We have all descended from dark skinned African forbears that were adapted to intense equatorial sunlight. However, as humans moved to the higher latitudes they found less sunlight there, which makes it hard for those with a darker skin to produce vitamin D, so vital for bones and general health. In these higher latitudes, children with a natural mutation that helped them produce less melanin (i.e. those with a lighter skin) had better odds of survival than their darker skinned siblings. Over time, the so called ‘white race’ evolved as a local environmental adaptation. Being a function of random chance, evolution does not lead to exactly the same outcome everywhere.
E.g. Johan Moan, of the Institute of Physics at the University of Oslo, said in a research paper: “In England, from 5500-5200 years ago the food changed rapidly away from fish as an important food source. This led to a rapid development of … light skin.” The Australian, 31 August 2009. [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26004285-26040,00.html. ]
I’m not sure if everyone in the world knows about this and understand what it means for their conceptions about race-based “superiority”.
It therefore pleased me to recently learn about Nina Jablonski’s work in this area. I spent a few minutes listening to her lecture (below). In a few days, time permitting, I’ll watch her documentary, Skin Deep.
I encourage you to watch this short 15 minute talk, below. More importantly, I would like to urge Indians (and others) who still harbour racist thoughts to learn about the science of human evolution and stop their slavish obsession with skin colour. In particular, the Indian caste system is strongly associated with racism and should be repudiated outright. The Vedas had a merit based system in any case. Let there by multiple “castes” within the same family subject to their individual merit (although why should we have caste at all? – throw away such false ideas entirely).
The idea the skin colour determines a man’s competence is the most ridiculous thought ever created in human history.If you think that “race” is a real concept, I think you are an ass. Sorry (!) I don’t use strong personal words very often – and I’m sure that none of my blog readers think in this manner – but I think we ought to be pretty brutal with those who continue to harbour deeply flawed ideas. How long does mankind have to suffer from the disease of ignorance? Let’s bury the concept of “race” once and for all.
H G Wells (1901): “The swarms of black and brown and dirty-white and yellow people have to go. It is their portion to die out and disappear.”
D H Lawrence (1921): “Three cheers for the inventors of poison gas.”
George Bernard Shaw (1933): “Extermination must be put on a scientific basis if it is ever to be carried out humanely and thoroughly … if we desire a certain type of civilization and culture, we must exterminate the sort of people who do not fit into it.”