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« A Weird Phenomenon | Main | Blondes Not Going Extinct »

February 27, 2006

Comments

Gdr

>>> For every such paper you dig up, I can unearth many others like the following:

The abstracts for those papers seem consistent with what I said. I'm not sure what you're getting at here.

Abiola

Let me quote you a brief passage once again:

"Paleoindians have a common origin with aboriginal people of the area now designated the Altai-Sayan Upland, as well as the Lower Amur/Sea of Okhotsk region."

So why aren't these people blonde, then? And while you're at it, you might also want to answer my other questions about why it should take more than 10,000 years for blondness to begin showing up in East Asians even at minimal levels, and why so many white men go crazy over black-haired Asian women when they could be out chasing blondes.

Chuckles

[...the increased sexual attraction would be balanced by the increased risk of skin cancer...]

Which is beside the point. The question is: Where is the evidence for a sexual selection of blondes in African climes? It is not as if Albinos are in that short of a supply. Because even if skin cancer did result, we should still see empirical proof of this sexual selection - despite seeing no wider ranging transformation in the average hues of the population. That is the question. You see, what you dont realize is that blonde hair is probably a marker for sexual undesirability in and of itself in these areas we are discussing. Regardless of the effects of skin cancer on the final hues of the population, we should at least still see a clear preference for blonde hair - should the sexual selection theory be true. Do we see this, yes or no? If not - how come it supposedly applies in Europe? (and here is where you tack on your favorite positively selected trait).

Gdr

>>> Paleoindians have a common origin ...

You cut some words from the beginning of that sentence. They may be important!

>>> So why aren't these people blonde, then?

I don't see any claim in Frost's work that native Americans should be blonde. Nor any claims to the universal attractiveness of blondes (this seems to be an invention of the Times writer). So I don't propose to defend these absurd caricatures of his position.

Abiola

"They may be important!"

Don't be silly. If they're so important why not follow the link and add them back yourself?

"Nor any claims to the universal attractiveness of blondes (this seems to be an invention of the Times writer)"

Are you now suggesting only European men have a preference for blondes? How's this work then, through what possible mechanism? How did European males alone develop an innate genetic preference for blondes even before there were any blondes to prefer, as must have been the case for mutant blonde genes to prosper? And what's happened to such genes in all those white men who are more than happy to succumb to yellow fever?

"So I don't propose to defend these absurd caricatures of his position."

This is plain stupid. You're the one who's being absurd by cooking up ridiculous pseudo-rationalizations for every new seam discovered in this pile of hand-waving crackpottery.

Gdr

>>> If they're so important why not follow the link and add them back yourself?

You quoted them yourself above, so I thought you'd be able to find them. The sentence you quoted is talking about "ancient (pre-Clovis) Paleoindians". Not Inuit.

Anyway, let me summarize the objections that have been raised here.

1) Isn't this just a piece of armchair speculation?

Of course, but that doesn't mean it's drivel. It might just be wrong. (Darwin got into a lot of embarrasment for his armchair speculation about swimming bears turning into whales, but the essence of his speculation was right.)

2) There is no universal preference for blondes.

Frost never claims that there is. His view is that there is a widespread tendency for men to prefer women with lighter skin. His evidence is set out in his book http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1877275727/ and summarized on his web site at http://pages.globetrotter.net/peter_frost61z/

3) But I know people who prefer brunettes.

For Frost's theory to work he needs the average man to prefer paler skin, not every man.

4) What about such-and-such a population: why don't they have pale skin?

Are you sure that population satisfies the OSR hypothesis? In any case, selection can only act if there's variation.

5) But albinos show that this variation is present in all ethnic groups.

Albinos are not blondes. In particular, albinos suffer from sensitivity to light and loss of visual acuity, whereas blondes do not. So there's natural selective pressure against albinism.

6) We know that paler skin is naturally selected; there's no need to posit a sexual selection explanation.

This seems pretty convincing to me. But Frost doubts the pale skin / vitamin D connection so it's not a knock-down argument for him.

But you've missed an important objection, for which I have no answer:

7) Steve Sailor approves of Frost's work, so doesn't that place it beyond the pale?

dsquared

you appear to have missed the very strongest point; if this gene did become prevalent through sexual selection, why is it dying out?

Abiola

"You quoted them yourself above, so I thought you'd be able to find them."

This makes zero sense. Are you drunk?

"The sentence you quoted is talking about "ancient (pre-Clovis) Paleoindians". Not Inuit."

Whatever. To repeat myself:

""Paleoindians have a common origin with aboriginal people of the area now designated the Altai-Sayan Upland, as well as the Lower Amur/Sea of Okhotsk region.""

All these peoples have been at high altitudes long enough, even by your dubious reasoning, to have blondes in their midst by now, but they don't. Instead of admitting this tears a big hole in Frost's "theory", you go testing my patience with talk of "absurd" extrapolations and whatnot.

"Frost never claims that there is. His view is that there is a widespread tendency for men to prefer women with lighter skin."

And how does this relate to the question here, which is the evolution of blondness? The existence of blond Australian Aborigines and dark-haired, pale women like Rose McGowan (let alone hundreds of millions of pale-skinned northern Chinese, Koreans and Japanese) shows the two aren't intrinsically linked, so you can't try to rescue one claim with the other. Saying pale-skin has been selected for in higher latitudes is neither news nor controversial: saying blondeness has been selected for because it is intrinsically more sexually attractive is something else altogether.

Chuckles

Good grief man:

[...For Frost's theory to work he needs the average man to prefer paler skin, not every man...]

But this, precisely, is not the case. Is there empirical evidence that the average man, in fact, prefers blondes?

[...Albinos are not blondes. In particular, albinos suffer from sensitivity to light and loss of visual acuity, whereas blondes do not. So there's natural selective pressure against albinism...]

Rubbish! So whats a blonde then? Someone who has blonde hair aint a blonde anymore? Regardless of the pressure acting against albinism, we should still see a clear cut preference for albinos based on their blonde hair. So, are you saying that this instinct for blonde hair vaporizes automatically in the presence of a deficit in visual acuity and sensitivity to light? Besides - this doesnt affect *all* albinos: So where is the preference for those albinos that are free of these deficits?

Goodness! I'll be asking you to define "blonde" next. Albinos arent blondes...Yeah right.

Pithlord

This "theory" assumes exactly what needs to be explained: namely a supposed preference by proto-European males for blondes. Once you grant such a preference, then you don't need any particular sex ration to explain why blonde genes would spread through the population. But sex ration doesn't explain why such a preference would emerge, and it would seem to be contrary to the inclusive fitness of the male who had it.

FreQ

i know this is probably gonna irritate the hell out of you human genome and dna and quasi-ologist brainiac scientists out there but when you overthink something you sometimes just don't think of the obvious. its pretty simple to me: africans, right now, traditionally shun albinos. they didn't just start this. if they merely shun them now, they probably dealt with albinos even more severely in antiquity. i've read they were exiled altogether, perhaps even their whole families with them. africans produce a lot of albinos, so if you calculate how many people that might have left africa exiled, plus their families, you probably have a steady and large chunk of genetic stock spreading out of africa. you guys wanna pin it on food, sex, anything but exile as mutants, but africans have a history of separating themselves from their albino offspring. where would they go? away. where's away? out of africa, away from the dark skin people who cast them out. perhaps naturally migrating some place where the sunlight wasn't as harsh on their weak eyes and pale skin. albinos leaving africa might actually find the cooler climates hospitable, so the further north they traveled the more they may have found they could thrive. the same albinism that got them kicked out of africa aided them more and more outside of africa as they migrated away. albinism was probably not as useful for those that migrated east, so there was incentive to breed to retain pigment. migrants who headed towards cooler, northern climates did not have an incentive to retain pigment. since whole families were exiled, civilization, technology, culture, etc. were imported from africa and mutated with them. those with pigment traveled with them, but those who could thrive in the cooler clime would dominate. the members of the resulting society would be attracted to what was dominant. if those with pigment tended to falter in the cooler climes where those without pigment thrived, they would not be popularly selected for breeding (this is probably where the idea that white folks are somehow superior to black folks came from). any black folks that migrated with their albino kin would eventually be absorbed by the dominant albino society, especially the more geographically isolated they became. soon all folks would be albino. the isolated albino gene mutated and became stonger and more unique until it resulted in white skin. honestly, why do we white people have such a hard time with this? i would much rather be mutant black folks than be evolved from apes? we are an evolutionary mutation that nature selected for success in a cooler area. just as black folks are the original people of the planet earth that nature selected for the successful evolution of modern man. perhaps albinism was evolution's mechanism to spark migration, a change agent to separate peoples so they would diversify. i wonder if there isn't some residual resentment for others that is hardwired into our beings due to the unwanted exile and subsequent hardships experienced that makes us so other-people-aggressive (you have to admit that no one steals land like white man)? I also wonder if that isn't the source of our manic need to skew history so as to hide our african origins by looking for any justification to discount africa as the origin of anything of any historical value. africa is all but non-existent in classical western history, when pre-western history is nearly all african. our history is full of our need to covet everything africa, except its dark-skinned peoples. our current TV programming portrays everything from hebrews to huns as looking like europeans. i think that before you guys think another thought you oughtta start by taking yourselves out of your box, start outside of your comfort zone, and then rethink everything from a non-eurocentric paradigm.

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