Friday, September 07, 2007

Interesting blog posts

South Asian skin colour - I
South Asian skin colour - II

UV & Skin Color

The Great Apes of Africa


Ravi Mundkur said...

Origin of brown skin colour in Asians by mutation of a specifc gene is quite interesting. Razib opines that light skin colouration is quite recent. His meaning of 'recent' is less than 10,000 years. Ofcourse, considering the long ages the Earth has put up, 10,000 years is quite recent. However our history episode- the entry of 'Aryans'into NW Indian subcontinent-is only about 4000-3700 year old.By that time, the different skin colours appears to have been well defined.

Manjunat said...

.By that time, the different skin colours appears to have been well defined.

Probably, by well defined you mean self identity/perception based on skin colour. However, considering that light skin colour arose in NW Europe ( that is confusing considering LGM refuges were in south and east Europe... in my opinion, it arose in eastern Europe just like lactase persistence even though trait if fixed in NW Europe), southern Europe, West Asia and North Africa (the latter two have least European ancestry) gradually became white. Therefore, it is tough to argue that skin colour was well defined from Euorpe to India. In my opinion, the west Asia should have been still in transition (south-east Iran still has dark skinned population) and since north-west India was in contact with west Asia it too might have had mixed colour population.

The horse mounted deity of Dravidian herders/occupational groups is a light skinned deity, I suppose.

I wasn't able to read that paper till now. I would like to know if there is a strong correspondence between percentage of Indo-European ancestry (as understood by population genetics ... a uniparental marker called R1a1) and the skin tone if we compare an IE population like Sinhalese and a Dravidian population like Kannadiga-s. I would like to understand the influence of geography on this highly selected trait in India.

The European ancestry among North Africans and West Asians is very low compared to extent of light skin colour in the population. I think that is significant if you consider the same allele as that of Europeans is responsible for light skin among them.

Ravi Mundkur said...

The results cited by Razib,atleast indirectly, suggests that the light skin colouration(ranging from light brown to shades of dark brown) of Asian and north African/Mediterraneans may be totally independant of the white European stocks. He connotes that the Japanese/Chinese/ Mongoloid light skin(yellowish) is derived from the independant mutation/modification of the genes from dark skinned tribes.
Thinking of mutations in genes producing colour variations, I presume that there were different shades of dark people in the subcontinent.And some shades of the dark skins were appearing 'blue'(was it 'bluish black' in reality?)that was attributed to Vishnu,Krishna and Rama!
As you said,the Bermer/Brahma was a light skinned God!