The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Show by  
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Authors Filter?
Peter Frost
Nothing found
 Entire ArchiveSkin Color Items

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Male figurine, pottery, c. 7,000–5,000 years ago, Greece, Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
This is one of several findings with a common theme: the farther back in time we go, the less familiar people look. And we don't have to go very far. This fact came up in a column I wrote about the Americas. If we turn back the clock, Amerindians look more and more European, yet... Read More
Egyptian painting of a Libyan, a Kushi, a Syrian, and an Egyptian.  In the Middle East, the Egyptians were seen as the Dark Other. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Mention the term ‘skin color’ and people usually think of race or ethnicity. Yet this way of thinking became dominant only when Europeans began moving out and colonizing the rest of the world, beginning in the 16th century. Previously, physical features were less useful as ethnic markers. We knew about and quarrelled with those groups... Read More
Mary Magdalene, Frederick Sandys (1829-1904). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Is the physical appearance of Europeans solely or even mainly an adaptation to climate?
Most humans have black hair, brown eyes, and brown skin. Europeans are different: their hair is also brown, flaxen, golden, or red, their eyes also blue, gray, hazel, or green, and their skin pale, almost like an albino's. This is particularly the case in northern and eastern Europeans. How did this color scheme come about?... Read More
Kostenki Man, reconstructed by Mikhail Gerasimov (1907-1970). An early European who was not yet phenotypically European.
Who were the first Europeans? We now have a better idea, thanks to a new paper about DNA from a man who lived some 38,700 to 36,200 years ago. His remains were found at Kostenki, a well-known Upper Paleolithic site in central European Russia (Seguin-Orlando et al., 2014). Kostenki Man tells us several things about... Read More
shutterstock_107053382
The physical appearance of Europeans seems to result from a selection pressure that acted primarily on women and only secondarily on men. This is especially true for highly visible traits on or near the face—the focus of visual attention. I have just published a paper on "The puzzle of European hair, eye, and skin color."... Read More
Above - Artist's reconstruction of pre-Viking Age boat Below – Prehistoric rock paintings of boats (Scandinavia) Some writers argue that European skin became white to offset a decline in dietary vitamin D. Pre-agricultural diets, however, were rich in vitamin D only among coastal Europeans who consumed fatty fish. The ‘vitamin D hypothesis’ is often invoked... Read More
The human mind seems to use facial color to determine whether a person is male or female. A man has a relatively dark facial color that contrasts poorly with his lip and eye color. Conversely, a woman has a relatively light facial color that contrasts sharply with her lip and eye color (Russell, 2003; Russell,... Read More
It’s well known that African Americans have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. In fact, this seems to be generally true for humans of tropical origin. In a study from Hawaii, vitamin D status was assessed in healthy, visibly tanned young adults who averaged 22.4 hours per week of unprotected sun exposure. Yet... Read More
Why are Europeans so pale-skinned? The most popular explanation is the vitamin-D hypothesis. Originally developed by Murray (1934) and Loomis (1967), it has been most recently presented by Chaplin and Jablonski (2009). It can be summarized as follows: 1. To absorb calcium and phosphorus from food passing through the gut, humans need vitamin D. This... Read More
In my previous posts, I argued that a homeostatic mechanism keeps the level of vitamin D in our bloodstream within a certain range. When UV-B light is always intense, as in the tropics, the level seems to be 50-75 nmol/L in young adults and progressively lower in older age groups. The more sunlight varies seasonally,... Read More
How can vitamin-D deficiency exist despite lengthy sun exposure? This apparent paradox was raised in my last post. The medical community now recommends bloodstream vitamin D levels of at least 75-150 nmol/L, yet these levels are not reached by many tanned, outdoorsy people. In a study from Hawaii, vitamin D status was assessed in 93... Read More
In the late 19th century, a major concern was the poor health of industrial populations, particularly in England but also in other Western countries. The cause? For the medical profession, it seemed to be lack of sunlight. In densely packed tenements under the pall of factory smoke, not enough sunlight was getting through to kill... Read More
In history, when was the first encounter between human groups that greatly differed in skin color? The first recorded contacts were probably between the copper-skinned Egyptians and the black-skinned Nubians, known as nehesy, who had pushed down the Nile valley from sub-Saharan Africa to the land of Kush, just south of the second cataract. How... Read More
Are ruddy faces attractive? Apparently they are—if we believe the findings of a study from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (Stephen et al., 2009). The subjects were presented with photos of male or female faces, one at a time, and asked to give the faces an optimal healthy appearance. This was done by manipulating... Read More
It is well known that women feel attracted to certain visual, auditory, and olfactory characteristics of men. This attraction seems to be hormonally regulated, as suggested by psychosexual studies of women at different phases of the menstrual cycle. In general, women are more strongly attracted to male characteristics during the estrogen-dominant phase of their cycle... Read More
Is white skin an adaptation to the cereal diet that Europeans have been consuming for the past five to seven thousand years? When early Europeans switched from hunting and gathering to cereal agriculture, the new diet may have provided less vitamin D (i.e., from fatty fish), which the body needs to metabolize calcium and create... Read More
Differences in human skin color are commonly explained as an adaptive response to solar UV radiation and latitude. The further away from the equator you are, the weaker will be solar UV and the less your skin will need melanin to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. A variant of this explanation involves vitamin D, which... Read More