Sunday, January 30, 2011

Geneticists Play the Skin Game Again

The Root, a blog of the Washington Post, reports a study that narrows down whiteness of skin to ONE LETTER of DNA code out of 3.4 billion.

"Scientists said yesterday that they have discovered a tiny genetic mutation that largely explains the first appearance of white skin in humans tens of thousands of years ago, a finding that helps solve one of biology's most enduring mysteries and illuminates one of humanity's greatest sources of strife.

"The work suggests that the skin-whitening mutation occurred by chance in a single individual after the first human exodus from Africa, when all people were brown-skinned. That person's offspring apparently thrived as humans moved northward into what is now Europe, helping to give rise to the lightest of the world's races.

"Leaders of the study, at Penn State University, warned against interpreting the finding as a discovery of 'the race gene.'Race is a vaguely defined biological, social and political concept, they noted, and skin color is only part of what race is -- and is not...."

EDITORIAL NOTE: This hypothesis doesn't explain why at least once a generation, someone in our family is born with a lighter complexion than most Caucasians, whether they are full-blooded Japanese or not. The whole business of judging people by their skin color may be lucrative to some agitators and community organizers - but is quite meaningless to people like myself. But while we're on the subject, the same source has an article entitled:
"The Blackest White Folks We Know."

1 comment:

spydra webb said...

Love this article, especially your editorial comments.

If you have the time and/or inclination, check out my comment on Wayne Laugesen's editorial about the USOC in today's Gazette; he made reference to the "skin game" and I took issue...