I know my facts and stuff about evolution, there's just one thing that I honestly don't know how to explain to her and was wondering if any of you know... I'm sure you probably know I just haven't done research on it.
My mother keeps arguing with me about the races in the world. She keeps telling me that if evolution is so real why are there people around the world located at a certain location that have a certain feature different than others.
For example, in Africa people are dark. In Asia, people are light with their eyes different, in the middle East people are somewhat dark, etc.
I honestly cannot explain to her why this is the case because I honestly don't know.
Could you guys help me out here? Thanks!
In my opinion, the colour of skin of a population is relative to the proximity to the equator. If you've had a look at the colour of a races skin, you will see that the one's that have the darkest skin live closest to the equator, eg Nigerians. Those who live further from the equator have lighter skin, eg Russians. This has to do with getting a certain mineral out of the sun, the less sun that is available, the lighter one's skin needs to be to get more mineral out of the rays. I'm not sure about the science of it but it's something like that.
Now you may ask about the fact that Mexicans don't have dark skin like Nigerians, but you need to remember that all humans originated from Africa, then they migrated all around the world, populating America and Southern America last. So Africans lived on the continent a lot longer than any other human race and this allowed their skin time to become increasingly darker, while those who migrated into Europe and Asia, their skin became lighter. They then moved to North America and then South America. So they went from having light skin to being near the equator again. Given another couple hundred thousand/million years and their skin would be the same shade of darkness as those in Africa.
Now you may wonder about the specific features of different races. Take a look at Eskimos, for example. You will see that they have shorter arms and legs than other races. This is because they need to keep their extremities closer to their bodies for warmth. So those that had shorter arms and legs would manage to survive the cold better than those who had longer ones. If you look at the different kind of hair that Africans have to Europeans, this may be because of the need to dissipate the heat from the African plains. It may help them keep cool somehow. Also, take a look at the flatness of African noses. I think that it may be due to the extreme sun that occurs on the equator. If one has a flat nose instead of a pointed one, it gives the sun less surface area to hit, therefore keeping them cooler. I think it may also help in maintaining the right body temperature by giving the right intake of air or something like that. There are reasons for every difference, I do not know all of them. I can't explain the slanting eyes of Asians for one, but if you google it I'm sure you will find an answer.
Again, I might be wrong about some of these things, but there are definitely reasons and answers for these strange differences (and they have nothing to do with an invisible mans will). I hope that my answer makes sense to you.
Good follow up Teri.
The people who migrated to South and Middle America the earliest were largely Spanish and Portuguese. Mediterraneans (also Italians and Greeks for example) often have somewhat darker skin. Usually it's called "olive". Even there you can see a clear difference between people from northern Italy and the south. Then there was interbreeding with the natives and with (African) slaves there.
I think that after we were able to get the right vitamins via our diet, used clothing and advanced to the point where the sun didn't mean the same as it did when we were not as evolved as we are now, skin colour didn't matter as much. Then it was just pure genetics and passing down genes to the next generation etc.
People in Africa have dark skin because it protects them from the Sun.
When humans migrated out of Africa, in to the colder northern climates, they needed less protection from the Sun because
A) they wore more clothing, in order to protect them from the chill, this also protected them from the harm done by the sun.
B) less radiation from the Sun hits the earth the further from the tropics you go (this is also why its colder).
C) many of the humans who migrated out of Africa took to living in caves, this cut their exposure to the Sun's radiation even further.
D) lighter skin is more efficient in producing Vitamin D, creating a positive natural selection for lighter skin.
The fact that people have different traits in different regions is evidence for evolution, not against. It is exactly what one would expect. Our bodies adapted to the new environments.
I will admit... There are some people who still look like Neanderthal! XD
this doesn't specifically address humans, but the metaphor may help nonetheless.
I liked this video. Just the sort of 2nd grade explanation I could use on on the faith-based intelligence of America.
There may be different races of human but we are all the same species. At the genome level there are very few genetic differences between a white fair haired Norwegian and a very dark African. We are talking a couple of different letters of coding in a program of 3 billion or so lines.
Sometimes non coding sequences can be extremely similar – say between mice and humans or even some fungi that they could almost be swapped between each other. We are nothing like these other species in appearance because we diverged millions of years ago but the differences at the genetic level are not as obvious. All humans are 99.99999% similar at this level no matter how different we may appear to each other. The differences we do have are all because Evolution selects the best mutations to suit its current environment. Of course we must allow lots of time for this to happen. Once we walked out of Africa we began to evolve differently.
This is worth investing in. There are a few short vids on my home page too.