Monday, May 17, 2010

Am I a racist?

Feedback on human speciation continues:
...claiming speciation occurs in humans is likely to have racist implications and/or "image bearer" implications to many people. So, one of the issues is "who is your audience"? If you merely called them a variety (or the more contemporary 'people group') of human, you would probably have made your point without unnecessary alienation (assuming the creation community is an important part of your audience).
I find it troubling that creationists of all people would find human speciation racist. More on that below. First, let's review what I actually think. Based on my baraminological analysis and the genetic evidence from Neandertals and the Denisova individual, I think that there were at one time multiple human species, all descendants of Adam and Eve. I see no evidence of multiple species in modern Homo sapiens. I'm talking about humans that are long since dead (or absorbed into other populations).

But even if Neandertals or erectines survived into present times, so what? Are they not still descendants of Adam and Eve? Would they not therefore also be images of God? Is that not an obvious conclusion? Why would anyone, especially a creationist, consider the existence of multiple species of human as an excuse to abuse or mistreat them?

The only reason I can think of is the misunderstanding about species I wrote about previously. If a person thinks that species are somehow (divinely?) endowed with a hard, biological separation from other species, then I can certainly see how multiple species of human could lead to unethical applications. But when we recognize that species are not so separate (and certainly not specially created), we can see human differences for what they really are: not that big a deal.

If my research is correct, we are all - sapiens, Neandertal, erectus, habilis and sediba - made in the image of God. And we are all likewise sinners in need of a Savior. As Christians, we are called to love other people, no matter who they are. There's no room in that command for mistreating other people.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.