One Blood, a book by Ken Ham, C. Wieland, and D. Batten (see detail at bottom) is a creationist attack against “racism.” The burden is to argue that the biblical account of creation entails recognizing the common descent of all men, and that because of this common descent, all stereotyping, prejudice, or forbidding of marriage on the basis of race is misguided if not sinful. The arguments of the book may be divided into three main categories: (1) exposition of a model by which a literal reading of Genesis may be regarded as compatible with modern genetics, and (2) some scriptural exegesis, and (3) anecdotal and sentimental narratives meant to reinforce the anti-racism of the first two categories. As a bonus, the book even concludes (4) with instructions on how to get saved — presumably aimed at now-penitent racists.
The first category (chap 1-4) undertakes to show how in view of the science of genetics, it could be that the vast racial diversity of mankind can be explained in view of a single starting pair of parents (Adam and Eve) and could do so in a relatively short period, on the order of a thousand years. To jump to the punch line: Adam and Eve must have been mulattos. A simplified model of genetics is explained to show how the various distinguishing marks of the races could emerge naturally, and quickly, by separation into groups containing a subset of the genetic pool. The analogy is made to selective breeding of dogs from the common genus that includes wolves.
From this, the authors conclude that there are no races. Racism is based on the false view that races exist.
Since race does not exist, any view that presupposes that it does is not just erroneous but probably involves sin such as acceptance of evolution, or pride.
The second category (chap 5-7) continues the attack with shorter arguments from Scripture, focusing on the question of inter-racial marriage. Scripture gives a criterion for marriage that is color-blind, and teaches that inter-racial marriage is not sinful by virtue of the example of Rahab and Ruth in the genealogy of Christ, and the marriage of Moses. The curse on Ham or Canaan is not allowed to be invoked in this regard either.
The third section (chap 8-10) contains appeals to emotions — or perhaps more fairly, one should say, to moral intuition — in the story of some Pygmies and other anecdotes. This section adds color but need not be interacted with as to substance.
The remainder of this review discusses the most important specific arguments critically, gathered under thematic rubrics. These are listed here, and will be turned into hyper-links as each section is discussed — coming soon.
- Adam and Eve as Mulattos
- Libertarianism = Ham’s Trump Card?
- The reason for the incest prohibition
- Racism and Evolution
- Does Scripture deny the existence of Race?
- Racism and the H-word
- The “minor” extent of genetic difference
- Rahab, Ruth and the genealogy of Christ
- Moses married a Negress?
- Concluding remarks
Ken Ham, Carl Wieland, Don Batten. One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism (Green Forest, AR: Master) 1999
This whole idea is very odd. I’m glad someone is critiquing the book. Waiting for more…
[…] Posted by T on June 15, 2009 Current Discourse, Eschatology, Man, Salvation This continues the review of Ken Ham et al, One Blood: I continue with item 1 of the list of topics: the hypothesis that the genetic diversity seen today […]
[…] good friend Tim at First Word is doing a big review on Ken Ham’s ridiculous book, One Blood. In the first part, he parses Ham’s race-mixing […]
Love the Table in your analysis of Adam and Eve as mulattos, which clearly shows that ‘2b’ or not ‘2b’ – THAT is the question!
(sorry, couldn’t resist)
[…] Ham on Incest Posted by TJH on July 20, 2009 Biblical, Current Discourse, Ethics Ken Ham and his associates regard the Mosaic commandment against incest as a contingency brought about as a response by God to […]
Thank you for taking on this yuck of a topic — creationism prostituted to the twisted purpose of anti-“racism”. Anybody who looks honestly at it will have to see it’s way off base: just a few decades ago virtually all Christians (and everybody else) embraced racialism (the belief, shall we say, that race is real, fundamental to all sentient existence, and not to be messed with). Nowadays Christian radio, which purports to serve as the voice of orthodox Biblical wisdom for today, takes a berserkly opposite view — that race *doesn’t exist* and that to disagree with this obviously crazy, tendentious proposition means you’re an evil sinner! Somebody HAS to be paying Ken Ham and company off behind the scenes. They don’t have to pound this anti-“racism” theme, but they all do it in unison as central to their ministry…… Anybody’s free to contact me for my MLK Day blast against Jack Hafer on this ground. Write torpenhow at charter dot net.
[…] Evolution Posted by TJH on September 01, 2009 Current Discourse, Judaica Notably absent from a book purporting to be a refutation of racism is a definition of either race or racism. There is the ominous hint that racism is evil, and the […]
[…] of genetic differences between the races Posted by TJH on September 17, 2009 Current Discourse Ham et al. claim that there is only 0.2% genetic difference between any two races, and that the same percentage of […]
[…] the Hitler Posted by T on October 05, 2009 20th century, Current Discourse, History In the book under review, Ham et al. make the inevitable appeal to […]
[…] Posted by TJH on November 09, 2009 Current Discourse Ken Ham and his associates in the book under review favor interracial marriage, provided it is between two Christians or two […]
Ken Ham NAILS it! We have been propagandized over the years, mostly due to the impact of the ridiculous assertions of evolution, NONE of which has ever been proved. The evidence is overwhelmingly supportive of the Biblical account of Creation. And if that is true, then yes, we all derived from one set of parents, who had (at the time) genetically the potential to have black offspring as well white. What is so hard to grasp here? This has radical implications for our social climate today. It dis-enthrones wackos like Jessie Jackson and those who exploit such nonsense as racialism…
The big problem with the propaganda theory is that the big political organizations promote the exact opposite of racial views (they predominantly tend to classify racial views as “perceived” rather than solid):
The 1936 constitution of the Soviet Union (article 123)
“ARTICLE 123. Equality of rights of citizens of the U.S.S.R., irrespective of their nationality or race, in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life, is an indefeasible law. Any direct or indirect restriction of the rights of, or, conversely, any establishment of direct or indirect privileges for, citizens on account of their race or nationality, as well as any advocacy of racial or national exclusiveness or hatred and contempt, is punishable by law.”
“Convinced that the essential unity of the human race and consequently the fundamental equality of all human beings and all peoples, recognized in the loftiest expressions of philosophy, morality and religion, reflect an ideal towards which ethics and science are converging today,”
“1. All human beings belong to a single species and are descended from a common stock. They are born equal in dignity and rights and all form an integral part of humanity.
“(6) The European Union rejects theories which attempt to determine the existence of separate human races. The use of the term “racial origin” in this Directive does not imply an acceptance of such theories.”
The propaganda actually mandated by such organizations is to proclaim belief in racial integration and anti segregation. Many people over the years have believed in monogenism (common adamic lineage), but have also believed that the different races were separated at the tower of babel by Divine intervention. If you understand genetics, it is extremely unlikely that we could have all of these different races arise at the same time via natural means (as proponents of the climactic adaptation theory would contend). Take for example the fact that blacks do not have the “K” genetic part that whites, Asians, middle easterners, Australian aboriginals, Amerindians, and Polynesians all have in common. That couldn’t be the case from a common lineage as proponents of the climactic adaptation theory would assert. There is also the problem of several very definitive other racial types (such as Neanderthal, some extinct races on certain pacific islands etc.) also have unique genetics.
This is not to mention that a whole lot of the Bible is explicitly racial (please see Genesis 24:1-4, Genesis 27: 46 (incidentally, Esau is called a sexually immoral person in Hebrews), Selah judah’s son who was not allowed to succeed him on account of being half Canaanite (ironically enough, the valid children were born in circumstances that would be deemed out of wedlock nowadays), Genesis 23 which does not allow mamzers (forbidden halfbreeds) to join Israel for ten generations, Phineas, Ezra 9-10 (the most bigoted chapters in the Bible ;) ), and Nehemiah 13. As you can see, there is a lot about race in the Bible after all.
[…] Ken Ham on Blood (see the bullet links in the post) […]
[…] Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Christ Posted by T on June 09, 2012 Current Continuing the review of Ken Ham’s screed. On p. 93, he says, In the genealogy in Matthew 1, it is traditionally understood that the same […]
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[…] (This is a continuation of the review of a book by Ken Ham.) […]