Authors: Richard Trott (, James Lippard (lippard@ccit.arizona.ed

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

====================================================================== Authors: Richard Trott (, James Lippard ( Title: Creationism Implies Racism? ====================================================================== By Richard Trott: Henry M. Morris, among many other creationists, has repeatedly stated that evolutionary theory is often used as a pillar of racism. For example, in _The Troubled Waters of Evolution_ (1974), Morris writes (p. 164): As the 19th century scientists were converted to evolution, they were thus also convinced of racism. They were certain that the white race was superior to other races, and the reason for this superiority was to be found in Darwinian theory. [end of extract] It is instructional to examine the following passage by Morris in that light. [1] From Morris's _The Beginning of the World_ (1991), pp. 147-148: The descendants of Ham were marked especially for secular service to mankind. Indeed they were to be 'servants of servants,' that is 'servants _extraordinary!_' Although only Canaan is mentioned specifically (possibly because the branch of Ham's family through Canaan would later come into most direct contact with Israel), the whole family of Ham is in view. The prophecy is worldwide in scope and, since Shem and Japheth are covered, all Ham's descendants must be also. These include all nations which are neither Semitic nor Japhetic. Thus, all of the earth's 'colored' races,--yellow, red, brown, and black--essentially the Afro-Asian group of peoples, including the American Indians--are possibly Hamitic in origin and included within the scope of the Canaanitic prophecy, as well as the Egyptians, Sumerians, Hittites, and Phoenicians of antiquity. The Hamites have been the great 'servants' of mankind in the following ways, among many others: (1) they were the original explorers and settlers of practically all parts of the world, following the dispersion at Babel; (2) they were the first cultivators of most of the basic food staples of the world, such as potatoes, corn, beans, cereals, and others, as well as the first ones to domesticate most animals; (3) they developed most of the basic types of structural forms and building tools and materials; (4) they were the first to develop fabrics for clothing and various sewing and weaving devices; (5) they were the discoverers and inventors of an amazingly wide variety of medicines and surgical practices and instruments; (6) most of the concepts of basic mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry were developed by Hamites; (7) the machinery of commerce and trade--money, banks, postal systems, etc.--were invented by them; (8) they developed paper, ink, block printing, movable type, and other accoutrements of writing and communication. It seems that almost no matter what the particular device or principle or system may be, if one traces back far enough, he will find that it originated with the Sumerians or Egyptians or early Chinese or some other Hamitic people. Truly they have been the 'servants' of mankind in a most amazing way. Yet the prophecy again has its obverse side. Somehow they have only gone so far and no farther. The Japhethites and Semites have, sooner or later, taken over their territories, and their inventions, and then developed them and utilized them for their own enlargement. Often the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have become actual personal servants or even slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane matters, they have eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites. [end of extract] Morris concludes that this is not racist by invoking a strange definition of racism. Somehow, if other human beings are responsible for the plight of a group of people, that is racism; however, if someone (such as Morris) believes that a general line of people (such as the Hamites) are "possessed of a genetic character" that makes them innately less "intellectual," "philosophical," and "religious" than the other approximately two thirds of humanity, this is not racism. Morris, for additional mitigation, couples this with an allowance for individual exceptions. Morris writes (ibid., p. 148): These very general and broad national and racial characteristics obviously admit of many exceptions on an individual genetic basis. It is also obvious that the prophecy is a divine description of future facts, in no way needing the deliberate assistance of man for its accomplishment. Neither Negroes nor any other Hamitic people were intended to be forcibly subjugated on the basis of this Noahic declaration. The prophecy would be inevitably fulfilled because of the innate natures of the three genetic stocks, not by virtue of any artificial constraints imposed by man. [end of extract] I questioned Henry Morris about this issue personally in North East, Maryland, on July 18, 1993 shortly after he made an address at a Christian service. Morris claimed that these pronouncements are not racist because there are "black Jews" and black "Indians" who are not Hamitic. (Note that this appears to be flatly contradictory to Morris's claim, quoted above, that "all of the earth's 'colored' races,--yellow, red, brown, and black" may be Hamitic.) Furthermore, Morris pointed out that there are whites who have been "slaves" and are Hamitic. It is peculiar that any mention of white Hamites is conspicuously absent from Morris's book. Of course, the issue is not whether Morris believes all swarthy people are Hamitic, but rather whether he believes that the lineages that are Hamitic are, in general, genetically predisposed to be less "intellectual," "philosophical," and "religious" than those that are not Hamitic. (Incidentally, Morris confirmed for me that he believes African Americans are Hamitic.) In our conversation, Morris also made a big deal about individual exceptions to the prophecy. Of course, I am not concerned with whether or not Morris believes that there are exceptional individuals within each of the three genetic stocks; I am concerned with whether Morris believes that one of the three genetic stocks is, in general, intellectually, philosophically, and religiously lesser than the other two. The existence of exceptions to the prophecy does not address this issue. NOTES [1] A special "thank you" to Dan Ashlock for tracking down the relatively obscure Morris book, _The Beginning of the World_, in a library at Iowa State University. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- By Jim Lippard: Tom McIver, an anthropologist who has written several articles for _Creation/Evolution_, _NCSE Reports_, and the _Skeptical Inquirer_, as well as the book _Anti-Evolution: An Annotated Bibliography_, has a book on creationism that will be published by the Univ. of California Press. Chapter 15 of the book is titled "Creationism and Racism," and the history of connections between creationism and racism. A shorter version of the chapter will be published in a future issue of _Skeptic_ magazine (probably the issue after next, i.e., vol. 2, no. 4). Anyway, I wanted to share some of it here. McIver begins with a bunch of quotes from creationists who maintain that racism comes from belief in evolution--Henry Morris, Ken Ham, Bert Thompson, Malcolm Bowden, etc.--it's a pretty long list. This part really caught my eye, though: "Evolution and racism are the same thing," declares Jerry Bergman (McIver 1990:21; see Bergman's "Evolution and the Development of Nazi Race Policy" in _Bible-Science Newsletter_ [1988] and articles in _Creation Research Society Quarterly_ [1980], _CSSHQ_ [1986], and _Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal_ [1991, 1992]).[2] [2] Bergman has been featured in many creationist publications for his complaint that he was denied tenure and dismissed from Bowling Green State University "solely because of my beliefs and publications in the area of creationism"; a cover story, for instance, in the Creation Science Legal Defense Fund's magazine _Creation_ ("The Jerry Bergman Story," 1984). In Bergman's _The Criterion_ (preface by Wendell Bird, foreword by John Eidsmoe), Luther Sunderland said Bergman was fired "solely" because of his religious beliefs--his creationism (1984:64). But in a signed letter published in David Duke's National Association of White People newsletter, Bergman stated that "reverse [racial] discrimination was clearly part of the decision"--i.e., that it was *not* solely religious discrimination (Bergman 1985:2). McIver goes on to look at the racism that arises from a particular interpretation of Noah's three sons and the curse on Ham, from polygenism (inferior pre-Adamite people), connections with the Ku Klux Klan, Anglo-Israelism, and the Christian Identity movement, etc. Some interesting points of connection: * Prominent fundamentalists connected with the KKK: Bob Shuler, Billy Sunday, and Bob Jones, Sr. (McIver says that "Perhaps 40,000 fundamentalist ministers joined the Klan.") * Prominent creationists affiliated with Bob Jones University: Emmett Williams, former editor of the _Creation Research Society Quarterly_ and George Mulfinger, CRS board member. * Gerald Winrod, founder of Defenders of the Christian Faith, published the "openly racist" magazine _Defender_, which published creationist articles by George McCready Price, W.B. Riley, and A.I. Brown. For a time, it also published Harry Rimmer's newsletter in its pages. (Riley was the leader of the World's Christian Fundamentals Association, a prominent fundamentalist group in the 1920's. He openly advocated white supremacy.) * Charles Totten, the Yale military science instructor who came up with alleged calculations proving "Joshua's Missing Day" (later turned into an urban legend about NASA by Harold Hill), was also an advocate of British-Israelism (promoted in his journal _Our Race_) and a pyramidologist. * James Gray, editor of the _Moody Monthly_ and head of the Moody Bible Institute, was a firm believer in the genuineness of the anti-Semitic fraud _Protocols of the Elders of Zion_. When Henry Ford publicly apologized for a series of articles by A.J. Cameron (another British-Israelite) about the _Protocols_ in Ford's Dearborn, Mich. newspaper, Gray claimed that Ford's apology was itself evidence of Jewish conspiracy. * Jarah Crawford, a Vermont Assembly of God minister, claims that scientific creationism isn't creationist enough because it allows for evolution of races. * Herman Otten, editor of _Christian News_, is now an advocate of Holocaust revisionism. There's lots more (36 pages in this chapter), but you'll have to wait for the book (or at least the _Skeptic_ article). All this shows that racism is perfectly happy to rely for its foundation on creationism rather than evolution.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank