Why Are Europeans White?

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Why are Europeans white? Because they live in a not-so-sunny region, far from the equator, of course — but there’s more to it, Frank Sweet claims:

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.

Here is another map of skin tone. Again, the blob surrounding the Baltic Sea is like nothing else on the planet. That this pale population surrounds the Baltic gives the first hint. It must have something to do with the oceans.

When did the inabitants of the Baltic region lose their melanin?

It must have happened after 16 KYA (16 thousand years ago). The Baltic region was covered by ice before then and nobody lived there.

In fact, it happened after 13 KYA. Cave art from that time always shows normally pigmented people. Notice that in this painting from 13 KYA, the hunters are the same color as the deer.

It must have happened before 4.6 KYA because depigmented people first began to appear in art at that time. These Egyptian statues were painted in 2613 BC. They portray Prince Rahotep and his consort Nefret, of the Old Kingdom, early Fourth Dynasty. Notice that he is brown but she is pink.

And so, the next step in solving the puzzle is to ask, “What happened in Europe between 13 KYA and 4.6 KYA?”

What happened was the invention and spread of agriculture. Before 10 KYA people everywhere lived by hunting and gathering. Then, almost simultaneously, cereal growing was invented in four spots around the globe: Iraq (wheat, barley, rye), China (rice), Nigeria (sorghum), and Mexico (corn or maize).

What does skin tone have to do with eating cereal?

All meats have some vitamin D. Fish have very high amounts. But grains have no vitamin D at all. People who eat grains do not get vitamin D from food; they must get it from sunlight.

This usually works out fine because grains grow only where it is warm. And this means only in latitudes with bright sunlight, with one exception.

It is where the warm waters of the Gulf Stream wash ashore. The Baltic is the only place on earth where ocean currents keep it warm enough to grow grain despite dim sunlight.

When the inhabitants of this region switched to grain about 6 KYA, they suddenly got insufficient vitamin D to survive. They had stopped eating mostly meat and fish in a place where sunlight was too dim to produce vitamin D in normally pigmented skin.

And so they adapted by retaining into adulthood the infantile trait of extreme paleness.

Leave a Reply