Why are Europeans the only people with variations in hair and eye color?
What genetic/evironmental abnormality was this?
First of all, hair and eye color tend to be linked (more natural blondes than natural brunettes tend to have blue eyes, for example).
Second, there appear to be some links among all the genes for coloring (hair, eyes, skin), so as Northern Europeans adapted to lack of sunlight with lighter skin, some lightening in hair and eye color probably went along with that.
Third, there appears to be a slight difference in light sensitivity between blue or light-colored eyes and dark eyes (with lighter eyes being more sensitive to light). This makes sense from the point of view that again, northern Europe has less light than Africa or large swathes of Asia. This is apparently an issue for some blue-eyed athletes like baseball and tennis players who have a harder time focusing on the ball in bright sunlight.
Fourth, the genetic mutation that led to blue eyes appears to have been popular with early Northern Europeans -- there's a theory that blue-eyed people were preferred as mates, and therefore the mutation spread further than it otherwise would have.
There you have, pick and choose the explanations you like.
I have blue eyes and I cannot go outside on a sunny day without sunglasses. I'm Irish/German mix.
I'm surprised that back in a day The Church didn't slaughter blue-eyed minority as genetic degenerates...They were smart like that.
a blue eyed european
I'm from Northern Europe. There's not much diversity here, 8 or even 9 of 10 have blue or gray eyes, the ones with brown are usually mixed-blood (with Slavs, Jews, Russian natives and so on).
I have extremely light husky eyes with a dark dark blue circling, people who meet me for the first time often stare and finally ask if I wear contacts. But I'm not that sensitive to light, my eyes may water a bit just on a very sunny winter day.
I'm dark blonde, but I should turn brunette soon, just as my mother did in her mid 20s. I find more and more dark brown single hairs.
It's latitude, not continent.
[quote]It's latitude, not continent.
But there are very few Inuits that are blonds with blue eyes -- it seems to be Eurocentric.
[quote] Second, there appear to be some links among all the genes for coloring (hair, eyes, skin), so as Northern Europeans adapted to lack of sunlight with lighter skin, some lightening in hair and eye color probably went along with that.
[quote] Third, there appears to be a slight difference in light sensitivity between blue or light-colored eyes and dark eyes (with lighter eyes being more sensitive to light). This makes sense from the point of view that again, northern Europe has less light than Africa or large swathes of Asia.
I don't buy it. What about eskimos and natives in Canada and Alaska? What about Northern Chinese and Mongolians? There has to be another explanation.
And the same applies at the other end of the spectrum. There is too much variation in hair types, skin color and blood types among people who come from warmer areas near the equator, for it to just be a matter of sunlight or lack thereof.
Bible scholars point to the three sons of Noah (Ham, Shem, and Ja'pheth), and they might try and explain the variation that way, perhaps one being fair, one being medium, and one being dark. That might also explain where the "three race theory" came from.
Personally, I can't even pretend to know how the variations in race occurred. If we all descended from one person or one couple, how would that explain the variation among the races today?
The whole race thing is pretty confusing, but op's question is really an interesting one. Why is it that only about a sixth of the world's population have light hair and eyes? Perhaps we'll never know.
Well brown eye and dark hair genes are dominant... No wonder why we have so few people with light hair and eyes.
Early human population scattered widely around the globe. There was a big freeze that killed most of them. The few remaining were isolated and the mutations of each group were amplified.
Add that to European to Asia Minor populations having 4% Neanderthal DNA that might explain the light-eye color mutation.
[quote]European to Asia Minor populations having 4% Neanderthal DNA
What percentage do the normal others have?
And then how about red hair? Northern Europeans have blond hair and red hair, but everyone else just has black hair. Are blond and red different mutations?
[italic]I have blue eyes and I cannot go outside on a sunny day without sunglasses.[/italic]
Science is nonsense! Go to any major museum; you'll see the real evidence. It's clear that northern Europeans are descended from Jesus and angels. On the other hand, dark hair, eyes and skin are obviously the marks of Satan.
I wholeheartedly agree, Rick!
Fun fact: Europeans, as well as Central and South Asians as well as most Arabs are of the same caucasoid stock. They're the same race.
Native Americans are Asiatic.
Black Africans and pacific dark-skinned races Australian Aborigines and Malenisians are not related and have nothing in common with the later being more closely related to Asiatic types.
[quote]Why are Europeans the only people with variations in hair and eye color?
some arabs and maghrebi have green eyes - also recall that afghan girl on the cover of Life who had green eyes.
So do you guys prefer light coloured eyes? I always liked dark haired men more.
Oh, please. Not another ethnic superiority thread disguised as educational. How much you wanna bet the OP is of "European" descent?
Here is the link to the Neanderthal info.
Red hair is a different genetic variation than blue-eyes.
Interesting human variations not implied superiority.
[quote] Fun fact: Europeans, as well as Central and South Asians as well as most Arabs are of the same caucasoid stock. They're the same race.
I was watching this show on the National Geographic channel which was all about this American researcher looking from where "Adam" came from, based on x and y chromosomes and many other factors. It was very scientific, but it made sense, from a genetic standpoint.
Anyway, the data concluded that Thomas Jefferson actually had Middle Eastern roots.
It makes sense, if you consider that migration might have started from the Africa/Middle East region, and as they made their way north, those populations became more light skinned as the years progressed.
[quote] Native Americans are Asiatic.
This part is almost a foregone conclusion, when you consider that due to the isolated nature of North and South America, the only land bridge could ever possibly have been through the Bering Straight, from Russia to Alaska, and hence, the Native Americans bearing an Asiatic heritage.
[quote] Black Africans and pacific dark-skinned races Australian Aborigines and Malenisians are not related and have nothing in common with the later being more closely related to Asiatic types.
I don't think they have "nothing in common."
Pacific peoples seem to be a hybrid of Africans and dark Indians from the land surrounding the Indian Ocean, and Asians from the Indochinese and Malay regions.
Remember, this is all about migration from a central point, most likely the Middle East. Some went South to Africa, some went North to Europe, and some went East to Asia.
Then there was a blending between those groups, such as Africans and Asians (working their way across Australia, Melanesia, and then the Pacific), through historical migratory routes, such as "island hopping" through Indonesia and the South Pacific.
Just follow the ancient migratory patterns, and you'll see a logical explanation of modern races.
R4, you have "husky" eyes?
I believe the word you're looking for is "dusky."
R23 That's how I call them to describe the color(and I've heard others using this expression), light blue is not what I'm talking about, it's silvery blue/gray and looks almost white in the sun.
R4 was probably referring to the dog called Siberian Husky, you fucking idiot.
R25 yes I was.
The Australian migration predated modern Asian and European groups...
The glacial maximum of 50,000 years ago guided where populations could migrate to.
Around 50,000 years ago, the M174 Y-chromosome marker went to Asia from Africa, the M130 group went to Australia and up the East coast of Asia.
Remember, during the glacial maximum...sea levels were lower, human populations probably hunted along the sea coasts, gradually moving out across the globe.
So do you guys prefer light coloured eyes? I always liked dark haired men more.
How YOU doin, R4? Rawwrrr
I love the dark hair/light eyes combination.
R29 Dark eyes. People with very light colored eyes may look gorgeous, but at the same time COLD and unkind. I would be brown eyes if I could. Don't care that much about the hair color.
R30 So so, got much work to do, it's hard to enjoy the Pre-Christmas season. Alrighty, I got enough attention, bye or ruff ruff lol
"Third, there appears to be a slight difference in light sensitivity between blue or light-colored eyes and dark eyes (with lighter eyes being more sensitive to light). This makes sense from the point of view that again, northern Europe has less light than Africa or large swathes of Asia."
I'm not sure I buy this since there are large populations of northern communities that have been there for thousands of years and still retain Asian features.
The blue eyes genetic mutation is fairly recent in evolutionary terms. It cropped up something like 6-10 thousand years ago.
[quote] recall that afghan girl on the cover of Life who had green eyes.
There are blond, blue eyed Afghans. They are believed to be descended from European warriors who traveled to the area and of European slaves captured in war or kidnapped from their villages. Russians in particular were often captured by Central Asians and sold into slavery.
There are blond and redheaded Asian Turk/Monglians with blue eyes and green eyes. They are not considered more attractive than dark haired, dark eyed Asians and are considered odd looking by their own people.
There were Caucasoid people living in China in the Tocharian desert 5,000 years ago.
Obviously all mankind originated from Africa, but when did they start to look different?
"They are not considered more attractive than dark haired, dark eyed Asians and are considered odd looking by their own people."
They should be! WHITE IS RIGHT!
Well, most people here in the U.S. come from somewhere in Euorpe..Italians, Irish, Greek, Polish, German, etc.
[quote]The blue eyes genetic mutation is fairly recent in evolutionary terms. It cropped up something like 6-10 thousand years ago.
I heard the 10,000 years blue eye mutation and I'm not sure I buy it. Seems to me like it should be older. Maybe it first went green and kept getting lighter before that.
An anecdote. The nation with the highest % of green eyes is the Turks - 30%!
Can someone explain eye shape? Why are Asian eyes so much different that the rest of the population?
Also quite a few Pakistanis and Afghans with blue or gray eyes.
I knew an Afghani man (who had light amberish eyes and "white" bone structure) whp claimed that there were some Afghans who were the true Aryans , not what Hitler said were Aryans.
I love amber and green eyes.
R7, I think Noah needs to sit Mrs. Noah down and ask her where she really was all those nights she told him she was playing cards with the girls.
Dark hair, green eyes here. People do seem to like the combination, I guess because of the contrast and green eyes being relatively rare.
I have several blond, Swedish relatives who dye their hair dark brown, or black.
What is rare is most attractive, in most instances.
It's totally subjective.
I love the small of "Hating Whitey" in the morning.
My last two ravishing loves had blue eyes. And both were Scorpios. They were sex on a stick.
See now you've exposed yourself, R48.
Go back to the other thread and talk about how blacks are planning to take over society.
[quote]What genetic/evironmental abnormality was this?
A good one.
i call those brian bloom eyes.
German Americans (16.5%), Irish Americans (11.9%), English Americans (9.0%), Italian Americans (5.8%), Polish Americans (3.3%), French Americans (3.1%), Scottish Americans (1.9%), Dutch Americans (1.6%), Norwegian Americans (1.5%), and Swedish Americans (1.4%) constitute the ten largest White American ancestries.
[quote]Norwegian Americans (1.5%), and Swedish Americans (1.4%) constitute the ten largest White American ancestries.
Yet they seem to fill the Midwest more than their German counterparts...
The Germans came early, intermarried, and bred like rabbits.
A huge number were imported to fight the revolution for the british with promises of free land. Most deserted when the Americans made them a better offer. They really didn't give a shit who won. After the revolution, they brought their families over.
Most people have no idea how much german ancestry they have.
When I was a kid, I thought brown eyes were exotic and I wished I had them...they were exotic in my neck of the words.
It's true that what's uncommmon is generally considered attractive -- rarity value, I suppose.
As late as the turn of the 20th century blue eyes and fair hair were so typical in my family's neck of northern central Europe that dark hair and eyes were considered an asset. Daring women darkened their hair to increase their sex appeal.
[quote]My last two ravishing loves had blue eyes.
I know a Chinese guy who likes to rant that Asians DO have variations in hair and eye color.
He likes to point out that Chinese people can have hair that's black, blue-black, or very dark brown. And that their eyes range in color from very light brown, almost amber, to perfectly black.
[quote] Obviously all mankind originated from Africa, but when did they start to look different?
Do we know this for sure, or is it just a common assumption? I've never read anything conclusive that said humans originated in Africa.
Most apes are white skinned. But hairlessness with white skin at the equator would have been disastrous, so black skin evolved very quickly after humans lost their hair. More recently some of those selection pressures have declined because of the spread of humans, and their use of fire, shelter, and clothing, allowing the white skin and greater hair to start reappearing some places. It is not clear where the advantage will ultimately lie.
I find the topic of black hair texture just as interesting.
R65, you mean pubes?
You're right, r55. I thought my family was pretty much 100% British, but my sister did the genealogy thing and we're Hohenzollerns on one side and French on the other. She was able to get back comprehensively to the 11th century. The Welsh and and Scottish lines were sort of incidental.
Very interesting, R55 and R67. What generation did that influx come from? R55 or anyone else can answer.
Aren't Arabs, Persians, Afghans and all central Asians pretty much considered white in America? And some Indians as well? I mean: Steve Jobs, Casey Kesem, Shannon Elizabeth, Ralph Nader, Paul Anka, Paula Abdul, Bill Shaheen, Donna Shalala, Tony Shalhoub, Doug Flutie, John Sununu, Tige Andrews, Sen. George J. Mitchell and the Octomom are all just a few examples of famous Arab Americans. No one would ever think of them as not white.
Point is, Eurasia really is the same land mass.
R69, most, if not all of them, aren't.
There were several waves of German immigration to America. My first German ancestor arrived in the early 18th century, right around the time the Hanoverians took over the British throne.
My family is an illustration of the old saying that there's more blue blood in a Virginia nursing home than in the House of Lords and Windsor Castle together. I wish they'd managed their money a bit better.
The late 18th century saw a spike of German immigration and then another one occurred in the 1840s, just before the flood of Irish. This was the one that filled the midwest with polka bars and bratwurst.
Thanks R71. But how prevalent are they in the mix in England these days?
Aren't Arab or aren't white, r70? Arabs span a whole spectrum, most Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians, and North Africans (Egyptians, Algerians, Libyans, Tunisians, etc) are essentially white, but Sudanese and Mauritanian Arabs look black).
They essentially AREN'T.
Arabs ARE white and are identified as such by the census bureau.
The census bureau? LOL!
It appears that scholars are no longer using the term "race" to apply to the variety of human beings, because scientific study has proven that when using the term race, as it applies to humans, there is only ONE race - that being the race of humans.
If one wishes to discuss the differentiation within the HUMAN RACE, then you are talking about "ethnic groups" or "populations," scientifically speaking.
Here is the list of currently recognized "ethnic groups." Which one(s) do you belong to?
R18/R29, fuck off. You are trying to stir up trouble and are not needed.
"German Americans (16.5%), Irish Americans (11.9%), English Americans (9.0%), Italian Americans (5.8%), Polish Americans (3.3%), French Americans (3.1%), Scottish Americans (1.9%), Dutch Americans (1.6%), Norwegian Americans (1.5%), and Swedish Americans (1.4%) constitute the ten largest White American ancestries."
You do realize this is self-reported and inaccurate, based on imaginary ancestries? That the number of Americans who claim to have Irish ancestry is about six times the real number? While the number reporting Scottish and English is below the real number.
Middle Easterner people including Jews are NOT white. Europeans are white. The Census should instead of using the term white should use Caucasian to describe people of European, North African and Middle Eastern background.
People would also be surprised that they have Native American blood. When those German, Irish, etc. guys came over here, there were many more men than women, and they often took an "Indian" woman as a mate. Then their offspring would marry whites and the exotic look would fade away.
Black hair is a telltale sign. Europeans don't usually have it unless they're from the Mediterranean areas.
Such an offensive post r86
R13 = Roman or Minnie Castevet, feeling a bit nervous.
As early humans started migrating north into Europe and east into Asia, they were exposed to different amounts of sun. Those who went north found their dark skin worked against them–preventing them from absorbing enough sunlight to create vitamin D. To adapt, these humans started producing less melanin.
But Inuits vitamin D intake wasn’t dependent upon the sun. They get all that they need from their diet, heavy on types of fatty fish that are naturally rich in vitamin D. The plentiful amounts of the vitamin kept them from developing less melanin. In fact, before milk was fortified with D, people living outside of Northern Canada and Alaska loaded their diets with fishy products, such as cod liver oil, to get their daily supplement. So despite their chilly climate and lack of sun exposure, it’s the Inuit diet that has kept them in their natural glow.
[quote]Those who went north found their dark skin worked against them–preventing them from absorbing enough sunlight to create vitamin D. To adapt, these humans started producing less melanin.
R90 demonstrates that ignorance is bliss. How is it he reached adulthood with not even the most basic comprehension of evolutionary theory?
I am a light blond still in my 40s with dark brown eyes and very pale skin.
My eyes are very sensitive to the sun. I think it is odd.
R91, don't be such a bitch.
It was a quote from this NYU science blog.
Obviously I don't think people LITERALLY "found themselves" screwed over when their skins were too dark and sat down one day and said, "Gee, I should make less melanin." Yes, I understand that mutations happen at random and some are more advantageous in terms of living long enough to breed and survive than others. And yes I understand that such a mutation would have spread over generations as people were more successful with less melanin.
This is the day for which you were created, Rei Ayanami.
R76 would do well to remember that when it comes to the Census Bureau race is self-reported and nearly all Middle Easterners identify as white.
R98, most of them lie. Even more important, those who register and record them lie, to fuck up the percentages.
Ooooh, who's that, R85?
My family's background is French-Dutch-Welsh-Scotch-Irish. Everybody has blue eyes and, in my immediate family, I'm the only one with dark brown hair -- everybody else is a red-head.
As a result, blue eyes rarely do anything for me. But brown eyes...whoa, that alone can make me melt!
Um, not to put too fine a point on it, r101, but you're adopted.
Red hair is highly recessive, so if everyone in your immediate family (including your parents) is a ginger, you'd have to be a redhead too if you were their offspring.
Sorry. Maybe you should start a thread on how you discovered you were adopted?
Omg, poor R101!
What a way to find out that your mommy hopped the fence!
"Well, most people here in the U.S. come from somewhere in Euorpe..Italians, Irish, Greek, Polish, German, etc."
Not for long.
What are you implying, R104?
Revenge of the cradles R105. The Hispanic population of the United States has grown from 14.5 million in 1980 (about a fourth of that in Puerto Rico) to 50.5 million in 2010, an increase of 36 million people, more than the population of Canada, in just 30 years.
The US population went from 132 million in 1940 to 309 million in 2010.
The Mexican population went from 20 million in 1940 to 112 million in 2010.
Which means total Hispanic population of the US and Mexico together went from 24 million to 162 million in seventy years, while the non-Hispanic population went from 128 million to 259 million during the same period. Or 138 million increase for Hispanics and 131 million for non-Hispanics from a much bigger base.
But it won't last. Mexican birth rates are slowing dramatically.
There are 75% more people of Mexican ancestry living in the United States today than there were Mexicans in Mexico in 1940.
R12? What was funny about that statement?
Based on language, "Europeans" migrated from western Asia to Europe. The "aryan" race is in fact indo- European, a fact acknowledged by hitler, and influencing his use of the swastika as a symbol. I am currently posted in Pakistan, and find myself constantly amazed at the very wide diversity of people is a country barely the size of an American state. From very dark eyes/hair/skin in Karachi in the south the south to very blond/red hair and green/ blue eyes in the mountainous north, the diversity does indeed follow a tropical/temperate distribution pattern. In fact, there is far more variation here than in Europe, where the variation spoken of by OP is relatively recent and due to migration. I must say that afghans have the craziest colored eyes I have ever seen - golden, amber, piercing green, bluish, and some indeterminate shades that I can't even name. Most afghans and many north Pakistanis are very fair with light eyes and dark brown hair. Would be very handsome too if they had better nutrition and access to running water.
I have one brown eye and one blue eye. It freaks people out.
Human hair color and eye color have nothing to do with environmental factors. They result from very recent genetic mutations.
Blue eyes originated from genetic mutation in a single person about 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Before that, everyone had brown eyes.
[quote]Do we know this for sure, or is it just a common assumption? I've never read anything conclusive that said humans originated in Africa.
That's because you're ignorant or ethnocentric.
Maybe it's racial thing. White people have variations. Native Ameicans or South Americans or Asians or Aborigins or black folks in Africa don't- or better said- didn't before mixing with white people.
Maybe I missed something, but I think it's really sad if a white person can't be interested in their ancestry without being called a racist.
We all all want to know where we came from - what kind of people - what things about us totally 'make sense'. What things would suit us best that we may not have considered because of our current (dis)placement on the globe.
Knowing or believing that your ethnic heritage is European does not mean that you have contempt for other races.
(above post referring to [R-19] and other posts like it)
All people with blue eyes are descended from a race of aliens.
[quote]Can someone explain eye shape? Why are Asian eyes so much different that the rest of the population?
R42. Perhaps it's the other way around. Since Asia covers so much land, maybe the Asian eye shape is the norm and the rounder European shape is so much "different."
It was discovered that Pacific Islanders with blonde hair were NOT blonde because there was inter-mixing with Europeans. They were blonde due to genetics. They did DNA testing and found no Euro mixing. This is what was printed, I am no expert on genetics.
R124 That's from sun bleaching, I think.
[quote] I have blue eyes and I cannot go outside on a sunny day without sunglasses. I'm Irish