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Thread: Loring Brace on skin colour

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    Post Loring Brace on skin colour

    Source:
    http://www.multiracial.com/abolitionist/word/brace.html


    The abnormal hemoglobins, then, are distributed among the world's populations strictly in accordance with the history of their involvement with malaria of various kinds and without reference to any other manifestations such as geographical, cultural, or political boundaries or anything like face form or pigmentation (Livingstone 1967, 1985). In fact, this is the classic pattern for the distribution of any trait under selective force control. And when we turn to a consideration of pigment, that too shows a pattern of gradation which is independent of the distribution of any other trait not directly related to the intensity of solar radiation. Figure 3 shows the distribution of skin color in the human populations of the world.



    Melanin in the skin exists for one purpose only, and that is to prevent the penetration of the ultraviolet component in sunlight. Attempts to suggest that melanin has any relation to mental function — pro or con — are nothing less than unwarranted manifestations of racism (Ortiz de Montellano 1991, 1992). However, it is the 290 to 320 millimicron ultraviolet range, "mid-UV," "middlewave UV" or "UV-B" —.either alone or, as is usually the case, in conjunction with UV-A — that causes the most trouble (Potter 1985; Kligman 1986). The "trouble" caused by UV-B is cancer. Particularly affected are the cells at the bottom of the epidermis at the interface between this layer and the underlying dermis itself. These cells give rise to the outermost portion of the skin in a continued process of renewal that has a three- to-four week turnover (Daniels et al. 1968). UV-B can cause damage that leads to cancer in the basal cells and the derived overlying squamous cells that form the surface of the skin.



    In the United States alone in the late 1970's, European Americans contracted over 400,000 cases of basal cell skin cancer which amounted to an incidence of over 232 cases per every 100,000 people. At the same time, less than three-and-one-half cases per 100,000 occurred among Americans of African origin (Ackerman and del Regato 1985:180). At that time, the average number of Americans who died per year from the effects of skin cancer was some 5,000 (interview with Dr. Tim Johnson on ABC television, April 10, 1978).



    Carefully designed and controlled laboratory tests have clearly demonstrated the role played by UV-B in leading to skin cancer and have shown that the effects are augmented when both UV-A and UV-B are involved, which of course they are in the case of people and animals exposed to natural sunlight. It has also long been known that "white" skin will allow the penetration of ultraviolet radiation right down through the epidermis to the underlying dermis (Daniels 1969; Kligman 1969; Pathak and Stratton 1969), but that the skin of well-tanned or naturally pigmented individuals will block up to 95% of the penetration of UV-B (Daniels et al. 1968:41; Holick 1987:1879). And in the occasional person of African ancestry in whom a mutation has occurred that blocks the formation of skin pigment — a condition known as albinism — the skin will allow the penetration of ultraviolet radiation in the same manner as in "whites." African albinos are susceptible to skin cancer in the same manner as Europeans (Blum 1959; Friedman et al. 1991:10). From the accumulation of the experimental and clinical evidence, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the sole function of melanin in the skin is as the first line of defense against the possible cancer-producing effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.



    That being the case, the distribution of human skin pigmentation in the world should correspond to the distribution of the intensity of ultraviolet radiation, or, roughly speaking, to latitude: i.e. dark skin color should be concentrated in the tropics where it is adaptively advantageous. From Figure 3(The distribution of the variation in intensity of human skin color in the Old World. Adapted from Biasutti (1959:I:Table IV [pp.192-193]) by Brace and Montagu (1977:392), revised from Brace 1964:109)., it is clear that the dark- skinned populations of the world are all located in the tropics. However, it is also clear that not all tropic dwellers are dark skinned. The people of mainland Southeast Asia and most of island Indonesia plus the remote islands of Oceania are nowhere near so heavily pigmented as the indigenous populations of tropical Africa, southern India, New Guinea or northern Australia. And finally, there were no indigenous dark-skinned people in the tropics of the western hemisphere.



    The obvious reason for this apparent discrepancy is that the relatively light-skinned inhabitants now in those tropical regions must be comparatively recent arrivals. This suspicion is amply confirmed by the evidence available from history, linguistics and archaeology (Benedict 1942; Barth 1952; Bellwood 1979, 1986, 1991; Solheim 1981; Bulbeck 1982). Historical records, for example, show that there has been a continuing movement of peoples southward from the older centers of settled agriculture in China to what had been uncut forest lands in Southeast Asia. Even where there are no written records, the oral traditions of a northern origin and the trail of related languages all tend to confirm this general picture. The web of what is obviously recent linguistic divergence extends all the way out into the islands of the Pacific where archaeology tells us that settlers had reached the Philippines 5,000 year ago but had not gotten as far as Easter Island and Hawaii in Remote Oceania until about 1,500 years ago (Bellwood 1986:107 ff., 1991; Pawley and Green 1973; Tuggle 1979:189).



    As for the western hemisphere, although the crucial events occurred long before writing was thought of, and so far back that linguistic evidence is equivocal at best (Nichols 1990:513; Greenberg and Ruhlen 1992:94), archaeology tells us that the first inhabitants came over from the northeast edge of Asia by the end of the Pleistocene almost 12,000 years ago (Haynes 1982:383; Hoffecker et al. 1993:51). The possibility still exists that people may have reached the New World somewhat earlier, but the signs are all tenuous and equivocal. From 11,500 years ago on, however, the evidence is clear and widespread, and it leaves most professional students of the matter with the reasonably comfortable feeling that the ancestors of the "Native Americans" did not arrive in the western hemisphere much before 12,000.



    The ancestors of the modern inhabitants of the tropics in Southeast Asia, Polynesia and South America all came from the non-tropical portions of eastern Asia no earlier than the latter part of the Pleistocene. We can assume, then, that the skin color of those ancestors was not significantly different from that of the inhabitants of the temperate parts of eastern Asia today. The reason why they should have been characterized by that particular hue is a different matter that will be considered shortly. For the moment, however, what this tells us is that it takes a lot longer than 10,000 years for the selective effects of UV-B in tropical sunshine to produce the intensity of pigmentation seen in the skin of such modern people as the inhabitants of New Guinea or tropical Africa.



    The related question is why people who live in the northern portions of the world have as little skin pigment as they do. All the available fossil and archaeological evidence indicates that ultimate human origins were in the tropics of Africa, and that even after spreading out from that base at the end of the lower Pleistocene a million years ago, humans remained tropic dwellers with only temporary northward forays for much of the rest of their existence (Brace 1991b, and in press). Humans still have the basic physiological characteristics and responses of tropical mammals, and we can guess that the common tropic-dwelling human ancestor of half a million years ago had a degree of skin pigmentation fully comparable to that found today among the inhabitants of equatorial Africa, India and New Guinea. This brings us back to the question of why some modern people are less heavily pigmented than others.



    Since all of the long-term inhabitants of the north temperate zone are markedly less pigmented than long-term tropic dwellers, and since we can assume that the common human ancestor was dark, it follows that there must be something about living north of the tropics that leads to a reduction in skin pigment. There are in fact two possible explanations. One suggests that a lessening in the amount of pigment is adaptively advantageous in the north, and the other argues that depigmentation is simply the result of a reduction in the intensity of selection for the maintenance of epidermal melanin.



    Those who prefer to see pigment reduction as the result of the positive action of selection point to the evidence indicating that heavily pigmented people are more likely to suffer the effects of vitamin D deficiency in the north temperate zone than is true for people with lesser amounts of skin pigment (Holick 1987). As it happens, those very UV-B wave lengths that lead to skin cancer after prolonged doses are also an essential part of the process that leads to the synthesis of vitamin D. The absorption and incorporation of calcium necessary for proper bone growth is mediated by vitamin D, and a lack of that crucial substance will result in abnormalities and stunting of skeletal development known as rickets.



    Rickets, however, is a distinct rarity among the cats, dogs, cows, horses, sheep, rodents, birds and others of the animal world that were native inhabitants of the north temperate zone in spite of the fact that few if any indulged themselves with codfish livers and that the skin in all of these creatures is well protected from any possible ultraviolet penetration by virtue of being thoroughly covered by fur or feathers. There is one more oddity about this whole picture, and this is the fact that there is no pigment in the skin of those thoroughly protected creatures. And finally, it only requires a brief exposure to generate all the vitamin D one needs, and summer sunshine in the north temperate zone is more than adequate even for heavily pigmented skin to provide a supply of Vitamin D that can be stored up in fat and muscle tissue in sufficient quantities to last the rest of the year (Robins 1991:203,205,208).



    From my perspective, it would seem that the reason for the absence of pigment in the skin of most furred and feathered creatures is because of the absence of selection for its presence. And I would argue that the same thing may well be true for the human inhabitants of the north temperate zone. Since there is just not enough intensity of UV-B to generate cancers that would shorten possible life spans, there was nothing that would maintain skin pigment at the level which had characterized the tropical forebears of the long-term human inhabitants of the north. A generation ago, I argued that when selection is reduced or suspended, any trait that had been maintained by a formerly active selective force should undergo reduction in proportion to the length of time that selection had been held in abeyance. Under such conditions, the reductions would be the results of mutations alone — a process I referred to as "The Probable Mutation Effect" (Brace 1963).



    A more detailed defense of the "PME" is presented elsewhere (Brace et al. 1991 :41-46, and included here as Chapter 10). Here we need only note that those areas where the archaeological evidence indicates that human habitation of the north temperate zone has been continuous for the longest periods of time are also just those areas where modern human populations display the least amount of pigment in the skin. In a zone running from the Middle East to the Atlantic Ocean in northwest Europe, there is reason to believe that human habitation has been continuous for the last 250,000 years (Straus 1989; Mercier et al. 1992). It is in just that stretch where the living inhabitants include people with the least amount of pigmentation among the living populations of the world.



    At comparable latitudes in the northeast end of human occupation in the Old World, the continuous archaeological record is only about half as old. From this, it would follow that relaxation of selective pressures to maintain skin pigmentation at fully tropical levels has been in effect only half as long, and depigmentation should not have proceeded to the same extent as in the comparable latitudes in the west. Indeed, the modern inhabitants of Northeast Asia are notably less pigmented than the populations who have continued to live in the tropics without break, but pigment reduction has not proceeded to quite the same extent as that visible at the northwestern edge of the human range. And finally, it only requires a brief exposure to generate all the vitamin D one needs, and summer sunshine in the north temperate zone is more than adequate even for a heavily pigmented skin to provide a supply of Vitamin D that can be stored up in fat and muscle tissue in sufficient quantities to last the rest of the year (Robins 1991:203, 205, 208).



    Actually, it does not matter which attempt at explanation is correct since both propose reasons why pigment reduction should occur in areas where ultraviolet radiation is markedly reduced from the levels of its intensity in the tropics. Either would account for the existence and extent of depigmentation in the north temperate zones both east and west in the Old World, and both offer reasons why the relatively recent movement of people from the latitude of China south into Southeast Asia and equatorial Indonesia introduced people with lesser amounts of skin pigmentation than one would otherwise expect to find for people living in the tropics.



    At the same time, the movement of agriculturally based populations out of the Middle East during the Neolithic and Bronze Age was predominantly an East-to-West phenomenon rather than a North-to-South one (Brace and Tracer 1992). The result was that the North-to-South gradation or cline in skin color was not disrupted. To this day, skin color grades by imperceptible means from Europe southwards around the eastern end of the Mediterranean and up the Nile into Africa. From one end of this range to the other, there is no hint of a skin color boundary, and yet the spectrum runs from the lightest in the world at the northern edge to as dark as it is possible for humans to be at the equator.



    South of the equator, the cline reverses, and skin color becomes lighter away from the tropics towards the south. In Africa, this lightening is more pronounced than the comparable case in Australia, and the aboriginal inhabitants of the southern tip of Africa — the San people once called by the derogatory term "Bushmen" — are no darker than the people by the shores of the Mediterranean who are about the same distance north of the equator as the San are south of it. Skin pigment also lightens towards the south in Australia, but not quite to the same extent as in the African example. Australia, however, has only been occupied for the last 50,000 years (Roberts et al. 1990), and evidently the process of pigment reduction has not had time enough to proceed to the extent evident at the comparable latitudes in Africa.



    From all of this, it can be seen that human skin pigmentation is distributed in clinal fashion among those people who have remained in the latitudes where they are found for a period of time on the order of 50,000 years or more. Where skin pigmentation is at variance with our expectations of clinal variation such as Southeast Asia and the New World, we have reason to suspect that such anomalies in human appearance are due to population movements within the last 20,000 years or so. So far, all such suspected instances are confirmed by the available archaeological evidence.

    Last edited by Frans_Jozef; Sunday, March 21st, 2004 at 11:49 PM.

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    Post Re: Loring Brace on skin colour

    The above shown map bears some nagging inaccurancies, I hope Volksdeutscher will be so kind to post the Bertil Lundman's worldwide map of skin pigmentation from Jordens Folkstammar("Karta 17") to bring the following rushed-up corrections into clear evidence.

    Brace pulls here a leg with his terminology to tag the intensity of colorisation.
    First of all Africa has here only some spotty places where the darkest(blackish brown)hues are attained.
    Actually the whole of North Africa and part of the western Sahel should be brought in unison with Southern Europe, Pontic Russia, Hither Asia and the Caucasus, the Middle East and Northern India and has the slightest saturation of melanine, this overwhelmingly continous zone could be called brunet white.


    Contrary to what Brace/Biasutti's map wants us to do believe, Mongoloid and Turanoid Asia is not an enormous appendage of the brunet white zone and neither should India, Arabia and Southern Iran be invested with the tropical or equatorial zone.
    However, the southwestern triangle of the Arabian Pensinsula is coincided with Ethiopia and marks a dark brown area, as such darker than SE Asia(Indo-China and Indonesia) and hence the equivalent of New Guinea and the Australian continent.

    Interesting, well outside the Selkup territory, north of the Angara river and east of the Jenissei is a patch of brunet white, completely isolated from the southern brunet white stretch and in that faculty much lighter of skin tone than the surrounding Mongoloids and Turanoids.
    This territory happens to belong to the Ewenks, considered to belong to the Paleo-Siberian race and if I am not mistaken, related to the Samojeds, however the region is characterized in respect to the skull module index as part Eurasiatic(like Continental West Europe) and part Deutoranthropic(as the brunet white zone, barring the Eastern Mediterrenean).
    Last edited by Frans_Jozef; Monday, March 22nd, 2004 at 12:32 AM.

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    Post Re: Loring Brace on skin colour

    I noticed the purest of the arabs in arabia tend to be light-mid brown to deep brown, some even approaching darkish brown(although rare).

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    Post Re: Loring Brace on skin colour

    Quote Originally Posted by cannistraro
    I noticed the purest of the arabs in arabia tend to be light-mid brown to deep brown, some even approaching darkish brown(although rare).
    Yes, there is negroid admixture among the lower classes south of the peninsula and not forgetting the contribution of a Veddoid strain.

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    Post Re: Loring Brace on skin colour

    Quote Originally Posted by Frans_Jozef
    Yes, there is negroid admixture among the lower classes south of the peninsula and not forgetting the contribution of a Veddoid strain.
    Well in yemen yes. But I seen plenty of realtively unmixed Arabids with deep brown skin color. Very deep pigmented with jet black eyes and hair.

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    Post Re: Loring Brace on skin colour

    Quote Originally Posted by cannistraro
    Well in yemen yes. But I seen plenty of realtively unmixed Arabids with deep brown skin color. Very deep pigmented with jet black eyes and hair.
    The admixture could be quite ancient and harking back to some UP Negroids in that region, at least that seems to be applicable in the case of Egypt:

    Upper Palaeolithic ()
    There are few Upper Palaeolithic sites in Egypt and Nubia. The oldest Upper Palaeolithic site is the quarry Nazlet Khater-4 (also known as NK4) near Boulder Hill, dating to between 35,000 and 30,000 BP. This was a more sophisticated site than the quarries of the Middle Palaeolithic. As well as trenches and pits, underground galleries were dug out from the vertical sections of the trenches or from pit walls. There are no traces of the Levallois technique. Instead single platforms were used to produce simple blades. Tools produced by this method included end-scrapers, burins, denticulates, bifacial foliates and bifacial axes. No other comparable sites exist so it is impossible to come to any conclusions about the nature of Egypt as a whole at this time.

    Next to the mine was a burial with a bifacial axe (consistent with those found at the quarry site) placed by the head. He was lying on his back with his head to the west. The grave was carved out of clay and was covered with large blocks of stone. The skeleton has “certain ‘archaic features’ including an unusually thick mandible” (Midant-Reynes 1992/2000 p.43) although in all other respects it appears to be anatomically modern. It had a cranial capacity of 1400cm3 with Negroid features.

    A second grave was found to the east, in very poor condition. It was lying on its back but its skull was missing and it was completely crushed. It was accompanied by some foetus bones and ostrich egg fragments. It is thought that the two burials are contemporary with the quarry.

    The Shuwikhatian industry is more recent than Nazlet Khater-4 and is represented at a number of sites near Qena and Esna. The Shuwikhatian was characterised by large blades struck from opposed platform cores accompanied by denticulated blades, burins and end-scrapers. Shuwikhat-1, dating to around 25,000BP and located on the floodplain of the Nile valley appears to have been used as a base for hunting and fishing. There were no Levallois components.

    The Western Desert was apparently not occupied at this time (probably due to the climate which was not wet enough to support occupation of desert areas).



    http://www.cheryll.verypromising.co....aeolithic.html

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    Post Re: Loring Brace on skin colour

    How do we know that skin color and eye color isn't the result of sexual selection? I should put this in the "sheer speculation" section but why couldn't the "nordic ideal" be the result of generations of sexual preferences within a particular tribe?

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    Post Re: Loring Brace on skin colour

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandible
    How do we know that skin color and eye color isn't the result of sexual selection? I should put this in the "sheer speculation" section but why couldn't the "nordic ideal" be the result of generations of sexual preferences within a particular tribe?
    Sexual selection would be a function to preserve and cultivate a certain cultural *bias*, in casu a certain inclination to aestheticism combined with tribal individuation, both a criterion and functioning as a directive to one sense of purpose in the weal and woes that existence brings upon the individual and group and of course it generates well-being.
    What distinguishes mankind from whatever ancestry it has, says Alfred Weber in a socio-cultural study, is the property to reach for objectivity and be reborn as a conscious being discerneable and independant of its environment...by which follows manipulation and mastering of what had been once inseperateble part of him, yet bridling at the same time man's embryonical compulsory to exalt himself...in any event, an ideal is as such related to a cultural mind...
    however if we invoke such a cultural discrimination and a whole package of customs, ritual upbringing and sensibilities with it, we should assume that in a given population there were a substantial number of persons and in all generations available with a certain set of physical traits that made them set apart of the rest and being revered, and furthermore since some transmutation is very unlikely to happen in a short rate of time, whatever had been "engineered" to its ideal look had to be not only numerously present, but the original state couldn't be of a order that makes a pigmentation swap near improbable, in other words, the "Nordic" colorisation was but a heightening of a already present, yet still very variable condition.

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