Skin Color and the Origin of Ancient Egyptians

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by q0101, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. q0101

    q0101 Registered Senior Member

    I think skin color is the most common thing that people talk about when they are having a conversation about race or racism, followed by religion. I’ve noticed that most cultures around the world place an importance on skin color. (North Americans, South Americans, Europeans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Ect.) Scientific studies have shown that people with lighter complexions tend to have more privileges within their society. Humanity has been conditioned to prefer the appearance of people with lighter complexions.

    There are many theories to explain why this has happened. Some people believe that racism exist today because albinos were shunned from our society in Africa thousands of years ago. There is a theory that they were forced to migrate out of Africa because of the poor treatment that they received from the Africans with darker complexions. The white skinned Africans did not let their children forget about the way that they were treated, and that is the reason why skin color has been such a big issue in our society for thousands of years. I guess there could some truths to that theory.

    I am going to post an excerpt from a book that is called DNA The Secret Of Life. It was written by James D. Watson and Andrew Berry. James D. Watson was the first director of the National Center for Human Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health from 1989 to 1992. He won a Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1962. Andrew Berry has a Ph.D. in fruit fly genetics. He is a research associate of Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.

    Excerpt from chapter 9 Out Of Africa

    Because of the short evolutionary timescales involved, most of the consistent differences we do see among groups are probably products of natural selection: skin color, for one.

    Under their dense matted hair, the skin of our closest relatives, the chimpanzee, is largely unpigmented. (Chimpanzees you might say, are white.) And presumably the common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans from which the human lineage spun off five million years ago was similar. And so we infer that the heavy skin pigmentation characteristic of Africans (and of the earliest modern humans, in Africa born) arose in the course of subsequent human evolution. With the loss of body hair, pigment became necessary to protect skin cells from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation. We know at a molecular level how UV rays can cause skin cancer: they make the thymine bases of the double helix stick to one another, creating a kink, so to speak, in the DNA molecule. When that DNA replicates itself, this kink often promotes the insertion of a wrong base, producing a mutation. If, by chance, that mutation is in a gene that regulates patterns of cell growth, cancer may result. Melanin, the pigment produced by skin cells, reduces UV damage. As anyone with a hopelessly fair complexion as mine knows too well, sunburns, though typically not lethal, can be a much more immediate health threat than skin cancer. Thus it is easy to imagine natural selection favoring the acquisition of dark skin in order to prevent not only cancer, but also infections that can easily result from a severe sunburn.

    Why did people living in higher latitudes lose melanin? The best explanation involves vitamin D3 synthesis, a process carried out in the skin and requiring UV light. D3 is essential fro calcium uptake, which in turn is a critical ingredient of strong bones. (A deficiency of D3 can result in rickets and osteoporosis.) It is possible that, as our ancestors moved out of Africa into highly seasonal environments, with less year-round UV radiation, natural selection favored pale-skinned variants because they, with less sun-blocking pigment in their skin, synthesized D3 more efficiently with the limited UV available. The same logic may apply to the movements of our ancestors within Africa. The San, for instance in South Africa, where UV intensities are similar to those of the Mediterranean, have a strikingly pale skin. But what about the Inuit peoples, who live in or close to the hardly sunny arctic but are surprisingly dark? Their opportunities for producing the vitamin would appear to be further limited by the need to be fully clothed all the time in their climate. In fact, the selective pressure favoring lightness seems not to have asserted itself among them, and the reason appears to be that they have solved the D3 problem in their own way: a diet with plenty of fish, a rich source of the essential nutrient.

    Given what a powerful determinant, mostly for ill, skin color has been in human history and individual experience, it is surprising indeed how little we know about its underlying genetics. This deficit, however, may have less to do with the limitations of our science and more with the intrusion of politics into science; in an academic world tyrannized by political correctness, even to study the molecular basis of such a characteristic has been something of a taboo. What little we understand about it depends on old studies of mixed-race children, which established that several genes contribute to pigmentation. But our knowledge of other species and the similarity of basic biochemical processes among all mammals suggest a more complicated picture. We know, fro instance, that may genes affect coat color in mice, and it is likely that these have direct human equivalents. So far though, we have managed to identify only two genes involved in human pigmentation: that one that, when mutated, causes albinism, and the other, the “melanocortin receptor”, associated with red hair and a pale (often freckled) complexion. The melancortin receptor gene is variable among Europeans and Asians, but invariant among Africans, suggesting that there has been strong natural selection in Africa against mutations in the gene, i.e.; against red-haired, fair-skinned individuals. Albinos, who lack pigment altogether, occasionally appear today in African populations (probably through de novo mutation) but their acute sensitivity to sunlight puts them at a severe disadvantage.
  2. spidergoat

    spidergoat alien lie form

    There might be a genetic cause for racism, which goes like this: Anyone that looks significantly different from you does not share a significant percentage of your genes, so that any altruism towards them (from the point of view of survival of your genes), is a waste of resources and energy. Killing them, or rejecting them from society leaves more resources to people that do share a greater percentage of your genes.
  3. q0101

    q0101 Registered Senior Member

    That logic is flawed. A blond haired blue-eyed European could have more genetic similarities with a dark skinned brown-eyed person African than another European with a similar appearance. Engaging in genetic diversity or so-called interracial sex increases the probability that some of your genes will continue to survive for many generations. Some ethnic groups have genetic traits and predispositions that can give them an advantage in specific tasks. The interracial genetic exchange between two people with good genetic traits can create a child that is stronger, faster, smarter, and more adaptable to specific environments. It is what I call logical eugenics, unlike the flawed style of eugenics that the Nazis created.
  4. spidergoat

    spidergoat alien lie form

    Genes don't know that. Behavior that preserves you and your genes, and secondarily your family's genetic code (kids have 50%, other relatives somewhat less), gets preserved, and so will become more common. Indeed, animals often refuse to mate with others that look different, even though they may be compatable. This is also why maternal grandmothers often confer a survival advantage to their grandkids over fraternal ones, because their relationship to them is certain. "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins is a great resource on this subject. I can't say I understand it entirely.
  5. TimeTraveler

    TimeTraveler Immortalist

    This is interesting. I read the main post, I don't think Albinos had much to do with racism. Race did not exist in the ancient world. Egyptians, Romans, Asians, all lived in the same area, and in some cases you had a white Pharaoh I believe cleopatra

    Who also happened to be the last. I think this was the beginning of the conflict, although it was still not yet defined as race based, this seems to be where it really began as this is the time when all the shit hit the fan. Asians then took over Rome and it collapsed, and you had the Moors take over, and it all fell from there. It seems that racism increases as civilization collapses. When the major civilizations collapse people go tribal. When Egypt collapsed, Africa went tribal. Then there was the dark ages in Europe and we know what happened here, so as you can see, race really is just a symptom of collapse. When things are going well, it's realy just rich and poor, with the slaves being the lowest caste. There were slaves in Rome and slaves in Egypt, at the same time, and there seemed to be no such thing as racial slavery. Anyone who was conquered became the slave.

    Race was invented, sometime around the 1400s, as a way to seperate the slaves from the masters and it was an economic system which had nothing to do with hatred. Blacks were chosen because they happened to be the best builders and laborers, and hardest workers of that time period. It's funny now that racism is very popular that people say it's the opposite, that blacks are the lazy etc, but if you look at the actual history, almost everything in this country from railroads to houses was built by slave labor. I don't think lazy applies, I just think it's impossible to keep the same people as slaves in the same position forever. It's simply the next races turn, and thus the labor will be shifted to another group.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the majority of whites are lazy, at this point it's not about lazy. It's about price, and it's always been about price. Slavery existed because the slaves worked for free. Before blacks were the free labor you had the Irish. After blacks, it looks like it might be China and India, so the asians might be next. The point is it always exists, there is always cheap labor, slave labor, and it exists because people want to get something for nothing.

    Racism is simply the religion built about it to justify it. If you are doing something that is morally or ethically wrong, usually you have to come up with a good religion or set of words to justify it or make it seem morally right.

    Also people rarely mate with people who have genetic similarities, otherwise you'd have more inter-racial dating. Skin color/appearance/race is less than 10% of a persons genes. There are more genetic differences between height and weight, there are more genetic differences between types of intelligence and personality. Race is just appearance, and if we all were the same race then the blonde hair and blue eyed would become a new race and everyone else would be black. From there it would be the tall vs the short, the fat vs the skinny, this never ends, and it's all based on your eyes. If we were all blind then we'd have races based on the sounds of peoples voices. Singers would be a seperate race from everyone else.

    The selfish gene is actually not the greed gene. I'm selfish, but I'm not greedy BECAUSE I'm more selfish than a typical greedy person. If you are truly selfish, you look out for your neighbor, your family, and your species because you are actually protecting yourself. If you are greedy you don't care about your species, your neighbor, or the future because you just want to consume shit. Selfish means you have to actually have an accurate concept of self, and despite what anyone things, humans are not designed to be individuals. You might be designed to think like an individual, but we are tribal and work in groups of families, tribes, countries and races, corporations and so on. The more we expand our inter-dependance the stronger we become as individuals within the group. By becoming a country, we are stronger than being individual states, thus we became the united states. By becoming the united nations, or united countries it makes each individual country more powerful than if they all fought each other. By becoming one species, and not a bunch of seperate species in the form of race, we actually can protect our earth, our collective future, our security, as a team. Perhaps we would be able to deal with crime and terrorism if we actually saw these problems as human problems and not just see them as racial or religious problems. The reason we cannot seem to solve our problems is because we keep creating false problems that don't have to exist. I think we arent selfish enough to save our species, our economy, our environmnt, and our futures because each individual is too busy doing their own thing to see the connections they have to everyone and everything else. That's just a lack of awareness.

    If you are selfish, prove it, protect yourself.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2006
  6. Count Sudoku

    Count Sudoku Banned

    Working on it.
  7. q0101

    q0101 Registered Senior Member

    I don’t agree with the theory either, but I do think that albinos and the first Africans with genetic mutations that made their skin paler could have experienced some kind of discrimination within the tribal groups that existed thousands of years ago.
  8. TimeTraveler

    TimeTraveler Immortalist

    That all the slaves in the hieroglyphics were depicted as Black and the rulers lighter skinned was just a coincidence.

    Slaves? The Egyptians worshipped their Goddess, this would be like having Jesus come back and calling the Christians his slaves. There were slaves in Egypt, and you might be right, Cleopatra might have had black slaves, or worshippers, or however you'd like to define it, but this is likely why Egypt collapsed.

    People don't mate with people exactly like them. How many people here are of just one race? Almost everyone has multiple ethnicities. I don't know anyone who is pure French, or pure Irish, or pure German, or pure English, almost everyone has at least one relative from a different race.

    As far as albinos facing discrimination, I don't think that would be why they left. Arabs and Jews stayed in the same area and they would have been considered albino to the average Egyptian, and this would explain some of the stories. I'm sure there was slavery, and I'm sure there was discrimination, but I don't think we know precisely why people left. I'm guessing peoples skin changed after they left not before. I'm guessing it was not a skin mutation that turned blacks white, but it could have been a skin mutation that turned whites black, or it could have been that whites just went through the ice age, or in colder climates needed the sun. It could have just been an environmental advantage, if you live in a cold cave like environment to absorb the sunlight, and in a tropical environment it could have been an advantage to have dark skin. If you live in a snowy cold mountain or cave like environment chances are your skin will adapt.

    As far as Asians, I'm not sure, but Asians seem to have been in between, so there are 3 main "races" or evolutionary paths. Perhaps they all came from the same race and evolved differently, but there is no way to know if the original race had dark skin, white skin, or yellow skin. The mutations could have occured no matter which race was the root race, and it's likely that the root race could have been something like the aboriginal race, which is a very old race in itself, older than all the others.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2006
  9. q0101

    q0101 Registered Senior Member

    I think it is ironic that so much people have experience pain and suffering because of their dark complexions, despite the fact that melanin is a substance that’s supposed to prevent misery and pain. (Skin cancer, sun burns) I guess everything will even out in the end. One group experiences slavery and racial discrimination, and the other group experiences sun burns and skin cancer.
  10. q0101

    q0101 Registered Senior Member

    Do you remember the second and third paragraphs from the Out Of Africa excerpt that I posted? The skin color mutations definitely occurred in Africa. I don’t think people left Africa because of their skin color. I think they traveled out of Africa because we have an instinct to explore our environment and learn new things.
  11. TimeTraveler

    TimeTraveler Immortalist

    q0101 most people would rather have the skin cancer and sunburns. Why do you think skin whitening pills are so popular in Asia? (Yes these pills do exist, I researched)
  12. q0101

    q0101 Registered Senior Member

    I am aware of their existence. Some Africans with dark complexions commonly use skin whitening products.
  13. madanthonywayne

    madanthonywayne Mourning in America

    Darker skinned people have been discriminated against because advanced civilizations arose only among those with light skin. You can bet that if Africans had sailed into Europe toting guns and found Europeans living in huts with no weapon more advanced than the spear, those with light skin would be discriminated against.

    In my opinion, more technically advanced societies arose among the melanin deficient cultures because greater technology was required to survive in Northern climates.
  14. TimeTraveler

    TimeTraveler Immortalist

    Darker skinned people have been discriminated against because advanced civilizations arose only among those with light skin.

    That is complete BS. Egypt arose. Did you see how the middle east was during the dark ages? If by advanced you mean "war" advanced, then you have a point.

    You have to remember, democracy itself was invented by tribal native americans. They had decentralized government. They understood the connection between man and habitat. It's not like they did not have a civilization at all, their civilization just was not as good at winning wars. The only difference between the Europeans and everyone else is that the Europeans had guns, and other advanced weapons.

    When you have weapons you can just take everyone elses best technology and claim it. Like I said before, Europe during the dark ages was not some great mecha of technological advance. If there werent so much war, perhaps we'd have had the stuff we have now hundreds of years ago. Accept the fact that brute force beats everything else, and that Europeans were the first to figure out which technology to focus on to dominate the planet. Asia invented gun powder but didnt figure out to invent the gun, otherwise they would have took over the earth instead. The Egyptians obviously had the brainpower to do it when they built pyramids, but they were too busy worshipping their God.
  15. Count Sudoku

    Count Sudoku Banned

    The Chinese did figure out they could use gunpowder for guns. They didn't useit too much for cultural reasons I think.
  16. TimeTraveler

    TimeTraveler Immortalist

    Egypt was not a Black civilization.

    Are you trying to tell me, that Egypt, which is in Africa, was a white civilization? Now you just sound ridiculous. Tell me, if the Egyptians werent black, why does King Tut, and the majority of the images on the walls have black people? I'd think even a Nazi would have to admit that they werent white but I'm not surprised that you could twist reality even when the images and statues are thousands of feet high. It's difficult to cover that up if not impossible.

    The Chinese did not use gunpower, not because they did not have it in them culturally to do it. If you look throughout history, China has had a warrior culture, the main reason they did not use gunpower for guns is because during that specific period in their culture they are behind a wall. They locked themselves away from the outside world and this is the main reason why they did not think to build weapons, it had nothing to do with culture.

    This sounds as ridiculous as claims we stole technology from Africa.
    Finally, technology always transfers to the victor of any war. After world war 2, America aquired German technology. Are you going to deny that the Germans basically invented rocket technology? It's because of the Germans that we had space flight. Americans did have some basic technology but after that war Americas technological expertise shot up, as did the Soviet Union, do you think this happened on it's own or do you think some of this technology was stolen, aquired, or whatever word you'd like to use, from the Germans?

    I'm still waiting for you to prove the Egyptians werent black, thats humorous. If you said that in a college classroom, in front of a history professor, or any serious person the whole classroom would most likely laugh at you. If you want people to take you seriously, please be consistant, if blackness is measured by skin color, Egyptians were the darkest skinned of that time period, and they just happen to be in the same place where the darkest skinned of this time period is. So unless you believe they went on a rocket ship to mars and built pyramids there, you sound plain stupid.

    But please keep talking, if you are a representitive of the racist mindset, you are embarassing your cause.

    Is this a white Egyptian? [​IMG]

    Are we in the same reality here?
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2006
  17. John99

    John99 Banned

    Not all dark skinned people are African, you can assume they are African descendants all you like...if that makes you happy.

    We respond to what we find to be appealing, this is not even a conscious decision as infant do it too.
  18. TimeTraveler

    TimeTraveler Immortalist

    John, you are correct, not all dark skinned people are "African". All dark skinned people are "black", unless they are Egyptian? I don't see why there should be an exception to the rule. Obviously, at least a portion of modern blacks, and perhaps whites too, are descendents from Egypt.

    I just like people to be consistant, if black and white is defined by skin color, the Egyptians were definately a black civilization. We can also say Egypt was definately an African civilization. There is debate as to where the culture went, but because of the location, if races exist at all, Egyptians are black.

    Honestly, I do not believe in races, I believe any of us could have bloodlines from any of the great civilizatiosn and not know it, but for some reason people seem to think, that all great civilizations where white, and that is compeletely false. We might be able to find that Egyptians were a specific race of African, and that is one thing, in that case it would be like Chinese and Japanese being different genetically, but to a racist they are all the same. A Chinese or Japanese person would be insulted if you mix them up with Korean or any other "Oriental" group. You have both yellow and pale Asians, you have all sorts of different genetic lines, you have dark skinned Asians, but as far as race goes, there definately is no "Asian" race, and no "Black" race, and no "White" race. Just a bunch of tribes.

    John you make a good point. I'm just trying to understand people who first say that race is skin color, but then when proven that people of dark skin color have civilizations, suddenly they become white. Can we have a clear definition of what white is?
  19. John99

    John99 Banned

    Well you can take the extremes - Very dark skin and very light skin - but in between there are 1000's of variations, I am classified as white because of European ancestry but my skin tone is darker compared to many Europeans.

    Sure ancient Egypt was a great civilization but the truth is a relatively small handfull of the population made it great, which can be said of any civilization so i agree not all great civilizations where white skinned.
  20. q0101

    q0101 Registered Senior Member

    We are all just products of our environments. We are living in a global society that embraces ignorance and irrational cultural beliefs. I don’t like to use the words black or white to describe a person’s race or skin color. Anyone that is not an albino should not be called white. Anyone that has a dark complexion should not be called black. The people with the darkest complexions in the world are not black. Their skin is dark brown.

    I think we use the words black or white to describe what people are because we are diurnal creatures. We associate the darkness or black with evil because we were bitten, stung, and killed by nocturnal creatures in the past. We associate the light or white with goodness because of the sun. The first gods that we worshiped were sun gods.

    Today is culturally acceptable to call someone black because the ancestors of some Africans with dark complexions were treated like slaves and degenerates for hundreds of years. It began when the Europeans started enslaving some segments of the so-called black populations in Africa. Over a period of time the cultural beliefs of the Europeans affected the people living in North Africa and Asia. (British, French, Spanish, Portuguese colonization)

    In the present day most cultures around the world use the words black or white to describe the people within their population. The South East Asians (Some Cambodians, Thai, Malaysian’s, Indonesians, Ect) are considered to be black people of the orient. Most of the countries that were colonized by the Europeans have their own perception of black and white within their society. People with lighter complexions in most of the formerly colonized countries are usually considered to be more attractive and they tend to have more privileges within their society. I think it is evidence of the so-called interracial breeding occurred between the Europeans and the native populations in the past. Some of the descendents of the Europeans had more privileges than the darker skinned people in their population. (Especially the lucky children with wealthy fathers) Over a period of time the various populations around the world began to associate lighter complexions with wealth, power, beauty, and intelligence.

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