Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-11 > 1163305498

Subject: Re: [DNA] White skin color gene
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2006 23:24:58 EST

I agree that skin color (and hair and eye color too) most likely became
prevalent in Europe because there was a sexual preference. I think this
was discussed here a few months ago.

Maybe there is one main gene coding for light skin, but there apparently
are many alleles coding for different colored hair and eyes. So, like the
male peacock, the colors in Northern Europe had some sort of advantage
that has nothing to do with Vitamin D deficiency. You have to account
for all the shades of blonde, red, auburn, etc. hair and the different shades
of green, blue, hazel etc. eyes that became common in such a short period
of time. According to Peter Frost, in the 2006 March edition of the
Evolution and Human Behavior, it would have taken 850,000 years
for these colors to have appeared in such high numbers without some
sort of artificial or sexual (not "natural") selection.
See his recent update:

In China, there were light haired mummies discovered that lived 4,000
years ago. However, the light color may have not been preferred or
selected for, so the dark hair and dark eyes prevailed into modern times.
I think some of the mitochondrial DNA that resembles a European type has
shown up in the local Chinese population but the light skin, hair and
eyes of the ancestors have long since disappeared.

There were rumors that the Chinese Communist government was trying
to cover up this evidence of a possible European background for a long time.
There apparently was fear of a rebellion by the local population who
thought their Caucasian cousins who were distantly related to them would
come to their rescue and stage a civil war because they would be
considered a different "race" from other Chinese.

For photographs of the light haired mummies see the following:

So perhaps the Nordic population preferred blondes and the Chinese
preferred black hair.
Kathy J.

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