Kinists assert the existence of the races as an act of Providence, rejecting naturalistic-evolutionary origins of humanity, but to my knowledge propose no mechanism for how this occurred other than appeals to Babel and other passages that validate the divine will towards race but not the divine means. The means may be entirely supernatural, or providentially provided by a natural mechanism; generally, the latter is a preferable hypothesis, as God most often works with means. The purpose of this article is to start this discussion by proposing a hypothesis and then inviting the audience to poke holes in it.
The materialist explanation for racial origins most often promulgated by racially aware atheists is the standard human evolutionary model of higher apes somehow evolving into humans in Africa, followed by their further evolution into the white and Asiatic races as they crossed into Asia and Europe. This is highly unlikely because of the long cycle times of human reproduction and the rarity of beneficial mutations, especially in genes as complex as those governing human intelligence. Recently, a sort of dual-origins theory has emerged among materialist white nationalists, which either proposes a separate human evolution from a human-like ancestor in Eurasia, or, in the alternative, proposes that European man is distinguished from other humans by interbreeding with Neanderthals, who had larger brains than modern humans. This, of course, is even less likely, for humans so similar biologically (on an absolute basis) as blacks and whites, in all probability, would not have emerged spontaneously from independent processes, and it is furthermore unlikely that the same “miracle” of evolution towards higher forms would occur twice.
However, there is something healthy about this instinct to disclaim African descent, and it may be an unintentional admission of the discomfort with the apes-to-Africans evolutionary model. The case against evolution tends to bolster a theory promulgated by G.K. Chesterton in his masterwork The Everlasting Man: primitive men are not primordial men, but rather degraded men who got to where they are from an initially high state of civilization originating in the Near East. In this article, I will propose a Biblical model for racial origins consistent with either an Old Earth or a Young Earth Creationist interpretation. Both Old Earth and Young Earth Creationists believe that man was specially created, with slight disagreement (of very little practical importance) on the timing of Adam’s special creation. Old Earthers interpret the Biblical lineages less literally and believe Adam was created about 50,000 years ago, whereas Young Earthers think Adam was created no more than about 10,000 years ago. These views are practically identical philosophically in regards to the origin of man as compared to other models. Since these ideas have been more developed by Young Earth Creationists (Old Earthers tend to focus more on cosmology), I will reference Young Earth sources to bolster the hypothesis.
Scripture provides the notable anthropological revelation that human lifespans rapidly decreased after Noah’s flood. A key part of my hypothesis is that significantly more cosmic and UV radiation occurred after the flood. This a point on which Old Earth and most Young Earth creationists seem to agree. Hugh Ross, the most prominent Old Earth advocate, attributes the decrease in human lifespan to increased cosmic radiation from a nearby supernova.1 Young Earthers ascribe this phenomenon to a decrease in the earth’s magnetic field2 or else some sort of “canopy” that protected the early earth.3 We will just start with the assumption, which many believe has a Biblical basis, that the earth received less radiation in the period before the fall and flood than after.
Alienists like to point out that skin color is a very superficial trait, and biologically they are correct. Skin color simply reflects the amount of melanin produced. At one extreme are albinos and redheads, who produce almost no melanin, and at the other extreme are sub-Saharan Africans. What is curious, however, is the correlation between dark skin and other traits, particularly differential rates of intelligence, which at the margin is critical to a given people’s ability to maintain a modern civilization. This is often severely pathetic, as in the case of access to clean water.
In the rural area where I live, there are a number of not-particularly-intelligent contractors I can call within a thirty-mile radius who, for about $6,000, will drill me a water well complete with electric pump. With this one investment, my family can be served with fresh water for a lifetime. If electricity were not available, then a hand pump could be substituted, but the concept is the same: free, fresh water. The drilling rig these contractors use might have a capital cost of anywhere between $10,000-20,000, and these boys like to buy new tools, so I am sure their setup is not necessarily the most economic one. Even by African standards, clean, fresh water for much of the continent would be quickly and cheaply achievable. Yet for thousands of years, African men have watched their poor women walk miles a day with giant water jugs, carried on their heads like pack animals, to water sources of questionable sanitary condition. They have seen their children die of horrible preventable diseases from dirty water, yet few can or will scrape together a little capital and initiative to save their women from degrading animalistic labor and their children from ravaging infections. The acquisition of water is an ancient technology, yet today it remains the task of the West to charitably dig wells and do for African men what they refuse to do for themselves and their families. Such are the consequences of very low intelligence and high time preference, its destructive corollary. It is not so much the lack of IQ that is the direct cause of their condition (as there is nothing particularly intelligent about drilling a water well), but rather low IQ’s effect of making people think only of today and nothing of the future.
Biblical man is not like this. Quickly after the fall, we see man building cities, raising crops, and developing laws and writing. The Biblical view, therefore, is that Africa displays a decline of man, not his origin. This is where the puzzle of radiation, pre-flood conditions, and skin color gets interesting. If we grant that the earth had significantly lower levels of destructive UV radiation and that Adam and Eve (either before or after the fall) had normal human biological systems, it is clear that early humans had to have light-colored skin, perhaps even lighter than the European norm today. The reason for this is a critical nutrient humans cannot find in nature: vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced in the human body by exposure to UV radiation, and the amount produced for a given amount of UV exposure is inversely correlated with skin pigmentation. Just as extra melanin serves as a natural sunscreen in darker-skinned people, it also blocks the production of Vitamin D. Thus, the distribution of skin color is more-or-less a function of distance to the equator, where solar radiation is at its peak. On a pre-flood earth with lower radiation levels, only very light-skinned individuals, perhaps with almost no melanin, could have produced sufficient vitamin D. Ken Ham’s Creation Museum display of coffee-colored Adam and Eve is thus medically preposterous.
The crux of my proposal is that the extra melanin produced by darker skin is an adaptation to increased UV radiation after the flood. After Babel, as people were scattered, some were scattered away from the equator, and some were scattered closer to the equator. Microevolutionary adaptations, of course, take time. Those who migrated closer to the equator would have endured many generations of genetic damage from radiation before the adaptation could have reached steady-state, balancing their vitamin D needs with the increased radiation load. In the meantime, much of man’s original genetic inheritance was lost, particularly those most complex structures relating to longevity and intelligence. Due to the harmful effects of radiation upon humans in general4 and its ability to cause mutations in particular,5 the change in skin tone brought by UV radiation would correlate with the degradation of other genetically-based characteristics.6 Note that God’s use of natural means to achieve an end, most notably the further curse of reduced lifespan after the flood, does not invalidate it as a curse. As referenced earlier, God more often uses means than not, as this makes the testimony of nature more comprehensible to human reason.
It is highly likely that the pre-flood humans were significantly more intelligent than humans today. Intelligence and longevity are positively linked in modern human populations (for example, Japanese and Koreans have longer lifespans and higher intelligence than blacks in America, who are provided the same first-world medical care and nutrition), and so the extreme lifespans pre-flood were likely indicative of extremely robust genetics, genetics that also would have produced high intelligence. In modern humans, aging starts in earnest in the thirties, and part of aging is cognitive decline. For fields where cognition is more important than experience, like theoretical physics, it is rare for someone past his twenties to produce anything of importance. In other fields, of course, experience tends to dominate, and so ability peaks in the forties or fifties, where cognitive decline is still pretty minor compared to the advantages of experience. The human body as it is today is an amazing machine, operating and regenerating itself continually for over eighty years in many cases. That God originally designed us to last forever with our physical bodies is even more amazing.
Imagine, however, the pre-flood world. The earth is full of beautiful, hyper-intelligent, seemingly immortal humans. A person one hundred years old would look as if he were in his twenties today. When we see how most people waste their youth on idleness and vanity, it becomes apparent why the post-fall and pre-flood earth was a cesspool of sin. We can get a taste of that today when we observe the “beautiful people,” fashion models, celebrities, and athletes (i.e. those with uncommonly good aesthetic genetics), who waste away their lives on drugs and promiscuity. And the broad mass of people today, with reduced mortality thanks to modern technology, act as if they are going to live forever, and sin abounds.
For many people, the arrival of one’s thirties and forties signals a reminder that death is coming and humbles one’s vanity, perhaps enough to draw one to God. Having recently arrived at the thirties myself, it seems that the twenties were all too short; youth is wasted on youth. Man with sin but without imminent mortality is sinful indeed. The pre-flood period can be seen as a sort of second fall of man, where the mercifully long mortal life God granted after the first fall was too much for man to handle. The flood was the closing of this second sinful Eden.
The experience of people after the flood further confirms the hypothesis. Had God so chosen, He could have instantly cut the lifespan of humans to his new limit of 120 years. Yet, this did not happen all at once, consistent with His use of the means of accumulated radiation damage to shorten man’s life. We see an asymptotic approach to the new lifespan, not a sudden change, as both adaptation and change take time. Thus, it is likely that white and East Asian populations today are relatively closer to the pre-flood human than darker-skinned people. All groups were damaged to a great extent, but some more than others.
A less dramatic transformation took place in southeast Asia, where Vietnamese, Thais, and Indonesians show lower IQ and darker skin than Chinese, Koreans, or Japanese. Perhaps these effects were more muted because Asian populations moving south from Chinese civilization would have been more likely than other groups to erect shelters to shield them from the sun’s effects for part of the day, whereas the effects were more drastic on unrelated and less technologically advanced South Pacific peoples. European-Americans came to lower latitudes with a well-developed civilization complete with shelters, and as this damage takes thousands of years to take effect, we are lucky that the effects for those of us inhabiting the subtropical part of this continent have been and should continue to be muted.
So what did Adam and Eve look like? Biblical characters coming relatively soon after the flood, such as Esau and David, are described as having red hair. This is interesting biologically, because red hair is uniquely recessive: it would not have spontaneously developed among dark-skinned, black-haired people. This provides yet another Biblical confirmation that dark skin is the adaptation, as red-haired people produce very little melanin, almost comparable to albinos in their skin tone, and there would have been no reason for Middle Eastern peoples like the ancient Israelites to spontaneously produce this trait as an adaptation. The very word “Adam” means ruddy, or red, which would seem an odd name unless it were descriptive. It seems to me that Adam and Eve were more likely to be redheads than anything else, given the extremely low levels of radiation pre-fall.
To conclude, I believe there is a distinct possibility that the racial differences we observe today could have a natural cause, ordained by God, to accomplish His purposes for all people. I welcome critiques and improvements to this first effort from the Kinist community.
Postscript: Problems and Confirmations of My Hypothesis
As I was writing this piece, I came to doubt some of the ideas presented, particularly as I received feedback from others. Nevertheless, I still wanted to publish it for comments and criticism from the Kinist community, that we might start thinking about ways to validate Biblical history with observed data about racial differences. I will note one major problem, one major confirmation, and one caveat:
1. From the sources I have seen, American Indians all have a uniform IQ of about 87, whether light-skinned Eskimos or dark, short Amazonian tribes. I do not get the impression that a lot of work has been done in this area, so we may just be looking at incomplete data. Also, American Indians are descended from a very small group, so we could have very strong founder effects7 and relatively recent migrations, meaning that the original genetics of the group predominated over UV exposure. These are possible explanations but problematic for the model.
2. A recent study of genetics shows a tight correlation between latitude and random gene mutations. Contrary to the mythology of pop Darwinism, most mutations are harmful. Since mutations are associated with radiation exposure, this study lends some empirical credence to my model. In other late breaking scientific news, Steve Sailer reports the latest theory of “devolution” by the renowned genetic scientist Gregory Cochran. A key quote:
Greg Cochran has been introducing a a fairly new and potentially important theory of the genetic origins of race differences in IQ. It’s less a theory of evolution than of devolution. The mechanism causing effective differences, he argues, is less selection for higher IQ due to differences in the environment (e.g., winter versus tropics selecting for forethought); instead, a large driver is differential rates in random mutation leading to differences in average level of deleterious genetic load, which tend to correlate with climate warmth.
Sailer and Cochran are evolutionists, of course, so they interpret the data through that lens, but the data remains.8 I think it much more plausible that UV radiation, rather than simple heat, causes a greater mutation rate. Italy is much warmer than, say, Russia, yet both countries have comparable IQs, for both are reasonably far from the equator. (Rome, many forget, is relatively warm but higher in latitude than New York City.) It is probably a non-linear function of historical UV exposure, with moderate to small amounts having less impact by an order of magnitude than tropical levels.
3. This hypothesis should not in any way be interpreted to give support to Christian Identity doctrines. It merely explains differential outcomes for various groups. All Kinists believe that the Church includes some of every race, tribe, and nation. That these identities persist in heaven buttresses the Kinist position that God has designed men for eternity to be more than abstract beings, with a definitive sex, unique (and eternal when glorified) physical bodies, and ethnic identities.
- http://www.reasons.org/design/life–design/new–clues–genesis–mystery ↩
- http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v13/n4/magnetic ↩
- http://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/early-earth/atmosphere/ ↩
- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet#Harmful_effects and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionizing_radiation#Ionization_and_the_definition_problem ↩
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation#Induced_mutation ↩
- I want to make clear with this detail that while my proposed model correlates with skin color, I am not equating race with skin color. The entire genetic inheritance of different peoples was damaged in correlation with skin color, leading to the real racial differences we see today. ↩
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founder_effects ↩
- Cochran is interesting, because he wrote The 10,000 Year Explosion, where he documents the relative recency of much human evolution; I find this to be an intriguing admission against interest, and thus a powerful apologetic for the Creationist view, that the honest evolutionists are being led by the data to revise downward their estimates of the age of modern man in his current form. ↩