Do Not Wish to Provide – Acts 17:26

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26).

Take a look at this picture (source: worldwidefeatures.com) and try to identify the race of these two adorable young girls:

black-and-white-twins-1

Think you have it figured out? How about if I told you they are twins? Yep, twins! How cool is that? And it is actually not that uncommon. As a parent of both “black” and “white” children, the idea of identifying different races based upon skin tone has become ridiculous to me. And, as a Christian who knows that we have all descended from the same sets of great-great-grandparents, I am rather embarrassed to admit how slow I was to realize my ignorance. Even from a purely secular scientific standpoint, there is only one “human” race. It is really quite unfortunate that we as a society continue to cling to divide based upon these arbitrarily derived definitions. Sadly, many of these views of races were derived from and abused by people who wanted to declare they were a result of evolution.

Now, I do not have the foggiest idea who my biological paternal grandfather was. For all I know, he could have been any or even all of the so-called “races” that were listed on a government form I had to fill out this week: American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Black, African American, Native Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander, White Hispanic or Latino, or White non-Hispanic or Latino. When I look in the mirror, I am most definitely pretty pale, but many shades darker than my wife and many shades lighter than my youngest daughter. Unfortunately, simply “human” was not one of the race choices I was given.

Perhaps the greatest irony is that we, as a society, continue to claim we can identify the “race” of people by just looking at their skin tone, but supposedly can no longer judge gender by examining the plumbing. Huh?! Yet, God tells us quite clearly that “male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). So, I will continue to check the box marked “Do not wish to provide” while celebrating the many hues of both men and women God has so wonderfully created.

 

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10 Comments

Filed under Creation, Evolution

10 responses to “Do Not Wish to Provide – Acts 17:26

  1. So god created these two kids?

    • Absolutely. God created all things.

      Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

      John 1:3 – All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

      Colossians 1:16 – For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.

  2. “Sadly, many of these views of races were derived from and abused by people who wanted to declare they were a result of evolution.”

    I’m fairly sure racism existed before 1859, and was chiefly justified using the bible for about 18 solid centuries before darwin opened his yap (around which time the churches and theocracies were declining in power and slavery was being abolished). Please do not act like darwin somehow invented racism.

    • If you actually read the sentence that you quoted, you will clearly see that I did not claim that racism originated with “darwin [sic]” and his followers. However, it is most certainly true that the theory of evolution was used to label certain people groups as being sub-human (i.e. closer to apes). And, then you also had popular programs like eugenics designed to help weed out these lesser humans.

      • Darwin called forced eugenics an “overwhelming present evil” and even pre-darwin scientists would’ve known from simple animal husbandry principles that systematic inbreeding was a bad idea. What hitler promoted (and the KKK maintain to this day) is that some people were created by god and thus pure and holy and favored by god and others were not and exist only to be used like farm animals. This theology is not much of a stretch from the old testament which describes god’s “chosen people”, ie favorite race. We see this echoed in every chant of “god bless america”, and nation after nation thinks they’re blessed by god and god is on their side.

        Racist people have invoked “science” to justify their views but it has always been pseudoscience. White supremecists today claim things like that whites are “more evolved” (which is itself a misunderstanding of how evolution works) but do you think they accept that everyone originally came from africa? I somehow doubt it. They pick and choose and make things up and call it science. I don’t think it’s fair to blame that on science itself.

      • Agnophilo,

        I actually agree with much of what you have said above. Abusing science is not an indictment against science itself. Likewise, abusing theology is not an indictment of theology itself.

        God’s chosen people (in either the New or Old Testaments) is not equivalent to being God’s favorite. God makes it clear that he has not chosen people because of any inherent goodness in them.

        Now, if you believe in evolution, how do you know that certain people groups are not more evolved than others? And, wouldn’t they have the right to fight for the limited natural resources available on this planet? And, if you disagree with this view, can’t they just argue that your intelligence and morality have not evolved far enough to understand that they are in fact in the right? You, unfortunately, just do not have the positive genetic mutations that nature has endowed them with.

        Regards,

        Dale

      • “Agnophilo, I actually agree with much of what you have said above. Abusing science is not an indictment against science itself. Likewise, abusing theology is not an indictment of theology itself.”

        Yes and no. I think why people believe something is more important than what they believe. If you believe something for irrational reasons (fear, indoctrination, dogma, peer pressure etc) then you will not be able to change and refine and improve your worldview. I think that various religions as institutions have taken the shape of the theocratic dictatorships that they functioned in for so many centuries, and that the divide between fundamentalism and non-fundamentalism is essentially the battle between whether we want a spiritual dictatorship where x, y and z are unquestionable and morality is based on authority and power or a spiritual democracy where the goal is to seek truth and better ourselves using everything at our disposal, including science, reason, debate, discussion, diversity etc. The difference is seen more starkly in much if the islamic world which is still more theocratic, as europe was a few centuries ago.

        “God’s chosen people (in either the New or Old Testaments) is not equivalent to being God’s favorite. God makes it clear that he has not chosen people because of any inherent goodness in them.”

        Where? Regardless the bible does set up very different moral standards for god’s chosen race, and allows them to abuse, enslave and slaughter everyone else. According to covenant theology christians replaced jews as god’s chosen people and thus the same privileges apply. It may seem flimsy, but to a skeptic most theologies seem rather flimsy.

        “Now, if you believe in evolution, how do you know that certain people groups are not more evolved than others?”

        Evolution is not a ladder from more to less evolved, this is a misunderstanding of the theory. Evolution is a process by which species adapt to their environments, not one by which they get consistently and universally “better”. For instance if I asked you which was “more evolved”, a polar bear or a lizard, how would you determine which was more evolved? Take a polar bear and put it in the desert and it will die, all of it’s fur and insulation will be a liability and it will overheat until it’s brain shuts down. Take the lizard and put it in the arctic and it will freeze to death. Is one more evolved than the other? Or are they just well adapted to a given environment? What sets us apart is that we have the unique combination of intelligence, social instincts, communication skills and dexterity that allow us to adapt our environment to ourselves rather than adapting to it. We call this technology.

        “And, wouldn’t they have the right to fight for the limited natural resources available on this planet?”

        They could also just be idiots and have fewer kids for awhile, then we’d have plenty of resources. This is another misunderstanding of evolution though, the idea that it’s just species duking it out with each other or species wiping each other out, when it’s actually just about little variations in gene pools getting more or less common over time based on small statistical outcomes of events in nature. One population of organisms doesn’t have to beat another one to death to evolve, nor btw does one species even have to go extinct in order for another similar species to evolve, as evidenced by there being countless varieties of similar species.

        “And, if you disagree with this view, can’t they just argue that your intelligence and morality have not evolved far enough to understand that they are in fact in the right? You, unfortunately, just do not have the positive genetic mutations that nature has endowed them with. Regards, Dale”

        If I am incapable of understanding why I’m wrong about something I guess I’m just screwed (or more aptly the world is screwed for having me in it) – I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about that though. But morality on a basic psychological level is pretty consistent across all humans, and beyond that, across most mammals, so this problem does not exist fortunately.