A Look at Racial Types
Whether one accepts the theory of evolution or looks at a special creation for the presence of man on the earth, we must look to the remote past for the origin of the several races. Before evolution was accepted, the view regarding the origin of man was that human beings were a special creation of God. It was believed the traits now found within the various races were more plastic than they are today, but were fixed for all time, so that when the peoples departed from their original inheritance, the special features of race had been indelibly stamped (Sayce, 37).
Language similarity among various groups is an indication that at one time these groups must have been united by social ties. The Australian aborigines, the South African Negroes, the Aryan nations, and the American Indians all came from common homes and must have migrated to different locations (Peschel, 29). One school of anthropologists, known as the pluralistic school, believes that the varieties of human beings were created separately in the regions they now possess, and did not come from a single pair of ancestors (ibid, 11). Another view is that the environment is responsible for altering heredity. Along with this is the notion that education and opportunity can also change heredity. These ideas came from the loose thinkers of the French Revolution and their American counterparts (Grant, 14). This is not new. Both Herodotus and Hippocrates attributed the different races to the environment, though Hippocrates went one step further and believed that acquired characteristics could be inherited (Wasserman, 19). A modern example of this kind of reasoning is seen in a remark by Calvin Kephart. In referring to a particular tribe, he said its members were isolated in a region that was subject to a rigorous climate with many snow banks, and without sun most of the year. As a result, their brown complexion was bleached, and they finally evolved into the great white race (Kephart, 166).
What is known is that from antiquity the skin color of various races has been regarded as the primary means of racial identification. Anthropologists have long searched for the cause of these differences. Some believe that climate is the cause, but the distribution of the various races finds no relationship between the color of the skin and the isothermal lines (lines on the weather map which connects points having equal temperatures). Others believe humidity, or humidity with heat, is the cause, but the darkest blacks live near the Sahara Desert while in the Congo the skin color is distinctly lighter. Still another view is that the skin color is determined by the influence of the tropical sun that causes oxygenation on the skin because of exposure to solar rays. The problem with this is that the exposed portions of the body are no darker than those covered, and people who live and work indoors are often darker than those who work outside. Tanning, due to exposure of the sun, is not hereditary. All these theories put forth by anthropologists fail as the sole explanation for the color of the skin. The best human theory is that skin color is due to the combined influences of a number of factors of environment, working through the organic processes of man that cannot be isolated from the others (Ripley, 61–62, 73).
For a considerable period of time the belief was that direct external agencies affected the individual both physically and morally. For example, the Negro was black because the sun had burnt him or his father before him. The Indian was red or brown because of the sun and the wind, along with the smoke in the wigwam. The dark irises in the eyes on some people were due to the use of coal fires. Irish peasants had large jaws because they ate large quantities of half-boiled potatoes. The problem with the whole theory is that the types of men portrayed in the ancient Egyptian wall paintings of 5,000 years ago (this figure should be about 4,000 years) are identical with the types presently living. Some naturalists hold the view that natural selection in the direction of physical improvement operated strongly in the early stages of society, but civilization has ended or greatly restricted this action (Beddoe, 17–18, 25).
In the area of natural selection, groups who procreate among themselves and who regularly produce offspring, will develop distinctive hereditary traits over a period of time. The result will be a common genetic heritage. Anthropologists regard a race as population whose gene pool is distinct from other populations. In the past the chief obstacle to the mixing of the races has been the barrier imposed by geography. Walter Karp may well be correct when he says that the reproductive isolation of the different human varieties, primarily through geographical barriers, is the key to the formation of race. The reason: Because it permits all the factors that distinguish or allow various populations to exhibit their full effectiveness (Karp, 213).
Duane Gish presents the fundamental question: Did God preserve a sufficient gene pool in the survivors of the Flood in order to bring about the races of today, or was this gene pool created at the time of the Flood? The fact is: No one knows. Whatever the case, the various branches of the human race scattered abroad and isolated themselves. As a result we have the various budding races that gave rise to the peoples inhabiting the earth today. Members of a particular species, who disperse into small groups, often find themselves isolated both geographically and reproductively. Any such group will carry only a small portion of the total gene pool found in the original stock. Inbreeding will occur and genetic traits will surface which are ordinarily suppressed in larger populations. This is because of the dilution caused by intermarriage of the entire population. As dispersal takes place, small groups often fail to possess necessary skills, and in time they lose what skills they did possess. Because of a lack of competition from other tribes they may abandon the production of weapons, and if enough food is present, even agriculture. Ideas and skills are no longer interchanged with neighboring tribes. The result is that progress is retarded and a primitive condition sets in. Civilization can develop rapidly in heavily populated areas, but remain primitive in unsettled regions. Early fossil men were labeled “uncivilized” for this reason. The fact is that Neanderthal man possessed a higher culture than some primitive people that exist today. When genetics are considered, evolution has no satisfactory explanation for the origin of the races. Theodosius Dobzhansky admits, “It is almost incredible that a century after Darwin, the problem of the origin of racial differences in the human species remains about as baffling as it was in his time” (quoted by Gish, 214).
Walter Karp is correct when he says the differing races today are the result of groups of Homo sapiens settling in different regions, becoming isolated by major geographical barriers, and then adapting to their particular environment. Attempts, so far, to classify races according to their blood type have been disappointing (Karp, 219). Because of a vast array of differing blood groups, it has been nearly impossible to employ this method in determining any clear-cut ethnic categories. Blood types now seem capable of rapidly mutating much more than previously believed possible, and if subject to recent changes, cannot reveal much about distant generations (N. Davies, 44).
It is interesting to know that Caucasians, in general, have lived in environments characterized by cool, dry air. This indicates that narrow noses have a selective advantage under those conditions. High, narrow nasal openings moisturize air better than low, broad nasal passages. In cloudy, dimly lit northern latitudes, people with less skin coloring have an advantage because dark skin filters out too much of the ultraviolet rays, resulting in vitamin D deficiencies. Karp believes this is the reason for the high incidence of fair skin, blue eyes, and blond hair found in northern Europe. It appears that broad, flat noses are more advantageous in hot environments. With respect to the color of skin, the more intense the solar radiation, the darker, on the average, the population will be. Also, the color of the skin varies according to the latitude. Mongoloid peoples in Southeast Asia are darker than those in northern China. In Central America, Indians in the north are lighter than those in the south (Karp, 216). These above list Karp’s reasons for the skin color of the races, but others have different ideas. For example, some believe that the tendency toward blondness is the result of living in higher elevations. But this is contradicted by the fact that many brunettes also live in higher elevations. Even the location of populations from east to west denies any climatic influence.
The idea that races and skin color are the result of environment should be recognized for what it is—adaptation found in the theory of evolution. Ripley gives us an illustration of this view. He says the Teutonic race is a variety of the long-headed type of northern Europe—its blondness and size the result of environment, artificial selection, and isolation in Scandinavia (Ripley, 467). “Artificial selection” and isolation can certainly be factors, but environment is purely an evolutionary hypothesis. What should be recognized is that the races, in general, were found where God intended them to be, and their racial characteristics and features were best suited for those locations. However, we need to be aware that in the modern world of today, travel, transportation, immigration, etc. are greatly altering the fundamental make-up of many nations.
Creationists believe skin color results from a natural sorting out of pre-existing genetic traits, and that this occurred at the time the races were formulated. Some believe that the Negroid race is the result of a curse God placed on Cain, or the curse placed on Ham. The Bible does not record the color of skin of either Cain or Ham. It has been suggested that the Negroid race became black as a result of adaptation to the ultraviolet light from the tropical sun. However, this does not explain why people who are equally black are not found in tropical areas, South America for example. The view is held that blacks tended to migrate into those areas where black skin offered protection from intense sunlight, while fair-skinned Scandinavians migrated to those areas where the sun would have a less harmful effect (Gish, 214–215). While this view may be true in part, it fails to consider what the Bible says about the location of the races. It tells us that God divided to the nations their inheritance when he separated the sons of Adam (Deut. 32:8).
It cannot be denied that the Negro adapted very well to the heat-loss requirements of the tropics. Because of the length of fingers, hands, and forearms, he has an unusually large amount of skin surface in proportion to his body mass. This surface comprises about 20 percent of the sweating potential. This advantage in the tropics is offset by the disadvantage in cold climates. During the Korean War, the frostbite incidence among American Negro troops was seven times the average of white soldiers. During conditions of cold, studies show the rate of energy production among Negroes falls off more rapidly than among other ethnic groups. When Caucasians are placed in hot temperatures, the bodily processes go into a cooling-off mode, and little blood gets to the brain. White people do not do well in hot weather. Blood circulation in the tropics is often channeled along emergency routes to serve the sweat glands at the extremities, rather than going to the brain (Weyl and Possony, 49–50).
Too cold a climate has disadvantages for those living in such regions. Due to the harsh climate in the Artic, Lapps, Siberian Eskimos, and others have stagnated (Kephart, 98). By the same token Negroes who live in too hot a climate have not been able to advance civilization very well. This dormancy can certainly be attributed to the enervating effects of the tropical zone. The Vandals, for example, were slowly demoralized. They disintegrated and were finally conquered by the Byzantines. Their descendants can be counted among the blond Berbers, among whom blue or gray eyes can still be found (ibid, 453).
We have previously commented on head shape. One of the most important characteristics that distinguish one people from another is the shape of the skull. This comparison is often called the cephalic index. Certain varieties of people are long-headed (dolichocephalic); others are broad-headed (brachycephalic). These terms relate to the proportion of the length of the skull to its width. The skull shape is one of the most distinguishing and permanent characteristics, and remains constant generation after generation (Sayce, 14–15). In fact, this is one of the best tests of race known. Skulls are rated according to the cephalic index, that is, the width of the head above the ears expressed in the percentage of its length from forehead to back. As the skull becomes proportionally broader, when viewed from above, the cephalic index increases. Figures are given for the various ratings of either broad or long, with a middle range called mesocephalic (Ripley, 37).
When we look at the three racial types in Europe, there are four characteristics that identify them. These are the skull shape, eye color, hair color, and stature. These three racial types are the Nordic, Mediterranean, and Alpine. The Scandinavians are the tall, long-headed people of northern Europe, and belong to the Nordic type. The Welsh, Irish, Corsicans, and Spanish Basques represent the Mediterranean type. They are also long-headed, but shorter in stature. The Alpines are the broad-headed people of Europe. These include the tall, northern Celts, among whom are some Danes, Slavs, and some of the Irish. Shorter, broad- headed Alpines include some of the French and Swiss (Taylor, 213–214). Northern Europe is the center for the dispersion of the long-headed type, or Nordic stock, and contains more blond people than any other part of Europe. As far back as archaeology can go, we are told these long-headed types are identical with the populations living today (Ripley, 120). So, the cephalic index is the best method to determine European population types (Grant, 16). The long-headed Teutonic type is often labeled Germanic, Cymric, or Nordic. The broad headed Alpine type is labeled Celto-Slavic, and Sarmatian. The long-headed Mediterranean type is commonly called Iberian. The term Celt is applied to the broad-headed, darkish population of the Alpine highlands, but philologists apply the term to all who speak the Celtic language (Ripley, 121, 126). The Alpine type is predominant in most Slavic-speaking countries, except in Russia where a very large stratum of Nordic stock is found everywhere (Grant, 59–60, 154).
The current terms used to identify the white race are Caucasian, Indo-European, and Aryan, though some of the brown peoples are included in these. The dominant type anthropologists connect with Indo-European is the Nordic (Speiser, 5–6), characterized by blue or light-gray eyes, hair that is flaxen, tawny, reddish, or sandy. Examples of these people were the Goths, Danes, Norsemen, and Saxons (Ripley, 122). All blue, gray, or green eyes in the world today came originally from the Nordic race of northern Europe, and blond hair comes from them alone (Grant, 21–22).
The civilization originating in the southern part of Mesopotamia, is regarded as one of the oldest. New evidence demonstrates that the Sumerians were Aryans in physical type, that is, the long-headed Nordic type with fair complexions and blue eyes. One of the early branches of the Sumerians was the sea-going Morites or Amorites, who left many “prehistoric” inscriptions in the British Isles. The ancient Greeks, Etruscans, and patrician Romans, were of Sumerian origin as evidenced by their writing, language, and religion. Both the Trojans and Ionian Greeks are demonstrated to be of Sumerian origin (Waddell, n.d., 8). Ephraim Speiser tells us that one of the answers for the origin of the Amorites is that just before the first dynasty of Babylon, there was a west Semitic center just east of the Tigris (Speiser, 153). Abraham migrated from Ur of the Chaldees around 2,000 BC, thus making the Sumerians ancestors of the Hebrews. In this ancient region Sumerians of European appearance have been found. For example, Sir Leonard Woolley noted that the Sumerians came from the east. The study of their bones and skulls shows they resembled Caucasians and were a branch of the Indo-European stock, (Parker, 64). (The reader may recall that the Bible tells us the peoples who migrated into the Mesopotamian valley came from the east). Pictorial representations of ancient Sumerians show the same features as those of the later Hebrews (Kephart, 150). According to L. A. Waddell, the Sumerian language is demonstrated to be the parent language of the whole Indo-European language group, especially modern English (Waddell, n.d., 471). Many authorities would probably dispute the language connection. But Carlton Coon in his work, Races of Europe, notes the similarity of the skulls and facial forms between the Sumerians and living Englishmen, and Sir Leonard Woolley identified the Sumerians with fair Europeans (Parker, 67).
Roland Dixon, professor of anthropology at Harvard, regarded the people of Palestine and nearby countries during the second and third millennia BC as primarily Mediterranean and Caspian (Nordic) types. Dixon said the Hebrews probably retained the physical characteristics with which they came into Palestine without any changes. They were long-headed, but there was the possibility of some round-headed types as well (quoted by Fasken, 20–21). All indications are that the Philistines were racially related to the Achæan Greeks and were a large-statured Nordic people who ruled over a Mediterranean lower class (Günther, 129).
The oldest record of a drawing that illustrates racial types was found in the tomb of the Theban prince Rekh-ma-Ra, and was made about a century before the birth of Moses. The drawing divided mankind into four races—the black Negro, the olive-skinned Syrian, the red-skinned Egyptian, and the white-skinned Libyan. The races depicted on this drawing of 4,000 years ago are still today what they were then (Sayce, 20–21, 24). The identification of the lost ten tribes of Israel can be greatly assisted by an examination of the anthropological data relating to the physical types to which Israel belonged. Contemporary monumental evidence shows that the people of the ten tribes were of the purest Semitic stock. Assyrian obelisks contain bas-reliefs that illustrate tribute-bearers. Among these tribute- bearers are Israelites. These Israelites look like the typical Jew of today. They have all the outward traits by which we distinguish pure-blooded Jews. Also, illustrations of prisoners taken by the Egyptian conqueror Shishak are depicted with the features of Amorites. These prisoners had been the Jewish subjects of king Rehoboam (Sayce, 76–77). (The reader may recall that anthropologists regard the Amorites, as well as the Hebrews, as branches of the Sumerian people.)
Sir Gardner Wilkinson did a reconstruction of the features of the ancient Israelites. The features were very similar to the people of northern Europe, especially the Nordic type. Professors Huxley, Haddon, and Carr-Saunders compared the racial types of the ancient Israelites to that of the modern Jews. The distinct Semitic characteristic found in both was that of long-headedness. The characteristics that have been regarded as typical of the Jews come from the traits of non-Jewish people with whom the Jews have mixed. The Jewish nose of today is Armenoid. The broad-headedness is Idumean (Parker, 50, 45, 28–30). The true Semite belongs to the white race and is long-headed. Jews in central Europe show about 15 percent blond, 25 percent brunet, the rest being intermediate. Broad headedness is found almost exclusively among brunets (Sayce, 78). Broad- headedness among the Jews is the result of mixed marriages (Ripley, 390, 393). The original Jewish types are long-headed (Pittard, 351). Racial characteristics were so deeply imbedded that by the time the races arrived in Europe, they had remained constant (Beddoe, 37–38). The present populations of central and western Europe are descended from prehistoric people (that is, before 700 BC) and in part from migrations that took place in the historic period (Pittard, 79).
The English population of today must be regarded as Nordic due to the tall stature, fair hair, and long headedness. The Scottish highlanders are among the tallest men in existence. They have always been formidable fighters, and even the Romans were unable to penetrate their mountain strongholds (Pittard, 188, 190–191). While it has been stated that the English are a “truly multiracial society,” what is not realized is that their ancestors—Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Normans, Belgics, and Celts—all belonged to the Nordic race. The English are far from being “one of the most mongrel strains of the human race” (Baker, 267).
For a considerable period of time the Nordic strain was predominant even in Greece. As late as the fourth century AD, the Jewish physician and philosopher, Adamantius, said the Nordic type in the population of Greece was still evident (Günther, 157). Out of a population of 90,000 freemen, the high-brain capacity of the ancient Greeks produced no less than 14 first-rank geniuses in a single century (Grant, 97). The Spartans were known to be blonde and the Nordic spirit had completely penetrated them, but by the time of Plato de-Nordization and degeneration had set in deeply. In the middle of the fifth century BC, Pindar called his countrymen “the blond Danai” (Günther, 166, 161). Until the middle of the sixth century BC, the Persians were predominately Nordic, fair and ruddy like the Greeks, but by the middle of the fourth century many Persians had become mixed with Arabic blood (Günther, 142, 150). The descendants of Arabs who migrated into the area during the Muslim period inhabit Persia today. These were people who moved into territories that had been abandoned by a white race. The Arabic peoples are not racially identical with the Persians, who vanished (Hannay, 315). It is Hannay’s belief that the Persians are the modern Prussians.
In northern Scandinavia some of the descendants of the Tatar tribes are found in the interior parts of Finland. These include the Fenni, Esti, and Lapps, who had been pushed out of Sweden when it was occupied by the Goths and Svear. Tatar tribes were once located in central and western Europe, but were pushed north by the Cimmerians (Capt, 177). Pure Lapps are very short, with a light skin that has brown tones (Günther, 95, 98). The movement of the various peoples mentioned in this chapter will have a great bearing on what we shall learn in the next chapter.