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

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The myriad of skin tones and eye colors that humans express around the world are interesting and wonderful in their variety. Research continues on how humans acquired the traits they now have and when, in order to complete the puzzle that is our ancient human history. Now, a recent analysis by anthropologists suggests that the light skin color and the tallness associated with European genetics are relatively recent traits to the continent.

An international team of researchers as headed by Harvard University’s Dr. Iain Mathieson put forth a study at the 84th annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists recently.

Based on 83 human samples from Holocene Europe as analyzed under the 1000 Genomes Project , it is now found that for the majority of the time that humans have lived in Europe, the people had dark skin, and the genes signifying light skin only appear within the past 8,000 years. This recent and relatively quick process of natural selection suggests to researchers that the traits which spread rapidly were advantageous within that environment, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) .

This dramatic evidence suggests modern Europeans do not appear as their long ancient ancestors did.

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Spreading Genetics

The samples are derived from a wide range of ancient populations, rather than a few individuals, and they supplied researchers with five specific genes associated with skin color and diet.

AAAS reports that the “modern humans who came out of Africa to originally settle Europe about 40,000 years are presumed to have had dark skin, which is advantageous in sunny latitudes. And the new data confirm that about 8500 years ago, early hunter-gatherers in Spain, Luxembourg, and Hungary also had darker skin: They lacked versions of two genes—SLC24A5 and SLC45A2—that lead to depigmentation and, therefore, pale skin in Europeans today. […]

Then, the first farmers from the Near East arrived in Europe; they carried both genes for light skin. As they interbred with the indigenous hunter-gatherers, one of their light-skin genes swept through Europe, so that central and southern Europeans also began to have lighter skin. The other gene variant, SLC45A2, was at low levels until about 5800 years ago when it swept up to high frequency.”

This differed from the situation farther north. Ancient remains from southern Sweden 7,700 years ago were found to have the gene variants indicating light skin and blonde hair, and another gene, HERC2/OCA2, which causes blue eyes. This indicated to researchers that ancient hunter-gatherers of northern Europe were already pale and blue-eyed. This light skin trait would have been advantageous in the regions of less sunlight.

Natural Selection

Mathieson and colleagues do not specify in the study why the genes were favored and spread as quickly as they did, but it is suggested that Vitamin D absorption likely played a role. Ancient hunter-gatherers in Europe also could not digest milk 8,000 years ago. The ability to do so only came about 4,300 years ago.

Paleoanthropologist Nina Jablonski of Pennsylvania State University notes that people in less sunny climates required different skin pigmentations in order to absorb and synthesize Vitamin D. The pale skin was advantageous in the region, as well was the ability to digest milk.

“Natural selection has favored two genetic solutions to that problem—evolving pale skin that absorbs UV more efficiently or favoring lactose tolerance to be able to digest the sugars and vitamin D naturally found in milk,” writes AAAS.

This new research follows related studies on pre-agricultural European genomes and modern humans in Europe before the rise of farming.

Artist’s depiction of Stone Age peoples

Artist’s depiction of Stone Age peoples ( Wikimedia Commons )

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DNA taken from the wisdom tooth of a 7,000-year-old human found in Spain in 2006 overturned the popular image of light-skinned European hunter-gatherers. The study revealed that the individual had dark hair and the dark-skinned genes of an African. However, the man had blue eyes, an unexpected find by researchers. The hunter-gatherer is the oldest known individual in Europe found to have blue eyes.

Artist’s impression of a blue-eyed hunter gatherer

Artist’s impression of a blue-eyed hunter gatherer (Credit: PELOPANTON / CSIC )

Comments

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.

Google "Albino African" and compare to real White people, idiot.

WHITE PEOPLE, WHITE EUROPEANS ARE THE RESULT OF ALBINOS OF INDIANS/SOUTH ASIANS CROSS-BREEDING WITH BLACK AFRICAN ALBINOS IN DIFFERING %'s in THE DIFFERENT REGIONS OF EUROPE BEFORE THE ADVENT AND EXPANSION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE! Most of Eastern Europe to North-East Europe can be characterized as being filled with mostly Indian/South Asian albinos. Whites carry the four albinism genes in mutated form to be considered full candidates for albinism (SLC24A2, TYR, TYRP1, OCA2).

The gene that is responsible for the light appearance of most of White Europeans (OCA2), such as light hair and blue/grey eyes and pale skin, stands for oculucutaneous albinism type 2. This type of albinism is responsible for blonde/brown/red hair, blue/grey eyes, and pale skin. And all white Europeans carry this gene in mutated form just like persons with albinism!

The albinos that White Europeans themselves produce are OCA1 albinos, OCA1 type albinism is the highest and worst type of albinism with the highest reduction of melanin and melanin production in the body; characterized by white/pale hair, blue/grey/red eyes and extremely pale skin.

Now most people think this THIS IS THE ONLY TYPE OF ALBINISM THAT EXISTS IN THE WORLD, AND ONLY THIS TYPE OF ALBINISM IS TRUE ALBINISM! However, there ARE CURRENTLY FOURTEEN KNOWN TYPES OF ALBINISM! Whites themselves are OCA2-OCA7 albinos mostly, but the albinos that Whites produce are OCA1 albinos!

R1a, the so called Indo-European gene that was spread to Europe from the Eurasian steppes and associated with the spread of Indo-European languages throughout the Eurasian landmass; ORIGINATED FROM SOUTHERN ASIA/INDIA, BEFORE IT TRAVELED TO EUROPE! And Indian/South Asian albinos LOOK EXACTLY LIKE WHITE EUROPEANS AND CAN PASS AS WHITE EUROPEANS AND HAVE PASSED FOR WHITE EUROPEANS!

So next time, to all you "non-whites"; when you are pedestalizing white (albino) girls; just realize that modern day Whites are just albinos and not a race. They are the result of a genetic defect and a disease, and if you were to cross-breed an African albino from Northern/north-west Africa, with an Indian south Asian albino; or just take an South Asian albino, you would get a White European person on a pure genetic and physical level.

I know this sounds racist, but much of the whole mythical grandeur surrounding whites, BECAUSE OF THEIR SUPPOSED UNIQUENESS RELATED TO THEIR APPEARANCE AND THE UNIQUE COLORS THAT CHARACTERIZE WHITES; THAT PROPEL AND SUPPORT SUCH MYTHICAL SUPERSTITIONS OF THEIR SUPPOSED AESTHETIC SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS BECAUSE OF THIS UNIQUE COLOR CHARACTERISTIC OF WHITES IN THE FIRST PLACE; IS BASED ON PURE IGNORANCE OF MODERN BIOLOGY AND SCIENCE AND GENETICS AND MEDICINE BY THE LAME-STREAM MASSES!

Even today, laboratories in the Western world, SPECIFICALLY TEST ALBINO RATS AND MICE AND RABBITS for MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION AND BIO-MEDICAL RESEARCH AND FOR SCIENTIFIC PURPOSES; BECAUSE ALBINO RATS ARE THE MOST CLOSEST GENETIC MIMICRY AND IMITATION OF WHITE EUROPEANS, ON A RODENT TYPE FORM THEN REGULAR NORMAL MELANIN HOLDING RATS!

Albino rats/mice/rabbits have a much closer genetic relationship and resemblance to White Europeans physiologically and biologically THEN NON-ALBINO RATS/MICE/RABBITS! This is the real reason why so many modern laboratories HOLD AND CONTINUE TO BREED SO MANY LARGE NUMBERS OF ALBINO MICE/RABBITS/RATS FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTATION! It is because like these albino rodents, WHITE EUROPEANS ARE ALBINOS AND NOT A RACE, hence WHY THEY HAVE TO PERFORM THEIR RESEARCH ON THEM, SINCE THEY ARE ALBINOS JUST LIKE WHITE EUROPEANS!

Oh and btw, modern White Europeans are actually not indigenous or native to Europe, they are actually recent invaders and migrants and immigrants and transplants to Europe. The so called White Indo-European homeland was in the steppes of Siberia and Central Asia before White Indo-Europeans mass migrated to Europe. For the vast majority of the BC and AD period, White Indo-Europeans were illiterate barbaric backwards brutish horse nomads, who never created their own civilization, never created their own basic alphabet or a written script (it was forbidden in Ancient Indo-European societies to practice literacy in any form or to practice mass literacy in general), never discovered or came upon practicing formal farming or agriculture, did not build any sophisticated megalithic structures or cities or towns, never had any sophisticated architecture or engineering, did not come upon sophisticated iron working and metallurgy etc etc..

They were the Huns and Mongols of the BC and AD period; infact White Indo-Europeans were the first to create nomadic horse based steppe confederations on the Eurasian steppes and the first to utilize and domesticate the Eurasian horse, and use chariot/wagon technology in an aggressive militaristic manner. Infact the Hunnic and Mongolian empires were a direct replica and carbon copy, and were based on the original horse based steppe confederations that White Indo-Europeans had created on the Eurasian steppes BEFORE ANYONE ELSE THERE! Whites were pretty much the Huns and Mongols of the BC and AD period!

So if white people are so inferior, defective, and diseased, - how come we are on top and ruling the world?
White people are descended from black African people, - undoubtedly, we have the same DNA and mitochondrial DNA but we also have Neanderthal DNA that no Sub-Saharan African has (unless they have interbred with whites at some time or other). Blacks who do not eat enough meat from grazing animals get rickets in Europe, particularly northern and central Europe, due to too little UV light penetrating their skin and forming enough vitamin D. During the 19th and early 20th Centuries even whites who lived in the smoke shielded industrial towns and cities of the UK suffered from rickets if they had a poor diet. Even today Muslim children in the UK who cover up and don't eat enough meat are suffering from rickets. A pale skin is an advantage in such climes, those with rickets will grow up with bent leg bones and weak spines and will not make good breeders or nurturers due to being economically nonviable there being no alternative support structure other than work back in those days.
Add to this the receding ice age and a pale sun in northern climes and you can see why a white skin did better. The climate is also more inhospitable in northern climes which causes the necessity to breed invention, - it may thus be our climate which has given Europeans the edge. The living was definitely not easy!
Look, I understand why black people are trying to fight against centuries of discrimination and establish/re-establish a sense of racial and historical pride and self-respect, - particularly with such racist attitudes as the ridiculous "one drop rule" still prevalent in the States, but overplaying your cards and trying to convince Europeans that they are inferior is just not going to work, even amongst the self-deprecating ones.
You cannot have it both ways, i.e. that we are inferior on the one hand and conquering devils on the other.
The worst crime that any nation can commit is to allow themselves to become technologically inferior to others.

Does it really matter? We are each what we are by dint of (mostly) random pairings.

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