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Red Hair: The Product of Race Mixing (and Sea Travel) (Life Sciences)
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N R Scott


In: Middlesbrough
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I have a new theory, it's a little counter intuitive, but here goes.

Red hair in humans pops up when you have populations that have a lot of genetic diversity in regard skin and hair colour. In the natural scheme of things you have a spectrum - from light hair, eyes and skin in the extreme north to very black hair, eyes and skin at the equator. With all populations falling somewhere on this light/dark spectrum. However, when you get populations that jumble all this up because of long distance travel (especially sea travel) between far distant lands then you get red hair randomly popping up.

So for example, the British Isles has a lot of red hair because it's perfectly positioned between the light-haired Nordic regions and the dark-haired Med/North African regions. So most Irish people for example will have both African and Scandinavian ancestors in their family due to these trade routes. So they have a bigger gene lottery.

Likewise, the spike in redheads seen in Russia is no doubt a consequence of the trade routes in the east between the Middle East and the Nordic North.
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N R Scott


In: Middlesbrough
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Red hair is generally viewed as being especially white, but actually a lot of its aspects are quite mixed. Freckles are dots of brown skin on white skin. Hazel eyes are a mixture of blue and brown. Green eyes are intermittent between blue and brown.

Normally most people will marry someone from the neighbouring tribe or village, who will be on a similar part of the light/dark spectrum to themselves. So there's normally not much room for random variation in the appearance of offspring. Plus travelling long distances across land is difficult as it means travelling through potentially hostile territory. Once you have sea travel though you have the potential for people to meet other people who look very different to themselves. Meaning a bigger palette of options for the offspring and more random mixes of the light and dark genes.

This would explain why there are no "red-haired nations" anywhere in the world, and why red hair is always a minority variation even in populations where it's more prominent. It might also explain why there are so many royals from history with red hair. As again, unlike the normal folk marrying local people from the neighbouring village, royals are often hooking up with foreign princes and princesses. Meaning, again, more variation.
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N R Scott


In: Middlesbrough
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I probably haven't explained my thinking too well there. So just to give an illustration of the light/dark spectrum I'll split the world in regions from north/cold to south/hot.


Region A: Polar north. Light blond hair, very white skin, light blue eyes.

Region B: Less north. Mousey-blond hair, white skin, dark blue eyes.

Region C: Midway: Brown hair, light brown skin, grey/brown eyes*

Region D: Further south: Dark brown hair, dark brown skin. Dark brown eyes.

Region E: Equatorial south. Black hair, skin and eyes.

(*I'm cheating a little by magically blending blue eyes into dark grey-brown eyes, but I haven't quite figure that part out yet.)


So normally due to limitations of travel someone from Region A would only have offspring with someone from Region A or Region B. Meaning the offspring would be blond, light-skinned, blue-eyed, or perhaps ever so slightly darker than that (i.e. slightly further down the scale). Same with all the other regions, only interacting with the regions next door to them.

However, once you have Region A people meeting Region E people then all hell breaks loose and strange variations pop up due to the sheer range of options. Sure, 9 out of 10 offspring may look something like Region C people, but 1 in 10 may have the luminosity of blond hair, but mixed with a darker tone not normally seen in standard blondes (red hair). Or eyes that are some strange mixture of bright blue and dark brown (hazel eyes).
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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Region A: Polar north. Light blond hair, very white skin, light blue eyes.

Not an accurate description of reindeer herders in the circumpolar north. You wouldn't need a scenario of Region A meeting Region E for your light/dark spectrum to work.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Pretty impressive, Captain Scott.

As far as I know, red hair is treated as a normal recessive gene originating in a mutation of another one (which one, brown or blond, do they know?). Though I suppose -- since red hair and the 'translucent' skin that goes with it (how does that work genetically?) is considered unlucky and is certainly to some extent disadvantational medically -- we should not rule out that red hair is the original and the other, more favoured forms are mutations of it. After all, isn't that how evolution by natural selection is supposed to work?
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N R Scott


In: Middlesbrough
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Hatty wrote:
Not an accurate description of reindeer herders in the circumpolar north. You wouldn't need a scenario of Region A meeting Region E for your light/dark spectrum to work.

That's a good point. I've been ignoring Oriental people (East Asians and Eskimos - they all look similar/the same in my opinion) simply because they don't fit my theory. I don't understand why they seem so immune to red or blonde hair. Especially given they do live in the northern regions. Even amongst mixed European/East Asian children it seems very uncommon. Whereas everywhere else red and blonde hair does pop up. If infrequently. You only have to type in "black people red hair" to see plenty of freckly, red/blonde-haired people of part-African descent.

As for blue eyes, I've been speculating that they're a product of the long dark winters. The eyes of Arctic Reindeer turn blue in the winter.

https://slate.com/technology/2013/10/arctic-reindeer-change-eye-color-blue-eyes-help-them-see-during-the-long-dark-winter.html

Also Husky dogs have blue eyes.

As for why Scandinavians have blue eyes and Eskimos don't I'm not sure. It could be that Scandinavians are settled and live through the winter, whereas Eskimos migrate around. Also, given they look so "Chinese" perhaps they're more recent arrivals. Again though, you do get red hair in Russia where east meets west. So if I limit my "polar" region to Northern European people it still kinda works.
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Mick Harper
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The eyes of Arctic Reindeer turn blue in the winter

Interesting. I seem to remember that (human) babies do this but the other way round. Or something. The reason I raise the point is that domestication appears to have a lot to do with prolonging the juvenile stage into adult life.

Also Husky dogs have blue eyes

But, we also speculated in Megalithic Empire, that it has a lot to do with selecting animals as pets and doing so on the basis of the "Oh, isn't that cute" factor eg no to eagle owls, yes to barn owls. Wolves have rather repellent yellow eyes, don't they? So when the odd blue-eyed one comes along...
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N R Scott


In: Middlesbrough
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Mick Harper wrote:
red hair and the 'translucent' skin that goes with it (how does that work genetically?) is considered unlucky and is certainly to some extent disadvantational medically

I would guess that the very white translucent skin associated with red hair is no more white and translucent than the skin of very fair blonde-haired people. I think it's just that the browness of the freckles amplifies the sense of whiteness. I have dark reddish-brown hair and freckles and my skin still tans. In the summer my exposed arms go brown in comparison to the rest of my body, but because the brown tanning is nowhere near the dark browness of the freckles the arms look white on their own with nothing else to compare them to.

I would guess it's more the freckles themselves that carry the sense of unluckiness and medical disadvantage. Being a literal sign of impurity and imperfection. It might also be why red hair is traditionally viewed as a sign of sexual licentiousness. As it's evidence of race-mixing.

we should not rule out that red hair is the original and the other, more favoured forms are mutations of it

This is why I feel I might actually be on to something with this, as it's not what I wanted to believe. I started out looking for an original. Hoping there'd be some long lost glorious red-haired civilisation somewhere in the past. I wasn't hoping to find out I'm a mongrel.
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N R Scott


In: Middlesbrough
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Mick Harper wrote:
The reason I raise the point is that domestication appears to have a lot to do with prolonging the juvenile stage into adult life.

Domestication is also where you see a lot of colour variation in animals. Normal species have their fixed colours, but cats, dogs, cattle and horses tend to come in all the same hair/fur colours that humans do. So perhaps red hair, blonde hair and all the varying eye colours are a consequence of Europeans domesticating themselves in a sense by building western civilisation.
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N R Scott


In: Middlesbrough
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N R Scott wrote:
I wasn't hoping to find out I'm a mongrel.

Ha, I've just read that back. Didn't mean it to sound quite so dry. No chance I'll ever get a job at No. 10 now. Especially when coupled with the rest of it

(East Asians and Eskimos - they all look similar/the same in my opinion)

At least I'll be able to play the mixed-race card.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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East Asians and Eskimos - they all look similar/the same in my opinion

While we're being racist, I should point out that there is one 'race' that doesn't get much of a mention consisting of Eskimos, Hairy Ainu, native Siberians, various 'hill tribes' of south Asia, Polynesians, Red Indians, Maoris and Australian aborigines that appear to be 'different' from Black, White and Oriental -- and possibly from one another.

The problem here is that they all seem immune to cultural development and are a standing objection to the 'we are all the same under the skin' arguments of multicultural orthodoxy. I might have to shift 'Black' into that column depending on whether Dom's mate is right about the fifteen IQ points. And the Orientals. And some of the Whites don't pass muster either. In fact just us blue-eyed blonds really. Sorry, Scottie, red-haired people need not apply.
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