Image of reconstructed faces of three early humans in profile view.

White Skin Developed in Europe Only As Recently as 8,000 Years Ago Say Anthropologists

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Previous research published in 2008 found that the earliest mutations in the eye-color genes that led to the evolution of blue eyes probably occurred about 10,000 years ago in individuals living in around the Black Sea.

The surprising aspect of the findings is that while it is fundamental to natural selection that advantageous genetic attributes spread, it is not often a speedy process. The study shows that these genetic pale skin traits swept across Europe speedily, and that phenomenon is of particular interest to researchers.

The preprint study “Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe” by Mathieson and colleagues has been published in the online journal BioRxiv.

These new findings shed light on humanity’s genetic past, giving us a clearer vision of our ancient origins.

Featured Image: Image of reconstructed faces of three early humans in profile view. Credit: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History .

By Liz Leafloor

Comments

Steve Dalman, I recommend reading more extensively on hybridization, as, while hybridization does have a suppressive effect on fertility, absolute sterility is a rarity. It is even likely that speciation generally arises most often from hybridization.

Indeed, fertility in H. sapiens is reduced compared to Chimpanzees, indicating that we are very likely to be the product of hybridization.

If the Neanderthals were indeed a separate species modern humans could have mated with them but produced only mules ,or halfbreed offspring who would seldom have produced offspring of their own,as is the case with crosses between asses and horses.Either Neanderthals were not a separate species ,which would explain the amount of their genetic material that survives,or the number of fertile mules was much higher than is the case with the horse/jackass cross, or the cross breeding was prolific.

I don't know why the website messed my comment up and replaced the last part with the title to the article.

Despite the fact that I disagreed with the statements put forth in the article, I eagerly began reading the comments, initially impressed with the quality of the alter proposals presented, although I took issue with many of them as well. However, the farther into the comments I read, the dumber the comments became, until I finally just had to stop reading them before I reached the last few, not wishing to fill my brain with garbage the White Skin Developed in Europe Only As Recently as 8,000 Years Ago Say Anthropologistseven wish to share my own thoughts. :-(

Albinism is a different thing. Most white people are not albinos. Why don't you educate yourself about albinism?

You almost have a point. Many albinos are persecuted in Africa because of baseless superstitions about them.

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