A Diverse Family

Tyler Collins, Opinions Editor

It seems that issues regarding human diversity continually appear in the news today. President Trump’s recent actions regarding travel to and from several countries has sparked discussion on both sides of the issue and, in some cases, has heated things up.
As a kid, I always thought that diversity issues were dead. We learned about various civil rights movements throughout history and my naive, elementary-school self believed our world had moved on to be a better place. Unfortunately, I grew up and learned that such a Utopian world did not exist, even if things had gotten better.
The question that has continually plagued me since that first realization is why? Ultimately, it seemed clear to me—and it still does—that many issues could be avoided altogether if we simply had a more accurate understanding of human origins. The understanding being that all of humankind is one species, one “family”—and that the physical differences that divide us are so minute, in the grand scheme of genetics, that they are comparable to the differences we see between siblings in a literal family.
This reality was recently affirmed when the Human Genome Project completed the mapping of the human genome in 2001. The researchers who completed the task unanimously declared that there is only one human race. As a Christian, I understand this to be simple confirmation of the Bible’s account of Adam and Eve as the original ancestors of humankind.
For me, my Christian faith drives my love and shapes my understanding of human diversity. It is clear, in my eyes, that not only does the Biblical account make sense of our origin from two individuals, Adam and Eve, but it sheds light on why there are different ethnic groups today.
While mention of the Bible may immediately turn some people off, I ask them to consider the interesting fact that the Bible had this correct from the start. It goes on to record that the human population split apart and spread around the Earth from the Tower of Babel, which was located in the Middle East.
There are several lines of evidence that support this claim, such as the presence of pyramidal structures found in nearly every culture around the world, which makes sense as the people groups would have carried with them knowledge of the same building technique used on the Tower of Babel. In addition, many names of people contained in the chronologies of the Bible are reflected in the names of people groups around the ancient world. These people would have been patriarchal leaders of the groups that spread around the earth from the Tower of Babel—making sense of why their descendants were named after them.
While there isn’t room here to delve further into these intriguing archaeological evidences, they are important to note in the discussion of human diversity today. The fact of the matter, whether understood from a Biblical perspective or the conclusion of the Human Genome Project, is that every human on earth is one species—one “family”—that has become divided and diversified over the course of history. It is time that we understand this reality and begin treating each other with love and understanding—truly taking time to build relationships across cultural and personal divides.