The Paleo-Etiology of Human Skin Tone
December 17, 2009 6:28 AM Subscribe
Why are Europeans white? "White," of course, is a a social designation. The question really is, "Why are northern Europeans depigmented?" [...] Most people know that it has something to do with sunlight, UV, latitude, and vitamin D. [...] But this explanation fails for Europe. Northern Europeans are lighter than everyone to the south (Mediterraneans), to the east (Mongols and east-Asians), to the west (Native Americans across the Atlantic), and to the North (Inuit, Sammi, Chukchi, Aleut). Clearly, there once was a factor at work in Europe other than dim sunlight.
posted by symbollocks (90 comments total)
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That first link goes to a google knol summarizing the topic. The fully detailed and sourced essay is here