The Curse of Ham

For all the crap atheists get for our supposed connections to eugenics and scientific racism, you’d think that Christians would be very careful about bringing up their own defunct racial theories. But no, according to Right Wing Watch, a recent report by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund shows that several schools are pushing the theory that the human races go back to Noah:

Instructional material in two school districts teach that racial diversity today can be traced back to Noah’s sons, a long-discredited claim that has been a foundational component of some forms of racism.

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  • Custador

    Woah, woah, woah! This is being taught in schools? FFRF, get over here!

    • Agnikan

      Noah, noah, noah!

  • JohnMWhite

    What about non-oriental Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and Aborigines?

    • Michael

      Or Polynesians, Micronesians, Indians, Maori, or plenty of other frequently neglected races. Maybe they think they all descended from “oriental races”?

      • Schaden Freud

        I believe there is some genetic support for the idea that the Maori had at least some oriental ancestors, but I can’t for the life of me remember the source. Basically I don’t think the writers mind was able to cope with more than seven “races”.

    • Gwenny

      I believe that all the Pacific Rim folks and Native Americans are Asian in origin. But since the Native Americans have been here since long before the Flood . . . yeah. Of course, the Chinese also have written literature from the 10th to 7th century BCE . . which was before the world was actually created. LOL

  • Yoav

    It’s the curse of (Ken) Ham that cause a person’s scientific understanding to get stuck somewhere in the 16th century.

  • UrsaMinor

    I thought the Curse of Ham was one of the Jewish dietary laws, just like the Curse of Cheese.

    • Bob Jase

      I’m not sure but I know the Curse of Turkey is dryness and bland mustard.

      • kessy_athena

        None of those can hold a candle to the Curse of Bacon – as in, you can’t have any.

        • Klasie Kraalogies

          Or that you are likely some number of degrees removed from it….

  • Bob Jase

    Well now we know that the Mormons didn’t think up their racism by themselves.

  • thin-ice

    1) Don’t Texas parents give a flying f_ck what goes down in Texas public schools?
    2) Genetic/DNA analysis would easily blow that theory to bits, I would think.
    3) This particular evangelical concept was presented in the Bible College I attended back in the late ’60s, and probably goes back a couple of hundred years or more.

    • trj

      Genetic/DNA analysis would easily blow that theory to bits

      Every True Fundie knows the science of genetics is just another part of the secular scientific conspiracy to turn believers into atheists, and as such can be dismissed out of hand. Along with everything else which contradicts Noah’s Ark. In short, science.

  • M

    Public schools? Really? Dammit, I live in Texas and went to school here and we definitely didn’t have this shit in our textbooks. Of course, I didn’t go to school in podunksville either, but still!

    Excuse me while I go try to regain coherence. Right now it’s kind of incoherent “what the fuck!?”s, which has made my friend in the other room come in and look at me funny.

  • FO

    Hey, this is *exactly* why Hitler rejected evolution, he could not bear to have ancestry in common with the lower races.

    • FO

      PZ, on the same subject and a bit more context on the image in the OP:

      • kessy_athena

        Yanno, the WTF factor just keeps getting bigger and bigger… I was struck by this bit in the article FO linked:

        “Students in another district spend two days watching what lesson plans describe a “the historic documentary Ancient Aliens,” which presents “a new interpretation of angelic beings described as extraterrestrials.””

        I watch Ancient Aliens because it’s absolutely hilarious. Cerberus and other monsters of classical mythology were real creatures, a result of an alien genetic engineering experiment. Bigfoot comes from space and is working for the Greys. Circular buildings in ruins in the American Southwest were ancient biodomes. Leonardo Da Vinci was abducted by aliens. Etc etc etc. Sometimes I wonder how the people on the show can say this stuff with a straight face. I always wind up giggling uncontrollably at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. “Historic documentary” are not the words I’d use to describe the show.

        • Custador

          Dafuq?! They use Erik von Daniken as educational material?! This is how the American empire ends, you just know it.

        • UrsaMinor

          Seems to me that claiming that angelic beings were actually extraterrestrials kind of undermines the whole God-and-Bible thing by substituting Look, kids! Science or something!, but then logic has never been a strong point with religious fundamentalists.

          • kessy_athena

            I think it’s just that some of the whackier ancient alien stuff feels a lot like creationism. Like how many of the ancient alien folks think that humans were created by aliens as a slave laborer race. I seem to recall Londo babbling something about humans and dinosaurs coexisting at some point. I wasn’t really paying that much attention to that bit.

            • JohnMWhite

              Yes! I’m not the only one who thinks Giorgio looks like Londo!

            • kessy_athena

              LOL Of course not, John – it’s a meme. I usually refer to him affectionately as Londo. And, er, well because I can never remember how to spell his name.

              Oh yeah, the other thing about it that I imagine appeals to fundies is that they have a tendency to take biblical stories fairly literally, with just an alien spin. For example, Noah’s Ark becomes a spaceship with some sort of DNA bank, the Ark of the Covenant becomes a portable nuclear reactor, and so on.

        • trj

          I’ve browsed a few episodes, when I felt particularly masochistic/drunk. It amuses me that in each episode the same retinue of speakers will 100% get behind whichever wacky theory happens to be this week’s topic. The topic doesn’t matter at all. It’s clear they don’t care what they say as long as they get paid to speak.