Topic(s): Bible Infallibility, Science
Most scholars generally agree the Caucasian peoples are the descendants of Japheth. Shem is considered the father of the Asian (sometimes called Mongoloid) peoples, and Ham the father of the black, or Negroid peoples. However, we would do well to remember all “races” (more accurately shades of color) ultimately descended from the common parents of all mankind––Adam and Eve. Skin color is determined by genetics, and has absolutely no bearing on the ability of people of differing color to bear children together, nor is their any relationship between skin color and intelligence.
The word race (referring to skin color) does not appear in the Bible, and (in my opinion) is not a proper word to describe differences in skin color. There are so many diversities in skin color as to make distinctions sometimes impossible to identify. The word race is used to separate men when in truth, there is only one race–-the human race. God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth (Acts 17:26).
But one may ask, How did all the present skin tones arise from a single set of parents? Skin color is determined by the amount of melanin in the skin. We know melanin production is determined by more than one gene. But if melanin production is determined by only two genes, then there are 16 skin color combinations possible from a single set of parents. This can be shown using a diagram known as a Punnet square. The Punnet square shows the probability of the occurrence of various genetic traits using the available genetic combinations.
In the illustrations below, the letter M represents the gene that tells the skin to produce a lot of melanin, causing one to have dark skin. The m gene tells the skin not to produce a lot of melanin, causing one to have light skin.
The man on the left has parents who both have the M gene, causing him to have dark skin. The parents of the man in the middle both have the m gene, causing him to be light skinned. However, the parents of the man on the right, one has the M gene and the other the m gene, causing him to have a skin color between the two extremes.