On Answers in Genesis' Portrayal of Noah's Son's Wives

AiG claims not to be racist, yet they make up stories that fit well with 19th century white slave owners. Read for yourself, is AiG perpetuating this myth?

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@Timothy_Horton - the article is certainly eye-opening, but please add a little more to your conversation posts!

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It is only fair to analyze that exhibit in relation to the many anti-racist claims that Ken Ham also makes. There is a tension here worth exploring, but Ken Ham is not a racist.

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The article isn’t saying that Ken Ham is a racist, he isn’t. But AiG is making stuff up. They don’t even use the Book of Jubilees to get Noah’s wife names. Also AiG has Dr. Jeanson on staff who dabbles in ancestral DNA.

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There’s being an overt racist and then there is playing very loose with racial stereotypes. That’s what Ham, Jeanson, and AiG is doing. They revere Henry Morris who peddled exactly these sorts of racist tropes regarding the sons of Noah. That’s exactly where this narrative originated.

Jeanson in Traced said (paraphrasing), “all Asians look the same”. He made no similar observation for Europeans however. Is this a racist thing to say? Yes. It’s wildly insensitive and uninformed and parroting a racist trope.

There’s calling someone an overt racist and then there’s these sorts of casual racially insensitive comments that tell me someone simply is not very progressive on matters of race.

I don’t recall it in the text of his book but Jeanson uses the term “Eskimo” when referring to native peoples of the North American arctic elsewhere in his work. To many Arctic peoples it’s like using the n-word. Now a lot of people may be ignorant of this fact and you still see the term used occasionally by academics but if I were writing a book on human diversity I would invest more effort in being racially and culturally sensitive rather than resting on my assumptions and stereotypes about race.

It would hardly surprise me if these people were even less sensitive about race behind closed doors. Ham is committed to image and PR and he knows what will not play in public. He’s never going to present a view that he believes doesn’t sell. I mean these are bigoted people. If it’s not about race then there are certainly bigoted views being said in regards to sexual orientation and religion.

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Can you provide a more specific quote please?

It is wildly insensitive and uniformed, so I’d like to know precisely what he said.

“The diverse peoples of East Asia all resemble one another.” (pg. 115)

He makes no such statement for Europeans.

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While I broadly agree the stereotyping you reference is problematic, I might note that it is challenging to author a wide ranging book covering this topic without tripping up somewhere. For instance, someone who uses oriental inappropriately may be more oblivious than racist or colonial; they are just out of touch as to the western centric associations of that. I do recall some pointed criticism of David Reich as well over some presentations in Who We Are and How We Got Here, so how varied populations are referenced can be delicate. Again, I think the criticism is legitimate and Jeanson’s language was sloppy at best; but what should be stated can be overstated.

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The diverse peoples of East Asia all resemble one another (Color Plate 130).

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I would say a big difference is that Jeanson and Ham unlike Reich are working against this backdrop of a very overtly racist paradigm of Henry Morris and others that explicitly says that the descendants of the sons of Noah were imbued with certain innate character traits. They’ve never really gone out of their way to distance themselves from that and both Jeanson and Ham repeatedly say what a role model Morris is to them.

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I’m going to have to learn to stop underestimating creationists. Whenever I think they have reached the limit of their ability to outrage and offend, they prove me wrong.

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While the statement itself is problematic, it might be more a matter of ignorance than of racism.

It perhaps stems partly from the way that perception works. People who have mostly associated with those of European descent can be poor at distinguishing Asians. Their perception immediately picks up on features that distinguish Asians from Europeans. Those of us who have spent time at universities have become acquainted with a wider range of Asians, so we have better learned to recognize their individual features.

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I’m of European descent and I can easily tell the difference between individual people of Asian ancestry. A lot of racial prejudice isn’t necessarily deliberate but just the result of succumbing to our unexamined biases. Let’s just say I don’t think Jeanson is someone who has been very introspective about the prejudice he’s been exposed to in his life.

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That doesn’t help Jeanson. He’s spent time at universities. Moreover, it doesn’t require acquaintance, just awareness.

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And people will bend over backwards to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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It certainly seems to suggest a willingness to promote his own ignorance through his writing. It also suggests a lack of self-awareness – not knowing the difference between ‘I can’t tell the difference’ (due to lack of exposure to Asian populations), and the claim they “all resemble one another” – a conflation of his subjective inability to distinguish, with an objective lack of difference.

This is really not the sort of person I would want attempting to explain differences between ethnic groups (as the book, in part, seems to be attempting to do) to an audience that likely has even less exposure than Jeanson himself. (What is the proportion of Asians in the Bible Belt, incidentally?)

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Please, people, let’s not soft pedal and deny outright racism when we find it. That only helps the racists.

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It seems to me that much of racism is ignorance and lack of self-awareness. In my community there’s a lot of people that don’t think they’re racist simply because they don’t feel malice toward other people groups, but… :eyes:

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Oh, I dunno. I was just arguing with someone whose views are quite racist the other night, and he was full of lofty declarations of the equality and dignity of all humankind, in between the racist bits. I find that protestations of a belief in equality are often loudest from the people whose views are most problematic. They are an illustration of the problem, in many cases, rather than being a genuine counterweight.

Now, I’m not that familiar with Ham as a whole. But it surely is far less surprising to find that a YEC is a racist than to find that he’s not. Both are possible, but one is vastly more likely.

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I don’t really know the exact criteria by which we declare a person to be racist.

But whether a particular act or statement is racist is often quite easy to determine, and that appears to be the case, to me, with Jeanson’s “The diverse peoples of East Asia all resemble one another” statement, particularly when he attempts to support it with an illustration that shows the exact opposite of what he believes it to show. I neither know nor care whether Jeanson should be, himself, considered to be a racist.

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