My unsaved husband asked me “If Noah only had 3 sons, where have all the different races come from, assuming there isn’t any thing to the theory of evolution?” I have no idea how to answer him.
It’s true that every human on the face of the Earth today is related to either Ham, Shem, or Japeth, the three sons of Noah. In Genesis 10 the names of 70 descendants from these three men are given. A good study Bible can guide you through the translations of their names into many of the modern nations of today. For this reason Genesis 10 is often called the Table of Nations.
Every one of the 200 nations on Earth today can be traced back to these 70 families. Ham’s children became the African and non-Semitic Middle Eastern and Eastern races. In Hebrew, Ham means “dark” and his son Cush is named for the Hebrew word for black. Shem’s descendants are the Semitic races, the Jews and Arabs of today. And Japeth, who God said would have the largest family, is the father of the Caucasian people of Europe, Asia and eventually the Americas.
I believe that when God caused the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel, he did so by family. People who could still understand each other grouped together and avoided those they could no longer communicate with. God had commanded them to populate the whole Earth, and as they drifted apart they were forced to marry among themselves. This meant that dominant characteristics became more pronounced, making the physical distinction between family groups more evident.
A good anthropologist will tell you that it doesn’t take as much time as you might imagine for this to happen. Within a few generations the descendants of these brothers and cousins were markedly different from each other. In time, as families continued to sub-divide and move, the whole world was populated.