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[–] Dalai_Llama 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

To be honest, I think that these lack of protein characteristics like blue eyes and blonde hair arose from more restrictive mating pools. I think that geographic isolation leads to an accumulation of recessive characteristics. A potential case in point being the Irish. Iceland has a population with many recessive characteristics also.


[–] MinorLeakage 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Absolutely. I think it's probably a combination of all of the above, with some playing a larger role and some less-so. There's even a decent chance that literal eugenics played a role. Some older European cultures were well known for killing babies if they didn't meet very specific criteria (size, weight, proportionality, etc).


[–] Commie_Meta 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

What you are taking about is the founder effect, where a trait can become common if it occurs in a founder of a small population that later grows. An example of this is the increased frequency of Hirschsprung disease in the Old Order Mennonites.

This turns out to not usually be the case with human coloration. For example, there are six different common mutations that cause most red hair in Ireland, and a few less common ones. Most (all?) of them affect the type 1 melanocortin receptor, and the DNA have been sequenced. That implies a large population with a strong reproductive advantage for red hair and freckled pale skin.