Table of Contents
Part I: The Part Played by Shem, Ham,
and Japheth in Subsequent World History
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF SHEM, HAM,
IT IS FORTUNATE
for us that Shem comes first in the list. Certainly as far as
Western Civilization is concerned the three most important religions
are Judaism, Islam (Mohammedanism), and Christianity. The picture
is more confused toward the Far East because in those countries
it is difficult to know where ''philosophly'' ends and religious
belief begins. Many authorities, for example, point out that
Confucianism is not in any sense a religion and only in a limited
sense a philosophy. Its founder did not concern himself with
God at all nor was he vitally interested in pure philosophy ‹
only in a kind of practical wisdom. It seems desirable to make
some effort at this point to distinguish between philosophy and
religion. There is plenty of roorn for disagreement here, but
I think that certain points of vital distinction can be noted
to which there will be general assent.
1 of 15
In the first place revelation is
essential for religion, but for philosophy it must be rejected,
human reason being the only justifiable tool. Religion is concerned
with morals, philosophy with ethics: the difference between the
two being essentially this, that morals have to do with man's
relationship to God and ethics with man's relationship to man.
Morals are absolute, ethics are relative. If we may substitute
metanature for metaphysics, we may say that the subject matter
of philosophy is metanature (the subject matter of science is
Nature), but the subject matter of religion is supernature. In
religion, miracle is in a sense an essential adjunct, but in
philosophy miracle is simply of no concern. The end object of
all religion is to find God, but the end object of philosophy
is to find the truth. This does not mean that religion does not
have the discovery of truth as an object, but only that it is
a secondary one.
this very brief explanation of how we are using the terms, we
can go one step further and observe that while Semitic people
have tended to lay the emphasis on the search for righteousness,
the Japhetic or Indo-European peoples have laid the emphasis
on the search for understanding, and the Hamitic people have
searched for power. All men are religious to some extent and
the nature of their gods tends to reflect something of their
own personal goals. The gods of the Semites, and pre-eminently
the God of Israel, rewarded conduct that was righteous. This
is true of Judaism, Islam, and, of course, Christianity. But
to a large extent it is also true of that form of paganism which,
deriving its source of inspiration from the Babylonians and Assyrians
(both of whom were Semites), subsequlently spread in modified
forms far beyond the confines of its original home in Mesopotamia.
The extent to which this pagan religion underlies the religious
beliefs of many non-Christian people is remarkably revealed by
A. Hislop in his well-known book The Two Babylons.(16) The gods of the early
Indo-Europeans were gods of light, but this light was not moral
light but rather the illumination of the mind or understanding.
The gods of the Hamites were gods of power, in fact ‹ in
the absence of the moral component ‹ were gods of ruthlessness,
demanding appropriate sacrifices.
To sum up thus far, it seems clear
that from the Semites have come all the religions, rightly so-called,
both false and the true. The contribution of Shem has been fundamentally
to the spiritual life of man.
To preserve the characteristic
order of these three names, it would be proper to deal next with
Ham. But there are reasons for considering Japheth first. One
feels somewhat at a disadvantage here because to avoid misunderstanding
the ideal approach would be to state the whole case at once.
Of course this is impossible, so we have to take it a step at
a time and trust that the reader will be patient until he has
heard the end of the matter.
First, we should
state the proposition. If philosophy is defined as strictly rational
speculation, concerned with the ultimate nature and meaning of
reality, apart from revelation, to satisfy a purely intellectual
need -- then the family of Japheth has been responsible for the
world's philosophies. Older peoples have produced works dealing
with ''successful behaviour". Such men as Solomon, Ptah-Hotep,
Pachacutec, Confucius, etc., have written
16. Hislop, Alexander, The Two Babylons,
Loiseaux, New York, 1953.
their books of Wisdom.
These are not philosophy as philosophers understand the term,
because they had a purely practical purpose.
Only Indo-Europeans have continually
returned to the fundamental problems of rnetaphysics: the Aryans
in India (giving rise to Hindu Philosophy), the Greeks in Greece,
and much later European and New World Philosophers. This does
not mean that non-Indo-Europeans have never produced philosophers,
though this observation is so nearly true that it could be argued
very forcibly. Popular opinion is contrary to this view, but
informed and authoritative opinion supports it almost unanimously.
A few notable exceptions such as Paul Radin, for example, can
be quoted as holding the opposite view. But for every authority
who would support the latter, one can find dozens who will agree
that philosophy has been the unique contribution of Indo-Europeans.
Jacques Maritain made this observation: (l7)
All the great Indo-European
civilizations on the other hand, manifest an impulse which no
doubt took widely different forms, towards rational and in the
strict sense philosophical speculation.
In this quotation
the words, "on the other hand," are used by the author
because he has just rnade a broad sweep of all other civilizations
of non-Indo-European origin, ancient and modern, and shown that
they were not characterized by any particular interest in this
kind of speculative thought. As we shall see, it was not until
the philosophizing aptitude of Japheth was brought to bear upon
the pabulum of technology provided by the Hamitic peoples that
science became possible.
Before we turn to the positive
contribution which the Hamites have made to world civilization,
we should perhaps give a few authoritative statements to bear
out the observation made previously that they have not produced
philosophers. The Chinese are Mongols and therefore derived from
Ham, so Confucius seems a good man to begin with, because almost
everyone thinks of hirn as a philosopher. Epiphanius Wilson,
an authority in this field, put the matter this way: (18)
17. Maritain, Jacques, An Introduction
to Philosophy, Sheed and Ward, New York, 1955, p.26.
18. Wilson, Epiphanius, The Literature
of China, vol.39 in The World's
Great Classics, Colonial Press, New York, 1900, p.3.
The strangest figure
we meet in the annals of Oriental thought, is that of Confucius.
To the popular mind he is the founder of a religion, and yet
he has nothing in common with the great religious teachers of
the East. The present life they despised, the future was to them
everything in its promised satisfaction. The teachings of Confucius
were of a very different sort. Throughout his whole writings
he has not even mentioned the name of God. He declined to discuss
the question of immortality. When asked about spiritual beings
he remarked, "If we cannot even know men, how can we know
The influence of Confucius springs,
first of all, from the narrowness and definiteness of his doctrine.
He was no transcendentalist. His teaching was of the earth, earthy.
. . . He died almost without warning in dreary hopelessness.
For Confucius in his teaching treated only of man's life on earth,
and seems to have had no ideas with regard to the human lot after
Even as a moralist he seems
to have sacrificed the ideal to the practical ‹ the slight
emphasis he places on the virtue of truth (of which indeed he
does not seem hirnself to have heen particularly studious in
his historic writings) places him low down in the ranks of moralists.
of the fact that philosophy must be added to technology if science
is to emerge, it is striking to find A. L. Kroeber, no mean authority
on patterns of cultural interactions, making the following remarks:
It is significant that the Chinese
have made many important inventions, but not one major scientific
discovery. They have sought a way of life but neither an understanding
nor a control of nature beyond what was immediately useful.
They are of course not abnormal in their
attitude: most cultures have done the same. It is, with minor
exceptions, only the few civilizational growths that have at
one time or another been under the influence of Greek example
which really tried to develop Science.
It may be argued
that these are prejudiced views. We may, however, quote a Chinese
scholar, Liu Wu-Chi, writing specifically on this question. (20)
The distinguishing features
of Confucianism are many. First of all it is a moral system which
is both practical and practicable. Without any trace of the metaphysical
(philosophy) and the supernatural (religion), its contents are
readily understood by the man in the street; and its ethical
teachings, replete with wisdom and common sense, can be applied
in daily life.
19. Kroeber, A. L., Configurations of Culture
Growth, University of California, 1941, p.184.
20. Wu-Chi, Liu, A Short History of Confucian Philosophy,
Pelican Books, 1955, p.9.
view of the concept that Buddhism in China created a genuine
system of philosophy, the following observations made by Alan
Watts are important. (21)
Although Buddhism was originally an
Indian religion, emerging from the traditions of Hindu philosophy,
it did not attain its full vitality until the T'ang Dynasty in
China ‹ about the eighth century A.D. Philosophy, Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas, and religious rites are far less significant in
China. Chinese Buddhism ceased to be a matter of other worldly
mysticism. . . .
When Buddhism first came to China the
method used for attaining spiritual illumination followed the
lines of Indian Yoga: it was concerned with the practice of Dhyana
‹ a profound state of consciousness obtained by sitting for
hours, days, months, or even years in solitary meditation. But
this did not really appeal to the practical spirit of the Chinese,
who wanted a Dhyana that could be applied to every day life.
We may thus
speak of the wisdom of China but scarcely of their philosophy,
though this is in no way intended to challenge their intellectual
capacity. The Chinese who adopts to some extent Western modes
of thought and forms of speech is every bit as capable as we
of philosophical abstraction of the purest kind. It should be
noted that the same is true of Semitic people. But as Jessie
Bernard has pointed out, it is not Jewish people who remain true
to their religion who make this contribution. The great Semitic
philosophers were unorthodox Jews, and culturally speaking had
turned their backs upon their unique Semitic heritage. (22)
Another Hamitic people who are commonly supposed to have been
great philosophers were the Egyptians. This, too, is a false
impression. Martin Engberg says, "Nowhere is there any indication
that Egyptians were interested in theoretical problems."(23) Sir Alan Gardiner, an
authority on the Egyptian language, puts it even more strongly:
"No people has ever shown itself more averse from philosophical
speculation, or more whole-heartedly devoted to material interests."
Hayes, another authority, remarked in the same connection: (25)
21. Watts, Alan, "How Buddhism Came to
Life," Asia, Oct., 1939, p.581.
22. Bernard, Jessie, "Can Science Transcend Culture?"
Scientific Monthly, Oct., 1950, pp.268ff.
23. Engberg, Martin, The Dawn of Civilization, University
of Knowledge Series, Chicago, 1938, p. 153.
24. Gardiner, Sir Alan, Egyptian Grammar, Oxford, 1950,
section 3, p.4.
25. Hayes, William, "Daily Life in Ancient Egypt,"
National Geogographic Magazine, Oct., 1941, pp.425, 428
Though intensely devout,
the ancient Egyptian had neither the mental nor the spiritual
equipment necessary to the creation or even the adaptation of
a great religion . . . .
Though intelligent and quick to learn, he had
a mind of the practical unimaginative type. He was a materialist
and not given to deep speculative thought and seems to have been
unable either to evolve or to express a purely abstract idea.
In spite of
the great contribution they rendered in the field ot medicine,
James Newman, speaking of one of their best known medical texts,
The Egyptians were practical men, not much
given to speculative or abstract enquiries. Dreamers were rare
among them. . . .
The Rhind Papyrus, though it demonstrates the
inability of the Egyptian to generalize and their penchant for
clinging to cumbersome calculating processes, proves that they
were remarkably pertinacious in solving everyday problems. .
is made by various authorities to the fact that the science of
mathematics was not developed by these highly practical people.
Their methods of calculation were clumsy in the extreme, their
tables were empirically derived, and though they achieved considerable
practical skill in the manipulation of figures yet there is no
evidence of the discovery or even the search for connective theories.
But the moment we come to a consideration
of Hindu philosophy originated by that branch of the Indo-European
(Japhetic) family which penetrated into India in the second millennium
B.C., we are in a new atmosphere altogether. Robert Lowie points
out that "the Hindus made their contribution in the field
of pure mathematics, to which they added the concept of negative
numbers." (27) Kroeber
observed that "Hindu
20. Newman, James R., "The Rhind Papyrus," in The
World of Mathematics, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1956,
pp.170, 171. Reference should have been made to a notable collection
of papers in a volume edited by H. and H. A. Frankfort, and published
by the University of Chicago, in 1946 and 1948. The original
title was The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man, with
the subtitle "An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient
Near East." It is significant perhaps that this volume appeared
subsequently as a reprint in the Pelican Series, under the new
title Before Philosophy. This later title is an exact
description of the subject matter of the papers. The conclusion
reached by all the contributors to this volume is that philosophy
did not exist prior to the time of the Hindu philosophers in
India, or the Greek philosophers who were very nearly their contemporaries.
27. Lowie, Robert, lntroduction to Cultural Anthropology,
Farrar and Rinehart, New York, 1940, p. 340.
civilization is not only
other-worldly, but mystical, rationalizing and extravagant in
its ethos." (28)
An earlier edition of Everyman's Encyclopedia under "Philosophy"
had this to say: (29)
It was not until man sought
wisdom for its own sake [their emphasis] and with no religious
or other motives, that he philosophized in the true sense, and
the previous theogonies, cosmogonies, etc., cannot strictly claim
the title of philosophy. . . .
The beginnings of Philosophy are
as a rule attributed to the Greeks, but the Indian ideas of the
sixth century B.C. and later, form an interesting parallel philosophic
On the other
hand these same Japhetic people, until comparatively recently,
have shown a remarkable indifference to technology. As Ralph
Linton pointed out: (30)
The Hindus have always been highly
receptive to new cults and new philosophic ideas as long as these
did not come into too direct conflict with their existing patterns,
but have shown an almost complete indifference to improved technique
of manufacture. The material world was felt to be of so little
importance that minor advances in its control were not considered
worth the trouble of changing established habit.
Those who are
acquainted with the views of the Greek philosophers in this matter
will recognize the close kinship of sentiment, for to the Greeks
it was almost a sin even to be tempted to seek any practical
application of their ideas. In passing, it may be noted that
both the Greeks and Aryans claimed Japheth as their ancestor.
Sir Charles Marston (31)
points out that in the "Clouds," Aristophanes claims
Japetos as the ancestor of the Greeks and in the "Institutes
of Manu" dated about 1280 B.C., one of the ancient Aryan
histories, it is said that a certain individual named Satyaurata
had three sons, the eldest of whom was named Jyapeti. The others
were named Sharma (Shem?) and C'harma (Ham?).
To conclude this brief discussion
of the descendants of Japheth, we may say that their scientific
enthusiasm has strangely proved most fruitful where the objective
has been pure understanding without regard to subsequent practical
usefulness. This is Japheth at home. It may also be said, though
28. Kroeber, A. L., Anthropology, Harcourt
Brace New York, 1948, p.294.
29. Everyman's Encyclopedia, Dent, London, 1913.
30. Linton, Ralph, The Study of Man, Student's Edition,
Appleton Century, New York, 1936, p.343.
31. Marston, Sir Charles, New Bible Evidence, Revell,
1935, p.87; and in the "Clouds," at line 998.
will undoubtedly be challenged
at once, that Indo-Europeans have scarcely a basic invention
to their credit. W. J. Perry says, "The Celts, like the
Teutons, never invented anything." (32)
Lord Raglan said, "The old Roman
religious ritual gave little encouragement to inventiveness,
and the later cults were imported ready-made from the East. As
a result the Romans invented almost nothing." (33) Joseph Needham, speaking
of another branch of Japheth, said, "The only Persian invention
of first rank was the windmill. . . . Unless the rotary quern
be attributed to them, the ancient Europeans of the Mediterranean
Basin launched only one valuable mechanical technique, namely,
the pot chain pump." (34) Carleton Coon reminds us that "the linguists
tel1 us that the Indo-European speakers did not initially domesticate
one useful animal or one cultivated plant." (35) Grahame Clark, speaking
of New World Origins and referring to the inventiveness of the
American Indian in developing his natural resources, says that
"during the four centuries since the Discovery [of the New
World] the white man has failed to make a single contribution
of importance." (36)
The Sumerians (Hamitic by our definition)
were highly inventive, but when the Babylonians (Semitic) succeeded
them, V. Gordon Childe says that "in the next 2000 years
one can scarcely point to a first class invention or discovery.
. . ." (37)
Similarly speaking of the Semites, St. Chad Boscawen says: "There
is a powerful element in the Semitic character which has been,
and still is, a most important factor in their national life:
it is that of adaptability. Inventors they have never shown themselves
to be." (38)
At the risk of boring the reader,
one more statement regarding another segment of the family of
Shem may be in order. Lord Raglan says: (39)
32. Perry, W. J., The Growth of Civilization,
Pelican, 1937, p.157.
33. Raglan, Lord, How Came Civilization, Methuen, 1939,
34. Needham, Joseph, Science and Civilization in China,
vol.1, Cambridge University Press, 1954, p.240.
35. Coon, Carleton S., The Races of Europe, Macmillan,
36. Clark, Grahame, "New World Origins", Antiquity,
June, 1940, p.118.
37. Childe, V. Gordon, New Light on the Most Ancient East,
Kegan Paul, London, 1935, p.203.
38. Boscawen, St. Chad., The Bible and the Monuments,
Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1896, p.18.
39. Raglan, Lord, How Came Civilization, Methuen, 1939,
same can be said for the Moslems. There was a period of mild
inventiveness while their religion was settling down into its
various sects but since that process was completed about 900
years ago, no Moslem has invented anything.
This is concurred
in by Rene Albrecht-Carrie who points out that the Arabs were
not so much innovators as collectors and carriers of the contributions
of other times and other peoples. He adds, "This is not
to deny or minirnize the crucial importance of their role or
ignore the fact that they rnade some valuable contributions of
their own." (40)
Finally, to quote Prof. R. F. Grau, speaking of the pure Arabs,
No science was developed; no
new industry or even trades sprang up; the political unity, which
religious enthusiasm and the Prophet had created crumbled away.
. . .
The Arabian Empires became the
medium for the communication to the West of the knowledge of
ancient philosophy and natural science, without making any independent
progress in them.
Again and again
in the history of Indo-European civilization rnen have been on
the verge of great practical discoveries but have failed to clinch
them because they failed to recognize them ‹ because they
were not interested. The contribution of Japheth has been in
the application of philosophy to technology and the consequent
development of the Scientific Method.
As the application of Japheth's
philosophy to the technology of Ham produced science, so the
application of his philosophy to the religious insights of Shem
produced theology. The Hamitic people never developed science
and the Sernitic people did not develop theology, until the influence
of Japhetic philosophy was brought to bear. In keeping with this
thought, and the remark made previously by Jessie Bernard, it
is striking to realize that the theology of Paul was addressed
to the Gentiles by a man who had deliberately turned his back
upon contemporary orthodox Judaism.
Most of us have been brought up
to believe that we, Indo-Europeans, are the most inventive people
in the world. It is exceedingly difficult to escape from this
culturally conditioned prejudice and take a fresh objective look
at the origins of our technological achievements. One may take
almost any essential element of our highly complex civilization
‹ aircraft, paper, weaving, metallurgy, propulsion of various
40. Albrecht-Carrie, Rene, "Of Science,
Its History and the Teaching Thereof", Scientific Monthly,
July, 1951, p.19.
41. Grau, R. F., The Goal of the Human Race, Simpkin and
Marshall, London, 1892, p.88.
techniques, mechanical principles, food, the use of electricity,
virtually anything technological in nature ‹ and an examination
of the history of its development leads us surely and certainly
back to a Hamitic people and exceedingly rarely to Japheth or
Shem. The basic inventions which have been contributed by Shem
or Japheth can, it seems, be numbered on the fingers of one hand.
This seems so contrary to popular opinion, yet it is a thesis
which can be supported ‹ and has been documented ‹ from
close to 1000 authoritative sources. Almost every new book dealing
with the history of science (frequently confused with technology)
adds its own confirmatory evidence in support of this thesis.
It is quite impossible within the
compass of this Paper to attempt to do justice to the contribution
made by the children of Ham towards the development of civilization
in its more material aspects. It may serve as some indication
of this contribution to simply list under rather obvious but
convenient headings things the invention of which or the first
application of which, or the development of which, must be credited
A mere list without comment can
be most uninteresting. But in this case it seems the only way
to put the idea across. In this list, for the sake of brevity,
we have not discriminated between principles of operation (Gimbal
suspension, for example) and actual products or techniques (like
rubber or the electroplating of metals, for example) . Documentation
for each entry is available but obviously could not possibly
be given here. It will be, however, provided in Part IV. (42)
Mechanical Principles and
| Block and tackle
|| Gimbal suspension
|| Domes and arches
|| Suspension bridges
|| Lock gates and lifts
|| Cantilever principle
|| Fire pistons
|| Chain drives
|| Steam engine principle
|| Clockwork mechanism
|| Bellows systems of all types
|| Case hardening
|| Charcoal and carbon black
|| Pottery, china and porcelain
|| Glues and preservatives
| Cast Iron
|| Lenses of several types
|| Dyes and inks
|| Glass (including possibly malleable glass)
| Shellacs, varnishes and enamels
||Rubber Casting methods of all kinds including
|Gold and silver working including beading, repoussee,
sheet, wire and the plating of metals
42. Custance, Arthur, "The Technology
of Hamitic People", Part IV in Noah's Three Sons,
vol.1 in The Doorway Papers Series. LINK
Building Techniques and Tools,
|| Window materials, including
|| Door hinges and locks
|| Protective coatings
|Brace and bit
|| Rope saws Central heating systems
|| Plans and maps
| Sewage disposal on a wide scale
||Street drainage systems
|| Piped gas for heating
| Drills (including diamond drills)
|| Running water in piped systems
|| Surveying instruments
| Buildings of all types
|| genuine skyscrapers
|| earthquakeproof construction
Fabrics and Weaving, etc.
|| Ikat or tie-dyeing
|| Feather and fur garments
|| Tailored clothing
|| Double-faced cloth
|| Knitted and crocheted materials
|| All types of thread
|| Dyes of all kinds
| Mechanical looms
|| Silk screen methods of decoration
|| Invisible mending
| Flying shuttles, Netting shuttles
|| Paper, including coated stock
|| Ropes up to 12 inches in diameter
Writing, Printing, etc
|| Libraries and cataloguing systems
|| Literary forms (fables, etc.)
| Pencils and crayons
|| Envelopes and postal systems
|| All kinds of paper
| Block printing
|| Movable type
|Scripts: ( Sumerian, Cuneiform and its
successors Egyptian, Hittite, Minoan, Chinese,
Island, Indus Valley, and Maya scripts )
|| Chickle gum
|| Sweet potato
|| Prickly pear
|| Chili pepper
|| Cashew and peanut
||Llama and Alpaca
| In agriculture, use of: multiculture
and fertilizers mechanical seeders, and such
| Fish poisons and animal intoxicants
||Elephants for labor and land clearance
|| Traps and nets of all kinds
|The use of tamed animals to catch "game":
cats for hunting, birds of prey such as eagles, falcons,
and cormorants for fishing,
Travel Conveyances, etc.
|| Canals and locks
|| Road rollers
| Skis, Showshoes, Toboggans
|| Sternpost rudder
| Cement paving, Surfaced roads
|| All types of water craft
|| Stirrups, harness for domestic animals
| Wheels: solid, spoked, rimmed and tired
|| Wheeled vehicles, travois
|| Boats with water-tight compartments
| Bridges: suspension, cantilever, arch,
|| Use of birds for navigation
|| Gliders and helicopters
|| Kites and Parachutes
| Jet Propulsion
|| Weather-signalling and forecasting
|| Nail polishes
|| Shaving equipment
|| Powders and ointments
|| Jewelry of all kinds
|| A kind of logarithms
| Concept of zero
|| Use of place system
Trade and Commerce
| Paper money and coinage
|| Systems of inspection
|| Banking houses, Accounting systems
| Trade regulations and price-fixing
|| Wage regulation and compensation
|| Loans with interest systems
| Weights and measures
|| Postal systems
|| Formal contracts
Medical & Surgical Practices
| Anaesthetics, Cocaine
|| Adhesive tapes, Bandages
|| Poultices, Troches Decoctions Infusions
| Pills, Suppositories Snuffs
|| Splints Plasters Tourniquet
| Gargles Lotions Soaps Ointments
|| Vaccine for smallpox
| Cascara and other emetics
|| Tranquillizing drugs
|| Caesarian operations
|| Insecticides Fumigators
| Surgical stitching
|| Truth serums
|| Surgical instruments: knives, forceps,
tweezers , etc.
|Identification of, and treatment of, hundreds
of common diseases and injuries
including brain and eye operations and surgery in
|| Gas cookers
| Folding beds
|| Oil stoves, Space heaters
|| A form of "telephone"
| Rocking stools
|| Whistling pots and kettles
|| Go-carts for children, and
| Lamps, Clocks
|| Rotary querns
|| Running water
| Revolving stages for theaters
|| Rubber ball games
|| Board games (chess,
| Bows and crossbows
|| All types of piercing and striking
|Repeating bow, a form of machine
|| Rifled weapons
|| Guided milliles
| Body armour
|| Aerial bombardment
|| Flame throwers
| Poison gases and toxic agents
|| Gun powder
|| Heavy artillery (catapults
of several kinds)
| Tuning forks of various kinds
Wind instruments (organ, pipes, horns, flutes, etc.)
String instruments (various modifications of the harp)
Percussion instruments (tubes, bars, stones, bells,
|| Safety pins
|| Straws for drinking
|| Telescopes (?)
| Snow goggles
|| Cigar holders
|| Finger printing for identification
For many readers this list will be entirely unsatisfactory.
However, a word of further explanation about it may help to clarify
things. Many of the items, in fact the majority of them, could
be called Hamitic "firsts". Some of them bear no relationship
historically to their western counterparts as far as we can ascertain
from a study of the transmission of culture traits. Still, they
had the idea before we did. The ingenuity of many of these devices
and techniques is truly extraordinary, particularly in view of
the paucity of natural resources. It is no exaggeration to state
that primitive people have done marvels with their natural resources
as they found them. The difficulty for us is that we are deceived
by their very simplicity. Whether highly civilized or of primitive
culture, the Hamitic people have shown an amazing ability to
exploit the immediate resources of their environment to the limit.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
Previous Chapter Next
It is only recently that we in
our culture have become aware of our indebtedness to non-Indo-European
people for practically all the basic elements, simple and complex,
of our own technological civilization. The only purpose of this
list here is to draw attention to the fact that in each of these
elements of culture Hamitic peoples got there first and independently,
and in most cases were our instructors. As we have already said
this aspect of the subject is elaborated with documentation in
Part IV of this volume.
We may sum up what has been said
thus far by setting forth the following propositions. First,
the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 is a historic document indicating
how the present population of the world has been derived from
Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Secondly, this threefold division is
more than merely a genetic variation of certain "racial"
types: there is evidence that it is intended to indicate that
the three branches of the race were divinely apportioned a characteristic
capacity which has been reflected in the unique contribution
each branch has rendered in the service of mankind as a whole.
And thirdly, the contribution of Shem has been a spiritual one,
of Ham a technological one, and of Japheth an intellectual one:
in the process of history, these contributions were made effective
in this order.