Christian Race Realism, part 3: Nature

July 9 2024

By Michael Spangler


Introduction

In the previous article on Scripture, we saw that God’s Word teaches that race is real: by God’s creation and providence, by the civil law of Moses, and also by the New Testament. We now turn from the book of Scripture to behold the book of nature, but as we do, we should remember that God wrote them both, and he cannot ever contradict himself in any way. Nature cannot ever contradict the truths of Scripture, and where nature can, it will corroborate Scripture. The same vice versa.

 
What we will do in this article is often called “noticing.” We notice the reality of race, observing facts with our senses and drawing conclusions from those facts with our reason. We intend to appeal to common sense, but also will use statistics and science, not to oppose common sense, but to confirm it somewhat more rigorously. The main assumption behind this article is that readers can trust their natural knowledge and experience regarding race. Nature is not lying to you.


The Body

First among natural racial realities are those that concern the body. The most immediately obvious is skin color. Everyone on earth fairly easily fits into the categories of “white,” “brown,” or “black” by skin color alone. Racial classifications can be more narrow than this, but they are still color-bound: northeast Asians are very light brown (“yellow”). Sub-Saharan Africans are very dark brown (“black”). Europeans are relatively pale (“white”). These colors are essential to these races: there is no such thing as a black member of the European race, or a white Sub-Saharan. Exceptions by mere geography don’t count: e.g. Afrikaners in South Africa are European by race. Nor do diseases take away this distinction: e.g. an albino Kenyan would have normally had black skin.

 
Skin color is important, but race is much more than skin. Eye and hair color also have strong racial specificity. Blue eyes are far less common outside the European race, and even less so red hair. Facial structure strikingly differs among races: this is another way in which the albino Kenyan would still be rightly identified as black. Medically, racial difference is more significant than most realize. Certain diseases occur mostly in one race, like sickle-cell anemia among blacks. Forensic anthropologists can tell a person’s race from just his skeleton. It appears there are even bodily features unknown to us by which computers can distinguish race. This article summarizes a fascinating 2022 study:

Using imaging data of chest X-rays, limb X-rays, chest CT scans, and mammograms, the team trained a deep learning model to identify race as white, Black, or Asian — even though the images themselves contained no explicit mention of the patient’s race. This is a feat even the most seasoned physicians cannot do, and it’s not clear how the model was able to do this. … 
To investigate possible mechanisms of race detection, they looked at variables like differences in anatomy, bone density, resolution of images — and many more, and the models still prevailed with high ability to detect race from chest X-rays. “These results were initially confusing, because the members of our research team could not come anywhere close to identifying a good proxy for this task,” says paper co-author Marzyeh Ghassemi, … “Even when you filter medical images past where the images are recognizable as medical images at all, deep models maintain a very high performance."

Moreover, inside our body’s cells, behind all the differences we see, is the unseen genetic code received by combination of the genes of our racial ancestors. Modern science is able to map differences in genes directly today by sequencing, and this strongly confirms that our common racial classifications are real. In fact, “cluster analysis” maps genetic differences in a way that closely mirrors common racial classifications based on geography. The following two graphics are from the book Human Diversity by Charles Murray (pp. 151–52). How they were produced is explained in the book, but the results are quite striking even without explanation:


Of course, it should surprise no one that geographically isolated races also have isolated genes. What is surprising is, that against all common sense and science, church leaders have publicly declared the opposite, that race “has no biological reality.” 


Language 

Races also differ by language. How people speak is not in the abstract a racial difference—a white businessman can become fluent in Chinese—but in the concrete almost always is, especially as concerns one’s own native tongue. Europeans have European languages, most of which are closely related, and the same for northeast Asians and their languages. Language families not only reflect racial distinctions: in some ways they also cause them, because language barriers naturally increase genetic isolation: remember Babel. The close connection of race and language is why language families can bear racial names, e.g. Arabic is a Semitic language, and English an Indo-European language. Even within one language, dialect is often a decided racial boundary-marker. Even the hearing of brief phrases in a racial dialect immediately identifies a race, and brings to mind a host of non-linguistic differences: case in point, “I axed you a question.”

 
Culture

“Culture” may seem inappropriate to mention here, because it is so broad a term, and many times it is in fact contrasted with race: “It’s their culture, not their race.” But as with language, any honest observer can see that different races have their different cultures that distinguish them. “White culture” is real, and anti-white hatred of it assumes this reality, as this poster put out in 2021 by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture shows: 

“Black culture” is also real: consider the highly distinct music, performed by blacks, that is available for listening on “Black Entertainment Television.” “Asian culture” is also real, which is why “China Town” and Chinese restaurants are much the same in every major city in America. And so on.

Moreover, for a man of one race to try to cross over to another highly distinct race’s culture is strange and irregular, sometimes resulting in humor, but often in social disapproval: blacks generally despise the “Oreo,” the black who is perceived as trying to conform to whites. 

Specifics of culture that vary by race include family structure, living conditions, social norms, view of time, attitude toward work, choices of recreational activities, and food and drink. To give some examples: in 2022, 63% of black children in the United States had only one parent in the home, but only 24% of white children. White people like to hike, and to greet each other while hiking, and a video of blacks making fun of this went viral last year. Mexican mestizos eat tacos, and white Americans eat burgers. Yes, both may enjoy the others’ cuisine, but this does not disprove the racial character of food: in America tacos are served at a Mexican restaurant, and in Mexico burgers are served at an American restaurant. The reader can readily think of other examples that show how culture is strongly tied to race, which again demonstrates that races are real, and really different.


Morality

Inseparable from culture, indeed one of its most important aspects, is morality. This bothers people to admit, but all know that it’s true: distinct races have their distinct virtues and vices, for which they are well-known, as much as for their bodily and linguistic features. Usually the vices are more well-known than the virtues. For example, in 2021, blacks made up 12.1% of the population living in the United States, but they committed 64% of the murders. The same article just linked carefully argues that the greater criminality of blacks is not because of differences in income from whites, and it draws this conclusion: “All else being equal in terms of household income during adolescence, black men are four times as likely to find themselves behind bars as white men.” This is the secret reason violent crime rates are so high in America, and especially in the South: it’s not our guns, it’s our blacks. Accordingly, state homicide rates correlate closely with the black share of the population (data presented here).

But we reiterate, statistics should be used here as a confirmation of common sense. Perhaps Americans living in a white rural enclave in Vermont will need facts and figures to discern these truths, but urbanites and Southerners with daily experience of blacks don’t need to examine a chart to know they should avoid the black part of town, especially at night. Just as no experienced traveler needs to be told to book a vacation in Switzerland rather than Zimbabwe.

I focus on black sins here because they’re the most well-known, but oddly nonetheless least likely to be mentioned publicly. When it comes to blacks, speaking of race-linked morality is highly taboo. One reason for this is that honest recognition of it would destroy the apparent justice of the “Civil Rights” narrative at the heart of modern leftism.

But some sensitive Christians will complain here, noting that sin is a moral, not a racial problem. Sin is a matter of the soul, not of the body. Race is genetic, morality is spiritual. The answer is, like language, morality is distinct from race in the abstract, but in many respects still inseparable from it in the concrete. Blacks, whites, and Asians act in black, white, and Asian ways, for good or ill. Moreover, yes morality is a matter of the soul, but the soul has a race as much as the body. Better said, the whole man has a race, and his body and soul are his two essential parts, the soul the informing form of the body, with each soul created uniquely by God for each body—this is the opinion of the creationists; traducianists teach the soul is procreated by the parents, so in that view also the soul properly has a race. And of course, the soul in doing good or evil usually employs the body, and is influenced by it. 

Now, man the creature alone is the author of his sin. God does no moral evil, nor can he create or approve of it. But as daily experience with our own selves will show, our original spiritual corruption takes the diverse positive goods of our created constitution, and the diverse sorrowful evils of affliction and misery (God’s just punishment for sin), and abuses them for the shameful evils of transgression in an analogously diverse way. Another way to say this is, like individual men, man’s individual races have their individual besetting sins.

Consider also the well-known fact that offspring mimic their parents in both vice and virtue. That the same happens on a larger scale in entire races should surprise no one: races are highly extended families.

Now, as to exactly how morality is transmitted and impacted by race, and to what extent nature and nurture plays a role, and exactly how body and soul, genes and virtues, interact in moral actions, we need not explore here. It doesn’t matter, really, for our proof that one of the distinguishing features of the races are the ways in which they each uniquely manifest a moral character.


Religion

We cannot mention morality without mentioning religion and piety, which properly considered are the chief part of morality. And the races certainly do differ in religion. Race and religion are hard to separate, so much so that some have the same name: “Turk” and “Hindu” in the past denoted both nations and religions. Today “Jew” does the same. Other religious names naturally join those of race in close association: “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant,” for example, or “Irish Catholic,” or “Arab Muslim.”

Even today nations are called by their religion, or their past religion. The nations of historic Christendom in Europe, America, and Australia are sometimes still called “Christian nations,” despite their widespread godlessness and secularism.

Even in lands identified as “Christian,” ethno-religious differences are clear. If in one Sunday an impartial observer should attend two Protestant churches in one American city, one church white, the other black, the difference he would observe would likely be greater than if he compared two services held on distinct continents, yet in churches made up of the same race.

Of course, a man’s religion can change while his race perpetually remains the same. An entire race can even change its religion: the white ancestors of Christendom were all once pagan. But in all honesty, such change is rare. Most everyone remains his entire life in the religion of his people. For example, few blacks today will ever join the historic, orthodox Reformed and Lutheran churches in America. Those churches are nearly as white today as they were in Europe during the Reformation. And on the rare occasion that blacks do join such churches, they tend to prove the close association of race and religion, either by suffering as social outcasts from their race because of their religious choices, or by trying to remake their new religion to be more amenable to the distinct religion of their race: for example, by persuading white Christians to praise black preaching as better than that of whites.

This is not at all to assert that it is impossible for non-whites to embrace the orthodox Christianity of historic European Protestantism. But it does mean the barriers to this are higher than most recognize, and that we can hope for no success unless we reckon honestly with racial difference, even in religion.


Intelligence

We move from racial differences in morality and religion to those which are evident in intelligence. For this again experience is a better teacher than statistics, but it will help readers if we present clear data. In doing this we must briefly explain IQ. A person’s “intelligence quotient” is a measure of his intellectual ability determined by tests that are rigorous and repeatable. IQ is strongly linked to success in parts of life that require the intelligence being measured, which is why IQ tests were used in evaluating potential employees, until the Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional, because whites did better than blacks on the tests.

Yes, certain races do get better scores on IQ tests than others. But it is false to attribute this to racial malice in the test-makers. A simpler and more correct explanation is that the tests are fine, and the results accurate, but they are politically embarrassing. Scientists devoted to the study of intelligence and race assert that the tests produce highly reliable results. I cannot field all objections against IQ tests here, but they are ably dealt with in the introduction to Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s well-known book, The Bell Curve.

So what do the tests reveal? That races are quite different in their intellectual capacity. Chapter 13 of The Bell Curve presents striking testimony to this, summarized in this IQ distribution (p. 279):


This chart shows that in America, the average IQ of whites is about 100, and that of blacks, about 85. The difference amounts to what is called a “standard deviation,” which means, “The average white person tests higher than about 84 percent of the population of blacks and the average black person tests higher than about 16 percent of the population of whites” (p. 269). The authors go on to prove carefully that these data are not subject to bias, or skewed by socio-economic status (in fact, when status is higher, the black-white intellectual divide is greater). Moreover, the tests are equally accurate in predicting intelligence-related outcomes in both races.

Let’s consider the same chart above, adjusted for population size (p. 279):


Note how on the right side of the chart, the number of blacks dwindles to almost nothing around 120. 120 was the average IQ of physicians in 2002. So what happens when initiatives for “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” push for more black doctors, even though very few blacks have the requisite intelligence for it? The standards of medical instruction will have to be lowered, to the harm of patients. “DEI means DIE” is an apt warning, which we ignore at our peril.


Place

In addition to all the above is the fact that races differ in their places. This is true geographically. Not even modern mass immigration has dissolved God’s appointed “bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26): as a rule, whites live in Europe, North America, and Australia, browns in North Africa, Asia, and South America, and blacks in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, in places where populations of diverse races happen to live in closer proximity, a similar geographical segregation usually occurs. In countless U.S. cities, blacks, whites, Latinos, and Chinese live in distinct parts of town, without legal coercion. Indeed for example, decades after legal segregation ended, the racial geographical divide is stark in Atlanta:

(Image and other relevant data is found here.)

Mere geography aside, it is also true that races differ in their places in society. This is so in education: blacks, whites, and Asians tend to have distinct outcomes in learning. This is so in vocation: blacks, whites, and Asians tend to choose different careers. Just as some specific ethnicities are associated with certain types of work, at least in certain places: in my hometown, Greeks often ran the restaurants.

This is also true in politics. Again this is controversial, but the facts are clear. Certain races tend to rule, but others tend to be ruled. Since the time of the Romans, it is fair to say that whites have exercised dominion above others in the world. Not always and everywhere of course, but in many times and places, and especially so in more recent years. The dreaded term “white supremacy” is an apt description of the latter course of history. Consider the vast British Empire, in which white men ruled a quarter of the world. Or consider the present American Empire, in which for good or ill, one white nation indisputably holds more global power than any other nation. This power need not be that of an official formal empire to be real. For example, rulers and businessmen of every race today wear Anglo-American-style formal suits, without legal coercion, because (as leftists correctly say), power and whiteness are closely tied.

And on the other side, black political subjection is also an undeniable reality. This is true in places they have lived together closely with whites: e.g. under American slavery and segregation, and under South African Apartheid. These systems have fallen, but the basic relation of black and white in America has changed little. Blacks as a whole today are clients of white and Jewish Democrats, obtaining welfare, free abortion, political preferment, and criminal immunity in exchange for blind loyalty to the Party. Whether this slavery is better than the former, the reader can decide.

Black political subjection appears even when they form their own governments: witness the steep descent into tyranny and anarchy after the Haitian revolution, and the same occurring presently under black rule in South Africa. For similar examples, research the history of Liberia, and of Rhodesia turned Zimbabwe. Yes, white nations have had their own times of great turmoil, like the French Revolution, but these are not so much the rule as in black nations. France itself has a long history of strong civil government, even rule over other distant nations. Nor can white colonization be blamed for the frequent political disasters in black nations. White explorers found many blacks in no better state than they are in today. For one proof of this, read this harrowing testimony of how the English found Benin City, Nigeria: 

Moreover, self-governing black nations are not independent in the way white countries are. Like blacks in American ghettos, foreign blacks depend at least in part on handouts from the U.S. government, at the cost of about eight billion dollars annually: see a detailed recent report here.

All of this to say, under the idea of place, speaking geographically, socially, and politically, the races have been set apart. They are divided by barriers as real, and in some ways as impassable, as the Sahara Desert.


Analogies

We have spoken of various observable matters that demonstrate the reality of race and racial difference. Our own senses and reason testify to race realism, and no man, especially no Christian man, should ever presume to deny the things that everyone can see. The Bible itself does not, indeed cannot, contradict empirical reality, for the Creator cannot contradict himself. No wonder then that many things said in this article confirm the things said in the previous. Scripture and nature never disagree, and when they speak of the same things, they speak in harmony.

Assuming the facts above, we conclude the article with two analogies to other natural things that will help readers better understand the natural reality of race.

First, the various human races are like parts or members of one body. Man is an organic whole, united by one blood, despite all differences still obviously one race, one human species, distinguished from all other animals by his reasonable soul. But as in a body, relatively speaking, the several parts differ quite widely among themselves. Compare the foot and eye, the toe and mouth. Man’s various sub-races or sub-species then are like these different parts: all human, and all valuable in their own place, yet quite diverse in shape, function, honor, and importance.

Moreover, as with physical bodies, disease can affect some parts more than others: some ethnic members of the human race are marked more than the rest by the disease of sin and its attendant misery, some to the point that they are nearly rotting away. To put it another way, though all races are born dead in sin, some are in certain regards degenerate beyond the rest, notably bereft of natural virtues and affections that remain in other parts. “The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies” (Titus 1:12). This should not surprise us any more than finding a malignant tumor in the spleen, but not the brain.

Some may object here that we are abusing an analogy that the apostle uses for the church (Rom. 12:4–5, I Cor. 12:12–27). But the analogy holds for mankind in general as well as for redeemed mankind specifically. Indeed, it holds in the church in part because churches are made up of men. Granted, Paul speaks primarily of spiritual endowments, and we are primarily addressing natural characteristics. But the analogy still holds. It is as true for human races as it is for Christian people: “God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (1 Cor. 12:18), and to God’s pleasure we should gladly assent and submit.

Second, mankind is like a tree, and its various racial classifications like its branches. There is one trunk from Adam and Noah, which splits into three major branches in Japheth, Shem, and Ham, and from there by various forks into other divisions: from race, to nation, to tribe, to clan, to family. So yes, man is one tree, that is, one race, but that tree has many branches, which are still part of the tree, yet nonetheless are distinct from the trunk, and separate from the other branches, some of them quite distantly now after centuries of growth.

Of course this analogy breaks down, as human branches can recombine, and have done so through racial mixing: tree branches naturally stay separate. But even here, the analogy can still be useful. In certain plants one branch can indeed be set into another branch, and this union can produce growth and fruit. But this rarely happens spontaneously: grafting is artifical. Moreover, it requires wounding both branches, which brings risk of disease and failure. And what is more, we ought to question the assertion of a sovereign right to “graft” men’s races into one another as a farmer does with trees. Men are not plants.

These analogies and the facts that they presume have much to teach us about relations among the races of mankind. But before considering application, we will turn next to consider history, and then to field common objections.


Articles in this Series 

Christian Race Realism

 

1. Introduction 

2. Scripture 

3. Nature 

4. History 

5. Objections 

6. Application 

7. Bibliography