Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Identity and skin colour

29 March 2016


Our perception of skin colour in animals is very different than how we perceive ourselves. To humans, skin colour has become part of their identity. This is actually quite surprising as our human skin colour is the result of a gene mutation to adapt to local circumstances (eg, abundance versus lack of UV sunlight). Please see my 5 May 2015 blog: Out of Africa – skin colour.

My white skin does not protect against the abundance of UV sunlight in Africa. I learned that the hard way after being diagnosed with skin cancer within a couple of months after a 3 week stay at a Kenyan beach.

A gene mutation of some 5,000 years ago was responsible for developing white skin to adapt to a lack of UV sunlight in Northern European countries. The success of this gene mutation was overwhelming in human evolution.

This similar gene mutation is likely to happen to black people who continue to live outside Africa above a certain longitude. This is mere Science.

Also, a reversal of this gene mutation should happen to white people living in tropical areas. The offspring of white people living in tropical areas is bound to develop black skin to protect against the UV sunlight.

Excerpt of my 21 September 2015 blog: “The 45th parallel north, running through central France, northern Italy and Croatia, appears to be a major natural boundary for red hair frequencies. Under the 45th parallel, the UV rays become so strong that it is no longer an advantage to have red hair and very fair skin. Under the 41st parallel, redheads become extremely rare (Eupedia). The 41st parallel north is basically where Africa starts”.

Hair and skin colour are not what defines our identity. It is an attribute granted by nature to cope with local circumstances. It may take many generations but white people will develop black skin colour when living below the 41st parallel north. And black people living above the – say 45th parallel north – will ultimately develop a white skin colour. It is nature’s way to adapt and protect animals and humans to respectively from local circumstances.

The difference with the bears in the above picture (source/link) is that humans at least understand that all these bears are “mammals of the family Ursidae” (Wiki). A giant panda bear is however unlikely to realise that he is related to a polar or grizzly bear. 

Although we “know” that human beings are all part of the family Homo, we still fail to understand its consequences. To many people, black, brown, white and yellow people are different human species similar to the bears in the above picture. That is the sad consequence of using skin colour as part to our (coloured) identity.

Skin color is an illusion (2009) by Nina Jablonski
a 2009 TED video

TED: “Nina Jablonski says that differing skin colors are simply our bodies’ adaptation to varied climates and levels of UV exposure. Charles Darwin disagreed with this theory, but she explains, that’s because he did not have access to NASA.”


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