European dark beauty – from the Middle East?

Seed of Japheth recently wrote about “genetic theft”:

… Genetic theft is when a race acquires some genetic material of another race, the amount of genetic material gained is a small enough amount so that the genetic material of the other race can be assimilated into the gene pool without the racial integrity of the race doing the assimilating being threatened.
Genetic material refers to sperm of the male and ovum of the female.
A question arises, should white people engage in genetic theft of their own and at what point is it a good idea to accept someone into the fold of the white race?

Though it might be argued that lower-quality whites (“white trash”) would benefit from an infusion of Asian blood, these are not the sort of whites we find doing so.  As Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray explain in “The Bell Curve“, like attracts like.  Thus, it is not the chain-smoking, beer guzzling, foul-mouthed trashy whites who end up marrying Asians (unless it’s trashy Asians).  Rather, it is those who stand to gain the least from such liaisons:  The successful, intellectual elites.  I don’t think it’s a good idea to encourage miscegenation among whites, at least not on any large scale.  Does anybody encourage the Spotted Owl to mix with the Barred Owl?  As for who should be considered “white”, I have already written about this.
But I found myself thinking along the lines of Seed of Japheth recently.  I was at a social event and was chatting with a certain fellow.  The man’s appearance was exceptional, with thick eyebrows and sharp features.  If I were a woman, I’d say he was handsome.  As for his young daughter, it was obvious that she’s going to blossom into an stunningly beautiful woman.  Our conversation drifted to DNA testing and he mentioned that his test showed some Yemeni heritage.  He was under the impression that there might be some Jewish blood in his family.  I told him it is more likely that one of the Yemeni soldiers (Yemen always participated mightily in the Arab wars of conquest) had left his DNA in France before the Arabs/Moors were turned back by Charles Martel.  In any event, this conversation reminded me of a pet theory I’d had since childhood – that some of the more exotic features, found in trace amounts among the darker-haired peoples of Europe (and, perhaps, their dark hair itself), have their roots in the Middle East.  These features often make for very good-looking people.
There was a guy at my high school (not the ghetto high school, but the mostly white one) who was known as “the Jew”.  He wasn’t Jewish, but he looked like he could be.  Nobody would call him that around me, because they knew I was a real Jew and they feared offending me.  In any event, since that time, I’d always assumed that the darker features of some Europeans had come from the Middle East during the Neolithic migrations that accompanied the spread of agriculture.  I will not begrudge the Nordics their beauty, but there is also beauty of the dark-haired/dark-eyed variety.  The contrast between light skin and dark hair/eyes has its own appeal.  If this combination dates from Neolithic migrations from the Middle East, then this could be described as “genetic theft” and whites could be said to have benefited from it – at least aesthetically.
On a related note, check out this  interesting article on the mutation that causes ultra-light skin among Europeans (SLC24A5).  It’s possible/likely that Southern Europeans, lacking this mutation, simply retained the pigmentation of the original Europeans.  But we now know that there is a certain percentage of Middle Eastern genes in Europeans, and that this percentage increases as we move South-East from the Baltic toward the Balkans and Turkey.  So, while dark hair and dark eyes may well be indigenous to Europe, the vaguely Middle Eastern features we sometimes find among native Europeans might have arrived later.

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18 Responses to European dark beauty – from the Middle East?

  1. fred says:

    We’ve more or less had this discussion before. A couple of times. We first had this discussion in 2009 on GW’s blog. And we had it again in Feb 2010 on your blog. In fact, it was your third post. Unless I’m mistaken our exchange on that thread has been removed.
    You are of the opinion that Jews were historically much darker than today. And that Europeans were historically much lighter. I strongly disagree. It’s not that I don’t think there has been mutual admixture throughout the Mediterranean. It’s that these people were not particularly different in the first place. Do you not think the people’s who originally settled Europe, North Africa and the Levant share a fairly recent common origin? And do you really think genes for light hair and eyes were so extensive that all Europeans had them? I certainly don’t. Likewise, the Levant was settled by people from Europe and Anatolia and vice versa. There are communities in the middle east right now who look fully European. You’ve been to the middle east. Have you not seen the Druze? They’ve been strictly endogamous for a thousand years. If anyone looks like the Levantines of a thousand years ago it is them. The reason other middle easterns are darker today is because other middle easterns are mixed with arabs and sub saharans.
    The term “Arab,” as well as the presence of Arabs in the Syrian desert and the Fertile Crescent, is first seen in the Assyrian sources from the 9th century BCE (Eph’al 1984)
    Moreover, Arabic middle easterns are mixed with Sub Saharans to the tune of 10-15%. That level of admixture would give a fellow a nice tan wouldn’t you say? Middle Easterns didn’t look that way 2,500 years ago.
    *Note that this article doesn’t say Jews and Druze are mixed with Arabs and Sub Saharans. Only that the Arabic populations are. In fact, European Jews and Druze have no SubSaharan ancestry.

    • jewamongyou says:

      Here, I am not referring to skin color, only to dark hair and eyes and the Mideastern style eyebrows, nose etc. that sometimes accompany them. We do find this among all Levant populations and in Turkey (non-Greeks).

      • fred says:

        I’m not aware of Mideastern style eyebrows so I can’t comment on that. But the SLC24A5 you referenced in the last graph is indirectly linked to the discussion of hair and eyes. The selection for SLC24A5 deals with the skins’ ability to absorb UV rays and produce vitamin D. Since hair and eye color have little bearing on the skins’ ability to absorb UV rays, I would not expect that to be a factor in the selection for lighter hair and eye color at higher latitudes. Indeed, most Europeans do NOT have light hair and eyes. Even among Scandinavians and Baltics the percentage of light hair and eyes is in the minority. Similarly, one finds dark hair and eyes even among very light complected northeast Asians. So that’s not a particularly mideastern trait.
        SLC24A5 is relevant to the discussion in another way. Not only is a Thr(111) allele found in approximately 99% of Europeans but no non-European population contains more than 7% of this allele. Indeed, most non European populations contain none of this allele at all. Since Southern Europeans tend to have dark hair and eyes and would be the most likely to possess mideastern ancestry due to geography the study of European mediterranean genetics is relevant. In fact, such a study was conducted and Greeks were found to be 99% homozygous for the Thr(111) allele. In other words, Greeks are wholly European and their tendency towards dark hair and eyes is NOT due to recent admixture but merely the fact that the genes for lighter hair and eyes were not selected for in their region.
        This isn’t to say there has been no intermixture between European Jews and their gentile counterparts. Indeed, we know that there has been some. But I could find no information regarding the percentage of this allele found among European Jews. Then, again, I didn’t look very hard.

    • Aoirthoir says:

      “Do you not think the people’s who originally settled Europe, North Africa and the Levant share a fairly recent common origin?”
      No I don’t. We Irish are the ones who brought you humans down out of the trees. Try as we might, improving your DNA has been tough as sh’t. I mean look how disgusting all the other races are then compare them to the Irish.
      By the GODS I love being Irish (which is now officially my signature on this site).

  2. jewamongyou says:

    Re: Fred,
    Thanks for the information.
    “Greeks are wholly European and their tendency towards dark hair and eyes is NOT due to recent admixture”. What do you mean by “recent”? I was talking about Neolithic times.

  3. fred says:

    What do you mean by “recent”? I was talking about Neolithic times.
    It’s my understanding that there was pretty much a yo-yo effect going on. Europe was originally populated from Asia and the Levant during the Paleolithic. An ice age made much of Europe barely habitable pushing the population down to Southern Europe and the Levant. When the ice age subsided and the Neolithic period began around 10,000 BC they re-expanded back to the rest of Europe.
    Some of the estimates I’ve seen suggest as many as 2/3 of Europeans’ ancestors migrated from the Levant during the Neolithic period. So it’s not like Europe was densely populated and a few Neolithic Levantines wandered in bringing dark features to a population with light features. The lighter features didn’t evolve until a little later, approximately 6 to 8K years ago.
    It seems reasonable to assume that Neolithic Levantines had darker features than modern Europeans since the lighter features hadn’t evolved yet. But its also reasonable to assume that Neolithic Levantines were lighter than today since Arabic middle easterns have mixed with Sub Saharans to the tune of 10-15% over the last 2,500 years.

    • jewamongyou says:

      I think you’re right about dark hair and eyes. It was rather silly of me to suggest that they might have their origin elsewhere. But I stand by my contention that other “exotic” features, that often come combined with dark hair and eyes, probably did come from the Middle East. The unibrow might be one example.

      • fred says:

        I’ve come up with a mechanism that could support your original view. Most people think of a population as inhabiting a single country bounded by mountains, deserts or oceans. But the Mediterranean sea itself was like a country. Genetics shows that people living along the coast of the Mediterranean all share a percentage of their ancestry. It’s strongest at the coastline with a cline going about 10 miles inland in a ring around most of the Mediterranean. For example, Southern Italy is actually slightly closer genetically to Greece than it is to Northern Italy. Western Turkey is similarly closer to Greece than it is to Eastern Turkey which is more similar to Armenia. The question would be how much of this extends to the Levant and how much backflow there was.

  4. jewamongyou says:

    Re: fred,
    That’s an interesting perspective. Thanks.

  5. Cas says:

    Clearly the writer’s hypothesis is way off base here, sine we all originated out of Africa we could make the argument that if any theft has taken place, we have to point to it’s origin first. Otherwise you are drawing a false argument to start. Secondly, maybe in the aforementioned comments, someone I hope has educated this ******* to the fact that there is no such thing as a white race, what are it’s origins and who would that consist of since the writer seems draw lines of connection with race relationships and mixing. I think once you began to answer these basic questions, you’ll find your answer, which should lead you to the conclusion that there is no lack of ethic purity with this term call white. For example, let’s look at the color spectrum and study how color is formed, you’ll find that all color originates out of your darkest hues that would also include the color “white” as you term it.
    (comment edited by jewamongyou – you can disagree without insulting the poster)

    • jewamongyou says:

      It is not clear that “we all originated out of Africa”. Recent research points more to the Middle East. But even if we did, there is no way of knowing the physical attributes of those ancient Africans.
      As for there being no such thing as the white race, you seek to deny the reality of the first thing we all notice about a person (aside, perhaps, from gender). I don’t think anybody here actually believes in the concept of a “pure race” – if that’s what you’re saying; it’s hard to tell.
      Please keep your comments respectful.

  6. Cas says:

    In response you are correct in the narrower sense, however let us not forget that all if not most anthropologist agree that melanin is chiefly responsible for darken of the skin, the more of it one has naturally the darker the hue and so on, this whole question of purity of race once again leads us to more questions since 85% of most Americans and 78% of Europeans carry a significant amount of it in their blood. Melanin, is derived from darker skin people it protects us from the sun, and obviously we can draw the conclusion of its origins being of Africans. I think your research needs to be a little broader an inclusive about how Colonization of African and it many countries, particular those that had great empires and wealth to be acquired should be included in your discussion. History tells that Europeans raped and mixed among many of the indigenous people BC and hence this is why we have those with fairer skin, but cant quite trace all the roots of origin, it was through harsh colonization by eupropean and imperialist tactics to subjugate those inhabitants through any means necessary., and race mixing was one way, Muslims hated that most-

    • jewamongyou says:

      It’s unclear what, exactly, you are trying to say. African natives range from very fair-skinned to very dark-skinned people. Prior to the Bantu expansion, much of Africa was inhabited by Pygmies and Khoisan peoples – neither of whom are actually “black”.
      Are you saying that the fairer-skinned natives of Africa, and the Middle-East got their fair skin from European rapists? While this is probably true in some cases, it is doubtful that this is the case with the majority of them.
      As for the Muslims, it is a historical fact that they were in the habit of kidnapping blonde women from Europe, and adding them to their harems. Blonde women were highly prized. Do they hate their own behavior?

  7. Cas says:

    What I’m saying simply is that it well documented that intercultural mixing among Europeans and Africans because of their close relationship as trading partners and the adversarial relationship before and after colonization was common. I conculde by saying Africa as excluded from your argument narrows the scope of your discussion as you have opened. Your discussion about Mediterranean people and various features of race is inconsistent on the merits that (Isn’t Mediterranea in Africa) but, yet you have selectively include one or two ethic groups while excluding any possibility of any African/ European connection. Have you chosen to deny this part of history, and yet you have blindly minimized this connection. How else does one explain melanin found so significantly among Europeans.
    Here are supporting links and quotes to substantiate my premise:

  8. Cas says:

    What are you saying then…

    • jewamongyou says:

      All I was saying is that certain traits, which seem to go hand in hand with dark hair and eyes, which we sometimes find among native Europeans, might have their origins in the Middle East – and that these origins are far more recent than the known Neolithic migrations. The traits I am referring to happen to be attractive in my eyes.

  9. Cas says:

    Maybe I was not clear either, I still contend that your hypothesis cannot rule out admixture of Africans, even through you’ve made clear that isn’t the direction of your discussion, and that you simply want to focus on certain genetic carry over traits, and that’s fine, However, the context of your discussion excludes true ethnic origins of middle eastern and Mediterraneans therefore your question is flawed to begin with, since we all know that in geographical terms there is really no such thing as the middle east or Mediterranean. The term Middle East was adopted in 1945 by European nations and the US to benefited the return of Jewish people, Prior to that It was simply all Africa, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that. Furthermore, as you already know diversity of skin color and skin hue vary throughout the Continent of Africa, it would be only when Europeans, (Romans) and Italians saw an opportunity to deviously divide, and conquer thus allowing skin color and race to become that wedge issue in their conquest. It would be from that point on that Race would be used, as a wedge issue, and certain features and color would be described as ugly or pretty, based on European models became the ideology of that day,
    Also I would like to respond to your earlier statement about Africa as you have seemingly marginalized it and its contribution to civilization and particularly European culture as we all have come to see it as a bases for our society today. You have said that much of Africa consisted of little to paraphrase you, and you point to a period prior to the “Bantu expansion, much of Africa was inhabited by Pygmies and Khoisan peoples, I thought it might be a good Idea to correct this interpretation, by providing the following:
    Here Dr. Danquah is showing that African history is the foundation of world history. In the present book by Cheikh Anta Diop, and in most of his other works, his objective is the same. In his first major work on history, Dr. Diop has said that::
    “The general problem confronting African history is this: how to recognize effectively, through meaningful research, all of the fragments of the past into a single ancient epoch, a common origin which will reestablish African continuity. … If the ancients were not victims of a mirage, it should be easy enough to draw upon another series of arguments and proofs for the union of the history of Ethiopian and Egyptian societies with the rest of Africa. Thus combined, these histories would lead to a properly patterned past in which it would be seen that (ancient) Ghana rose in the interior (West Africa) of the continent at the moment of Egyptian decline, just as the Western European empires were born with the decline of Rome.”
    While using Africa as the vantage point and the basis for his thesis, Dr. Diop does not neglect the broader dimensions of history. He shows that history cannot be restricted by the limits of ethnic group, nation, or culture. Roman history is Greek as well as Roman, and both the Greek and the Roman histories are Egyptian because the entire Mediterranean was civilized Egypt; and Egypt in turn borrowed from other parts of Africa, especially Ethiopia.
    Africa came into the Mediterranean world mainly through Greece, which had been under African influence. The first Greek invasion of Africa was peaceful and scholarly. This invasion brought in Herodotus. Egypt had lost its independence over a century before his visit. This was the beginning of the period of foreign domination over Egypt that would last, in different forms, for two thousand years
    .Let’s stop here, I hope this helps explain some of the basis of my general argument that excluding true origins in a historical context your questions will lead to a false conclusion every time, skipping the fact of why these traits evolved or were robbed from one group to another helps us understand more specifically who these people really were and defines our conclusion or many lead to other questions.

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