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Thread: Changing of Skin Colour

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    Changing of Skin Colour

    This is a topic I have always wondered about. Especially after reading this comment:

    "Skin color is one of the most conspicuous ways in which humans vary and has been widely used to define human races. Here we present new evidence indicating that variations in skin color are adaptive, and are related to the regulation of ultraviolet (UV) radiation penetration.... Skin coloration in humans is adaptive and labile. Skin pigmentation levels have changed more than once in human evolution. Because of this, skin coloration is of no value in determining phylogenetic relationships among modern human groups."
    (N. Jablonski and G. Chaplin, J Hum Evol, 2000)

    If we look at the british who have colonized large parts of territory, their redish or really pale skin colour just isnt enough for the climates of USA, Australia, SA or New zeeland.

    So.. their skin colour will have to change to fit the weather better, so here comes the question:

    1. Both southern and also some people in the mid east got olive skin or milky white if you so will, is this enough to fit the weather?

    2. Could the change give multiple skin colours in the groups, like Swedish golden tan/olive and even light brown?

    3. How long would it take for their skin colour to change?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BjrK View Post
    3. How long would it take for their skin colour to change?
    In this age of modern technology, the evolutionary pressure is far too low for such a change to occur, I think. In the Stone Age, however, I don't think it would take too many centuries before a homogenous, dark pigmented population would change to a homogenous, light pigmented one, if the climate was right.
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    Depends on which theory of "evolution" you believe in. As far back as we remember, dark skinned Asians generally inhabited the furthest north arctic. It leaves a good argument against "dark skin evolving on the equator". Also the southern most parts of Argentina has dark skinned natives. It's hard to say for sure the origins of humans, but I think we began on earth as separate races. The Asian eye features don't even make sense from an "evolutionary" stand point. They want us to believe everything on earth evolved from one-celled organisms in the ocean in 4 billion years. That's the easy way out of scientific discussions, claim everything diverse came from one thing billions of years ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjrK
    1. Both southern and also some people in the mid east got olive skin or milky white if you so will, is this enough to fit the weather?
    Olive skin is indeed a feature of a specific group of people (race), it's common in the Mid East and North Africa. Also some west Asiatic (not sure whether thats the right word though) peoples show this feature (around the Caucasus region). The Khoisan of South Africa (being an Asiatic people) also have olive skin.

    Imho the theory doesnt take into account that skin color is merely an expression of an underlying genotype, and a common genotype does express itself in similar features.

    And we do know that those who share the feature of olive skin also share more genetics than just that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BjrK
    2. Could the change give multiple skin colours in the groups, like Swedish golden tan/olive and even light brown?
    While there might be variations possible, I doubt that a Swede (or any Germanic for that matter) could become coffeebrown without foreign admixture, just because he's transplanted to Australia, SA or Mexico.

    The Boers and Afrikaaner are since centuries in SA, and they're still white, the European Brasilians are still white, the English Australians are still white.

    Look at the Eskimos or other Asiatic people living around the North Pole. They're not white, and they live there for thousands of years.

    If that evolutionary theory would hold water, they should be white as the snow actually. But they arent.

    Another example is a tendency among Japanese people. They become lighter, they even have (though rarely) naturally dark blondish or light brown hair, but their skin is still 'yellowish'.

    So while the tone can maybe change depending on the climate, the basic color remains the same, because it is a racial feature.


    Quote Originally Posted by BjrK
    3. How long would it take for their skin colour to change?
    Thousands of years, imho.

    When races originated in evolution, the human population was only a fraction of today's population (even just 30,000 years back it was less than 100,000 world wide). When you have only groups of maybe 50 to 100 people, a feature spreads relatively fast through the entire population, maybe 10 generations. Since new features are generally attributed to mutations (which is only part of the story, but anyway), it would take hundreds of generations to spread it through a population of 9 mio like in Sweden and have it become a common feature. This still requires that the feature itself is stable and can be inherited in order to spread at all.
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    I always enjoy to read the theories about skin colour, however most of them don't explain truly why have the poeple these different traits. The UV radiaton seems valid reason in the tropical areas without forest. In the tropical areas with forest is another case as some kind of chimpanzees have light bronw skin near the equator too.




    The scientist use to say that with light skin the synthetization of vitamin-D is solvable with lesser sunlight in the North. However what is described above the Eskimos or the Lapps have dark skin in the North too. The answer is that they eat enough vitamin-D from their food, but f.e. the reindeermeet was the diet of our ancestors too in the iceage. The yakuts in Siberia eat yaks and reindeers and they have lighter skin. The liver of the animals are fool of vitamins, including vitamin-D what would be the source of this vitamin our ancestors under the last glacial period.




    Moreover it is quite interresting that lof of negros have light, sometimes rosy-light palm and sole what show that their skin might be lighter in the past. Another good question why some asians, middle-easterns have darker genital area than own natural untanned skin. The chimpanzee with light brown or dark skin have light rosy genital area to sign onw desire.

    Probably the story of the human skin colour is more longer and complicated what we thought. It may be the mix of the adaptation for the enviroment before and after prehistoric migration and the sexual selection.

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    Well as someone who has roots in Norse Scotland and Hesse Germany but whos family has lived in the South since the 1700's my skin is fair. As a matter of fact the only real difference is that in this climate you may (and I say may as I do not) tan a bit quicker than you would in the Hebrides...but then agian when I was in the Hebrides I did not see as much sun either...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Žoreišar View Post
    In this age of modern technology, the evolutionary pressure is far too low for such a change to occur, I think. In the Stone Age, however, I don't think it would take too many centuries before a homogenous, dark pigmented population would change to a homogenous, light pigmented one, if the climate was right.
    I couldn'thave said it better. The only way that skin color is going to permanently change for any population in this day and age is for them to mix with another darker or lighter race.

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    I still do not agree with everyone in this thread. I am very aware that asians living in the north got a brown almost dark brown skin tone and that they kept it because of the vitamin D obtained in fish.

    With that being said I do think that inside the "larger" aspect as in white, brown, yellow, "black" (really dark brown) skin tones the differences lies in which area they live in. In other words there are different shades of "white" and that these differences may change depending on were the person in question live, especially for the lighter shades inside the spectrum.

    In other words develping brown skin tone is not necessary in a evolutionary point of view. BUT to develope olive skin would be, in other words the british would go from ruddy to a olive or central European skin tone (think southern germans), to be able to cope with the weather since that would be enough not to develope skin cancer(which too many develope). Since there are arabs as far down as saudi arabia with southern european shades of skin.

    If we look at basques vs irish both said to be the least admixed in Europe togheter with the welsh, we can easily see that the basques has typical olive skin while the irish are as light as it gets.

    (I am very tired atm, hopefully ppl get my point)

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D68ezo1f59U

    Can skull shape Appearances determined Race more so than skin colour?

    Even though all races have Albinos, you can still see what race they belong too. By their funny skin color and skull shape and facial appearances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Žoreišar
    In this age of modern technology, the evolutionary pressure is far too low for such a change to occur, I think. In the Stone Age, however, I don't think it would take too many centuries before a homogenous, dark pigmented population would change to a homogenous, light pigmented one, if the climate was right.
    They would also have the advantage of having a much smaller gene pool and so a much lower number of generations until the mutation-ancestor is ancestral to all members

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