Have you been wondering where white people come from? Wonder no more. Excerpt:
When it comes to skin color, the team found a patchwork of evolution in different places, and three separate genes that produce light skin, telling a complex story for how European’s skin evolved to be much lighter during the past 8000 years. The modern humans who came out of Africa to originally settle Europe about 40,000 years are presumed to have had dark skin, which is advantageous in sunny latitudes. And the new data confirm that about 8500 years ago, early hunter-gatherers in Spain, Luxembourg, and Hungary also had darker skin: They lacked versions of two genes—SLC24A5 and SLC45A2—that lead to depigmentation and, therefore, pale skin in Europeans today.
But in the far north—where low light levels would favor pale skin—the team found a different picture in hunter-gatherers: Seven people from the 7700-year-old Motala archaeological site in southern Sweden had both light skin gene variants, SLC24A5 and SLC45A2. They also had a third gene, HERC2/OCA2, which causes blue eyes and may also contribute to light skin and blond hair. Thus ancient hunter-gatherers of the far north were already pale and blue-eyed, but those of central and southern Europe had darker skin.
Then, the first farmers from the Near East arrived in Europe; they carried both genes for light skin. As they interbred with the indigenous hunter-gatherers, one of their light-skin genes swept through Europe, so that central and southern Europeans also began to have lighter skin. The other gene variant, SLC45A2, was at low levels until about 5800 years ago when it swept up to high frequency.
So, in other words, a few genes makes the difference – and that difference really is only skin deep.
Race as it is understood today, especially in the United States, is far more of a social construct than anything else. There is little science behind the concept; humans have less genetic diversity than chimpanzees. Still, people obsess over this largely meaningless social construct. They think that these few genes should affect your opinions; that you must think, feel and (most importantly) vote according to your skin’s melanin content. That, True Believers, has nothing to do with race; it has everything to do with culture.
Science eloquently shows how race is a meaningless construct, but culture – unfortunately – is another story.