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Non-prejudice racial evolution question

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posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 04:17 PM
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Hello fellow users of the popular conspiracy site ATS. This is not a conspiracy thread by the way, this is just a general Q&A post.


I am pretty sure that I know this: black people are black because they have spent most of their time in an area with stronger sunlight, and white people are white because of a lack of sun, and I believe (though I might be wrong) it's the 'mellanine'? in the skin that determines what colour you are? If so, will black people living in countries where the sun is less prominent eventually lose the darkness of their skin? And, if all were put into an environment with virtually no sun a very limited amount of weak light, would everyone lose what colour they have and become like albinos? One reason why I am thinking about this as a 'possible possibility' is because I recently watched the Omega Man with Charlton Heston, and noticed that the mutants are all ghost white, which would have been from their nocturnal existence, so I'm wondering is it's ture so's I can use the idea.
I only ask for research purposes, for a book I'm writing, and I need to know if that idea is justified. Thankyou for reading and I'd appreciate any kind of response from anyone (as usual). Thankyou.


Ramadwarf on a lack of conspiracies, skin colour, and writing

[edit on 8-11-2009 by Ramadwarf Philes]




posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 04:54 PM
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reply to post by Ramadwarf Philes
 




'mellanine'?


Melanin.



If so, will black people living in countries where the sun is less prominent eventually lose the darkness of their skin?


Presumably yes, but if you believe traditional evolution the process might take thousands or millions of years. However...not necessarily yes. Science is not completely in agreement about the process of evolution. Darwin did eventually recant his theories (though some speculate his motivation may have been to please his religious wife rather than a change of belief), and there is some evidence that evolutionary processes take place far more quickly than traditional "natural selection" views of evolution can account for.

However, working with the natural selection model, it could very easily be argued that in our society, darkness of skin is not a significant survival trait. Even though we have less sun here, no dark-skinned people are dying because of it. However, humans across the world do tend to find lighter skin more beautiful source 1 source 2 source 3 source 4. So, it could be argued that choice in selection could take the place of "death" in the process of natural selection.

Theory could be argued either way. Personally I suspect the answer is "it could happen, it's possible...but it isn't happening that way." At some point though, it's usually best to set theory aside and simply observe the facts.



a book I'm writing, and I need to know if that idea is justified.


Ahh. You don't want to be guilty of did not do the research. Ok. Then...quick answer, I would say that it's not justified to suggest that black people would become albino simply from reducing their sun exposure. I think you need a little more justification than that.

Maybe if you give a little more explanation of the circumstances of your story, and what end result you would like to acheive...we could be of more help?



[edit on 8-11-2009 by LordBucket]



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 04:56 PM
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Basically there has to be an advantage for a mutation to stick, either provide a better chance of survival, or if it is a preferred look or behavior which leads to a bigger chance of reproduction and spreading those genes.

That's the foundation of Darwin's evolution theory at least.

In a small population such effects would spread a lot quicker than in a larger population.



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by LordBucket
 


I gotcha, 'Melanin', thanks
I knew the word but the spelling evaded me. Um, so it could happen but it would take a considerable amount of time to happen? (we would think.). Well, it was basically just an idea that I was going to include in this story where the characters have lived their lives on a spaceship, as people had been doing a few hundred years prior to it, and was wondering whether a lack of sun and a lot of 'darkness' or 'dimness' might make a change in skin colour. It is farfetched enough as it is, so I doubt it would make much difference to the believablility of it if I did include it; but, me being very 'needy' when it comes to plausability, I was compelled to do some research.


Ramadwarf on Melanin and his book



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:20 PM
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Generally all animals living over many generations in complete darkness, lose their pigmention. Animals, being adapted to a life in total darkness are called troglobites. Animals living in semi-darkness develop larger eyes, those living in complete darkness tend to have tiny, unfunctional eyes. Other adaptions are better hearing, a finder sense of touch. Arthropods tend to have long antennae.
en.wikipedia.org...
images.google.de...

As you have stated, the pigmentation of humans is a result from the amount of melanin found in the skin. Melanin offers protection against UV-light.
en.wikipedia.org...

But the darkened skin has also has a detrimental effect. We need UV-light for the activation of vitamin D. Large amounts of melanin in the skin, hinder this activation.



Vitamin D is a prohormone, meaning that it has no hormone activity itself, but is converted to the active hormone 1,25-D through a tightly regulated synthesis mechanism. Production of vitamin D in nature always appears to require the presence of some UV light; even vitamin D in foodstuffs is ultimately derived from organisms, from mushrooms to animals, which are not able to synthesize it except through the action of sunlight at some point in the synthetic chain. For example, fish contain vitamin D only because they ultimately exist on calories from ocean algae which synthesize vitamin D in shallow waters from the action of solar UV.

en.wikipedia.org...

While people with black skin, usually don't need a sunblocker even when exposed to strong sunlight. They need larger amounts of Vitamin D to maintain their health in dark areas like Scandinavia. This is particulary true if they live beyond the polar circle.

[edit on 8-11-2009 by Drunkenshrew]

[edit on 8-11-2009 by Drunkenshrew]



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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reply to post by mimer
 


Right, so if people were in an environment where being as light as possible was best, because of the darkness of the surroundings and such, a change might occur over maybe an extensive period of time?

Ramadwarf on the subject



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by Ramadwarf Philes
Well, it was basically just an idea that I was going to include in this story where the characters have lived their lives on a spaceship, as people had been doing a few hundred years prior to it, and was wondering whether a lack of sun and a lot of 'darkness' or 'dimness' might make a change in skin colour.


They'd probably have bone deformities, rickets at the very least, some skin disorders of general flakiness too. They may not be very pretty at all.



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:34 PM
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reply to post by Ramadwarf Philes
 




so it could happen but it would take a
considerable amount of time to happen?


...well, again, it would depend on the cause. If you're depending on natural selection, it might take thousands of years, millions of years...or never.

There are examples of evolutionary processes happening much more quickly. For example, I recall reading about a species of bird that transplanted itself to england and changed color from white to gray within a few decades. Presumably to match the color of the polluted air. But, even though that actually happened, it's not easily explainable via traditional views of evolution.

Natural selection is clearly not the only catalyst for evolutionary change. But the "popular" conception of evolution is not aware of that. So, if you want a speedy evolution, and if you want your audience to accept it, I think you'll need to make a statement about it rather than simply saying "oh, so they changed after a couple centuries" and expecting your readers to take that in stride.

If you make it a premise of your book that evolution works through means other than natural selection, and explain it, that should be enough.



lived their lives on a spaceship, as people had been doing a few hundred years prior
wondering whether a lack of sun and a lot of 'darkness'
or 'dimness' might make a change in skin colour.


For evolutionary change to occur quickly, there generally must be some sort of "pressure" on the creatures in question. In the situation you describe, there's no "incentive" for change. It's more about "atrophy" of a trait than a speedy change. Atrophy of coloration may occur, but not in the timeframe you're working with.

If you really want it to happen, you need some sort evolutionary incentive for the change.



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by Drunkenshrew
While people with black skin, usually don't need a sunblocker even when exposed to strong sunlight. They need larger amounts of Vitamin D to maintain their health in dark areas like Scandinavia. This is particulary true if they live beyond the polar circle.


Presumably then, darker skinned progeny would be less likely to thrive with low sunlight/UV levels, so the group via natural selection would become lighter skinned.



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by Drunkenshrew
 




While people with black skin, usually don't need a sunblocker
even when exposed to strong sunlight. They need larger amounts
of Vitamin D to maintain their health in dark areas like Scandinavia.


There you go. Use that.

Your spaceship has hull and shielding that blocks EM radiation. Plus, the ship is in interstellar space, so there's no natural UV source. Conseqeuntly your travellers have massive vitamin D depletion, and they begin to react to that by lightening.

Of course...they would probably start to figure out what was going on within the first few months or year, not generations...and presumably they'd find a solution. Vitamin supplments, for example. But with some development, the idea may be plausible.



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:57 PM
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Races are horses for climatic hunter gatherer courses:
Most of us are no longer hunter gatherers, therefore as long as we get a good balanced diet, and don't have to go catch our own mammoth etc, the food scarcity evolutionary pressure that bought into being the walkabout hunter gatherer races out of Africa no longer apply.
I read somewhere that blue/grey/green eye color give a hunter a better ability to see in a fog. Much more prevalent in NW Europe when the Ice Age glaciation was in retreat.
In north east Asia the problem for the hunter is more one of blinding sunlight reflecting off the snowfields. Therefore the classic mongol eye configuration is best suited to filtering excess light.
Nowadays we can all wear shades

I wrote a bit related to this at
www.abovetopsecret.com...
Bottom of page.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 12:16 PM
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Aha! So we have a lack of Vitamin D to go with the darker environment, or think of a reason involving Natural selection. I think I like the sound of a lack of Vitamin D, and the suggestion of bone and skin dissorders (in terms of writing an interesting book); though I love writing about evolution and Natural selection and so on, I've used it many times in other stories- but never have I used Vitamin D.
Thankyou to all who have posted ideas for me, they've all been brilliant. I think the solution might be to write a few different versions and see which solution works best.
Really it would just be a very small part of the text, to establish what life is like for the characters, but you still have to do the work, no matter how important it is; otherwise the humiliation is unbearable.


Thankyou LordBucket, for your links and much needed information. It was, and is, much appreciated, bringing to me much excitement.


Thankyou DrunkenShrew for your input, without which the Vitamin D solution probably wouldn't have come to light.


Thankyou ShamHat for mentioning probable bone and skin problems from that particular environment, I shall put that to good use!


Thankyou Epipactis, your post was very helpful and much appreciated.


Thankyou Mimer, the excitement began to grow in me after reading your post, brill.


Best wishes to all!


Ramadwarf on the preferable solution and thanking those that provided the much needed information, all will be put to goooooood use.


[edit on 9-11-2009 by Ramadwarf Philes]



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