a European.”
Brain size is also pointed to as evidence of a basic difference between whites and blacks. It is claimed that, on the average, the brains of blacks are slightly smaller than those of whites. Yet, even if this were true, normal variations in brain size evidently do not affect intelligence. If they did, whites would be less intelligent than Eskimos and American Indians who, on the average, have larger brains.
To emphasize that the races are fundamentally alike, Professor Bentley Glass, in his book Genes and the Man, writes: “In all, it is unlikely that there are many more than six pairs of genes in which the white race differs characteristically, in the lay sense, from the black. Whites or blacks, however, unquestionably often differ among themselves by a larger number than this, a fact which reveals our racial prejudices as biologically absurd. . . . The chasm between human races and peoples, where it exists, is psychological and sociological; it is not genetic!”
Noteworthily, the recent book Heredity and Humans, by science writer Amram Scheinfeld, says: “Science now corroborates what most great religions have long been preaching: Human beings of all races are . . . descended from the same first man.”