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The Evolution of Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes

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The Evolution of Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes

Pigmentation loss is of itself maladaptive

J. Richards tells us very punnily that “Peter Frost has written a cool paper on the evolution of blond hair”. Cool it may be but plausible it is not – if I may use a Yiddish grammatical construction.

The theory put forward is that sexual competition was greater among Nordics and this led to a “different” appearance being favoured – and those “different people hence reproduced more. This rather wacky theory is based on three postulates and as far as I can see, none are well-attested.

1). Nordics were particularly dependant on men for food acquisition.
2). Nordics had particularly high rates of fatality among males.
3). Nordics have always been particularly sexually liberated.

The facts as I know them are that up until the 20th century the Nordics were as sexually jealous and puritanical as anyone; that many populations and probably all primitive ones have had high rates of male fatality; that Nordics were farmers as well as hunters as far back as we know; and women doing farm work is as common as dirt in human populations.

If I am wrong in those common understandings, I would be delighted to see good evidence of it.

I prefer the traditional theory which I will very briefly restate in a moment but let me offer a small anecdote first: I was once at a conference at Oxford when I got talking to a Swedish psychologist. He was a Knight of the Northern Star, in fact, so he was a very eminent Swede (You didn’t know Sweden had knighthoods, did you?). I talked to him about the emigration of Swedes out of Sweden and he commented that seeing the place was mostly in the dark for six months of the year he really didn’t understand why anybody ever wanted to live there in the first place.

And that fits in with the view that loss of pigmentation (in hair, eyes, skin) is a MALADAPTIVE mutation (or set of mutations). Because of increased visibility, proneness to skin cancer etc, people with that mutation got competed out of living in desirable places and had to go to places that were at once cloudy (so less likely to allow sun-damage to fair skin etc.) and places that nobody else wanted (because of the cruel climate).

But, to survive in such a climate, abilities to think ahead had to be selected for and that gave us the higher IQ of whites. And with that higher IQ they bounced back and in effect conquered the world.

What’s wrong with that account?

That the genes involved in pigment loss seem to be various is the only obvious objection but we still know very little about how genes interact so one crucial mutation could well be at the back of it.

Update:

I should of course have mentioned that, while fair skin is maladaptive to an outdoor life in most of the world (sunburn, skin cancer, visibility to prey species etc.), it is of course adaptive in cloudy climes – being better able to use whatever light there is to make the very important vitamin D. As this article notes, even today, darker skinned people living in cooler climates can develop vitamin D deficiency diseases. It might also be argued that a fair skin is good camouflage for hunters in a snowy environment but ANY naked hunters amid snow would be distinctly unlikely!

Elsewhere

For the first time since the Iraq invasion, casualties have dropped for 4 months running. Sounds like an important development to me. I’m sure if casualties were rising I would be hearing plenty about it. But no. Instead we got heaps about Cheney peppering a guy with birdshot. Coalition deaths (not including Iraqi soldiers): Oct. 2005: 96; Nov. 2005: 86; Dec. 2005: 68; Jan. 2006: 64; Feb. 2006: 57

Blacks don’t care: “A Harvard University study suggests white Americans are far more likely than their black counterparts to die soon after the death of a spouse. The longitudinal study of 410,272 elderly U.S. couples indicates the “widowhood effect” – the increased probability of death among new widows and widowers – is large and enduring among white couples, but undetectable among black couples. That, say researchers, suggests blacks may somehow manage to extend marriage’s well-documented health benefits into widowhood.”

And this guy has spent his life giving other people advice! “A renowned psychiatrist from UC Irvine was duped into squandering at least $1.3 million of his family’s fortune on a Nigeria Internet scam, according to a lawsuit recently filed by his son. The son, also an Orange County doctor, said his father – Dr. Louis A. Gottschalk – gave as much as $3 million over a 10-year period in response to an Internet plea that promised the doctor a generous cut of a huge sum of cash trapped in African bank accounts in exchange for money advances.. Gottschalk – who at 89 still works at the UCI campus medical plaza that bears his name – said in court papers that the losses were caused by “some bad investments.””

Deceitful media again: “Last week, the Federal Reserve released their triannual survey of family income. The press seized on the major finding, that average family income declined from 2001 through 2004 and that growth in families’ net worth was the slowest in a decade. Those stats make for an easy morality tale about the Bush administration’s callousness towards the poor and solicitude for the rich and the powerful. Emblematic of the coverage was a quote from an economist that ran in USA Today: “The household balance sheet is in good shape, better shape today . but it’s not improved for everybody. It’s improved for the people in the top distribution of income and wealth,” he said. But the headlines and the morality tale are the exact opposite of the facts only a few pages inside the Fed report. The rich didn’t get richer; the rich got poorer while most everybody else did ok”.

Leftist versus Leftist: “The makers of the gay cowboy flick “Brokeback Mountain” were too rough on sheep, an animal-rights group charged yesterday. In a letter to director Ang Lee, The Humane Society also complained about the way the horses and elk were treated. “The excessively rough handling of the sheep and horses leaves viewers questioning whether anyone was looking out for the safety of those animals,” the letter said. “And many also wonder how the filmmakers got the elk to lose its footing and crumple to the ground ‘on cue’ after being shot.””

There is now a big lot of new posts up by Chris Brandthis time including a picture of him! He covers Muslims, blacks, IQ, David Irving etc.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).

Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country’s labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and “helping” them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin’s Communism. The very word “Nazi” is a German abbreviation for “National Socialist” (Nationalsozialistisch)

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