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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #50 on: July 01, 2012, 08:49:50 AM »

One thing I think is clear is that light eyes were dominant in Ireland very early on and the idea that a  light haired blue eyed element has mixed with a dark haired dark eyed element to produce the typical dark haired blue eyed Irish look is nonsense.  That just goes against the laws of genetics.    Dark dominates over light (I think you need at least 3 blue eyed grandparents to have blue eyes) so if anything the percentage of blue eyes now is almost certainly less than what it was 1000s of years ago.  Same with hair.  Dark dominates over light and red is recessive and needs two copies of the correct genes to produce a red head (hence a place like Ireland has 42% carrying the genes but only 10% of people with red hair of different types because you need two copies).  So there is pretty well no question that all peoples with a good mixture of hair colours and eye colours will slowly get darker over time.  It seems to me (unless there is some other factor) that the earliest significant group in Ireland must have been light eyed to produce such a domination of light eyes today.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 08:51:37 AM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
Jean M
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« Reply #51 on: July 01, 2012, 09:06:54 AM »

@ Alan

The idea here is that there is a selective advantage to light eyes in cloudy climes. They let more light into the eye, so people are less prone to SAD. I suppose blue eyes could cut down the suicide and alcoholism rates to the point that human life can manage to stagger on.

Tell you what. If ancient DNA can be found to show a blue-eyed person in Ireland before 4000 BC, I'll stand you a pint of Guinness. :)
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« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2012, 09:25:07 AM »

@ Alan

The idea here is that there is a selective advantage to light eyes in cloudy climes. They let more light into the eye, so people are less prone to SAD. I suppose blue eyes could cut down the suicide and alcoholism rates to the point that human life can manage to stagger on.

Tell you what. If ancient DNA can be found to show a blue-eyed person in Ireland before 4000 BC, I'll stand you a pint of Guinness. :)

Has there been any studies showing a greater propensity for people with dark eyes to top themselves ?
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #53 on: July 01, 2012, 09:27:16 AM »

I have read the original many years ago in hard copy but I have never seen a digital version of it on the web. This official summary sometimes pops up on the web

http://www.theapricity.com/snpa/chapter-X2.htm

The basic conclusion is Irish have almost unique levels of eye and skin lightness but the hair tends to be mid-dark brown with a lesser amount of people with red, golden, mousy and black.  Although nowhere near as common as some think, stereotypes do have a basis and there does seem to be a lot more red hair and facial hair in Ireland, Scotland and other parts of Britain than anywhere I have been in Europe.  Travelling around Europe has confirmed that to me peoples like the Spanish, French, Germans, Italians, Poles and Balts have nowhere near as much red hair.  Kind of baffles me that the ancients described the Germans as red haired because it seems relatively rare there today.  The only continental area I have been in where red hair seems common is Holland.  Maybe the Romans were looking at the tribes just outside their boundary in places like Holland.  
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Jean M
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« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2012, 09:34:42 AM »

Has there been any studies showing a greater propensity for people with dark eyes to top themselves ?

Well I used to think about death with yearning fondness on a regular basis until I got a grip on the biochemistry, but that is of course anecdotal. This is the only paper I cite: S. Higuchi et al., Influence of eye colors of Caucasians and Asians on suppression of melatonin secretion by light, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, vol. 292, no. 6 (June 2007), pp. R2352-R2356.

Seriously - a number of factors correlate with suicide rate, including economic. But you can see some countries with long dark winters at the top of the list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 09:37:18 AM by Jean M » Logged
alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #55 on: July 01, 2012, 09:36:55 AM »

@ Alan

The idea here is that there is a selective advantage to light eyes in cloudy climes. They let more light into the eye, so people are less prone to SAD. I suppose blue eyes could cut down the suicide and alcoholism rates to the point that human life can manage to stagger on.

Tell you what. If ancient DNA can be found to show a blue-eyed person in Ireland before 4000 BC, I'll stand you a pint of Guinness. :)

lol I think you know your money is safe in that bet!  Only one Mesolithic burial site and it only features cremations!

I think the idea that blue eyes keep you away from turning to drink really falls badly apart in Ireland! Seriously though I read the opposite somewhere - that Melanin protects the nerves and that dark eyed people tend to survive better in stress situations (especially industrial).  I even read dark eyed people tend to be protected from deafness. I actually read a study somewhere on the net years ago on the Irish tendency to drink being down to the lack of melanin and its effect on the nerves!  

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Jean M
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« Reply #56 on: July 01, 2012, 09:44:01 AM »

I read the opposite somewhere - that Melanin protects the nerves and that dark eyed people tend to survive better in stress situations (especially industrial).

Melanin in the eyes helps protect them from ultraviolet and high-frequency visible light; people with gray, blue, and green eyes are more  at risk for sun-related eye problems. (Wikipedia quote, but you can find that in a lot of sources.) So that is the standard best practice for the body, except where contra-indicated under heavy cloud, rain, misery. Did I mention misery already? :)   
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Jdean
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« Reply #57 on: July 01, 2012, 09:58:32 AM »

Has there been any studies showing a greater propensity for people with dark eyes to top themselves ?

Well I used to think about death with yearning fondness on a regular basis until I got a grip on the biochemistry, but that is of course anecdotal. This is the only paper I cite: S. Higuchi et al., Influence of eye colors of Caucasians and Asians on suppression of melatonin secretion by light, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, vol. 292, no. 6 (June 2007), pp. R2352-R2356.

Seriously - a number of factors correlate with suicide rate, including economic. But you can see some countries with long dark winters at the top of the list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

Yes it is a serious subject, which is probably why we tend to make jokes about it.

For some reason or other I find it hard to imagine suicide rates are that big an issue but I suppose you don't have to go that far. It doesn’t seem too unreasonable to propose that depressed people could have a disadvantage when competing for mates ?

However is the issue more likely to be not how much of an advantage light skin and eyes are in a cloudy environment but the disadvantage as you get closer to the equator.
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« Reply #58 on: July 01, 2012, 10:14:08 AM »

However is the issue more likely to be not how much of an advantage light skin and eyes are in a cloudy environment but the disadvantage as you get closer to the equator.

Natural selection will work both ways of course. It takes time though. For example European-origin Australians have a higher rate of skin cancer and other problems of high UV than the British. (Or did last time I checked). But it would take many generations for that to result in fewer blue-eyed blondes on Bondi Beach. Blue and green eyes have not been completely bred out of South Asia, even millennia after we suppose the genes might have arrived. Selective advantages for colouring are not as  dramatic as some mutations which confer so debilitating a disadvantage that they get bred out in a generation. It's more of a slight reproductive advantage operating over many generations.
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A.D.
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« Reply #59 on: July 01, 2012, 10:09:43 PM »

The N/mid west coast had the highest % rate of suicides in young male in the world a few years back. Ireland also has one of the highest rates of schizophrenia apparently. In regards to suicide in young fellas the drink and gambling was the reason a couple   I knew.   
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« Reply #60 on: July 02, 2012, 07:01:53 AM »

I have light blue eyes, a ruddy complexion, and tend to sunburn pretty easily. A friend of mine with reddish hair has already had a melanoma surgically removed from his nose.

But it seems to me skin cancer doesn't usually catch up with you until you are past your prime breeding years, so that even in a sunny place light eyes and fair skin wouldn't be selected against.
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Jean M
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« Reply #61 on: July 02, 2012, 08:12:52 AM »

But it seems to me skin cancer doesn't usually catch up with you until you are past your prime breeding years, so that even in a sunny place light eyes and fair skin wouldn't be selected against.

That's right. The bigger issue seems to be folate deficiency. But these days doctors know about it and ensure against in pregnant women at least. So selection is much less likely to be operating.
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« Reply #62 on: July 02, 2012, 09:50:59 AM »

I'm fair skinned and have the sun tolerance of an anemic vampire. As are most of my kids. We've got burned to blisters wearing t-shirts in a couple of hours in Ireland. None of us have freckles. maybe 1 here and there. Apparently our skin type is pale cream and oil content is a factor, we fry, so I'm told. I do eventually go tan(ish)on my arms but only after blistering peeling etc. Eczema and psoriasis seem more common in Ireland. I know more sufferers here than when I lived in SE England. That's just a personal observation.     
 
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« Reply #63 on: July 02, 2012, 10:14:15 AM »

I was reading an piece about the average height of Irish  and Irish-American males. There is quite a difference.   Irish-Americans came in at about  6ft(+)  Irish at 5 '8/10. A reason put forward is that the large people who stayed during the famine required more food hence died in greater numbers. This is my simplification i just can't remember the details. It's also interesting that the generation in their 20's now seem to be taller in the area where I live. No science just a lot of comments from various people. Tghis is Ireland tall tales and short stories a plenty. 
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Dubhthach
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« Reply #64 on: July 02, 2012, 01:29:13 PM »

I was reading an piece about the average height of Irish  and Irish-American males. There is quite a difference.   Irish-Americans came in at about  6ft(+)  Irish at 5 '8/10. A reason put forward is that the large people who stayed during the famine required more food hence died in greater numbers. This is my simplification i just can't remember the details. It's also interesting that the generation in their 20's now seem to be taller in the area where I live. No science just a lot of comments from various people. Tghis is Ireland tall tales and short stories a plenty. 

It could also to be due to better nutrition over the last 100 years in the Irish-American population. For example remembering back to an article a couple years ago in Irish Times, they mentioned that average height in Ireland had increase by 2" in the period 1920-2000. The younger generation (today's teenagers) seem taller on average then my age cohort during the mid 90's. Not surprising as these are the children of the "Celtic Tiger" years. They also tend to have higher obsesity rates.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #65 on: July 02, 2012, 02:14:06 PM »

I was reading an piece about the average height of Irish  and Irish-American males. There is quite a difference.   Irish-Americans came in at about  6ft(+)  Irish at 5 '8/10. A reason put forward is that the large people who stayed during the famine required more food hence died in greater numbers. This is my simplification i just can't remember the details. It's also interesting that the generation in their 20's now seem to be taller in the area where I live. No science just a lot of comments from various people. Tghis is Ireland tall tales and short stories a plenty.  

I think there has been a huge leap in the heights of irish teens/early 20s now compared to 20 years ago.  I reckon the average middle class height for men is nearing 6ft now.  I personally believe that is a huge jump of several inches compared to 20 years back when even middle class guys of about 5ft 7, 8 and 9 were very common.  I would guess the male average for around 20 year olds from non-impovrised backgrounds would be nearer 5ft 11 now.  There still is a rump of very stunted people in poor area of cities.  There are some working class pubs where it seems all the men are about 5ft 5!  Women too are getting a lot taller.  I think Ireland had an awfully big rump of little women about 5ft to 5ft 3 at one time although they were below average.  I think the average height of young women has really lept up too from maybe 5ft 4 or 5 or so to about 5ft 7 in the last 20 years.  These are not stats just personal observation.  The young Irish seem to be making the leap that happened in other better off countries a generation earlier and in America a century ago.  Probably down to people brought up in the Celtic Tiger period of wealth in Ireland.  I understand that back in WWI Americans were absolutely towering over British but that Britain has now caught up and maybe surpassed the US.  The Irish of course are well known to have been among the very tallest people in Europe in the immediate pre-famine generations and lost that advantage very rapidly.   http://www.nber.org/papers/h039 I think you can see the fact that the Irish had a lot of latent height potential in the large skulls, arm spans etc which Hooton said were the largest in Europe.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #66 on: July 02, 2012, 02:27:02 PM »

I was reading an piece about the average height of Irish  and Irish-American males. There is quite a difference.   Irish-Americans came in at about  6ft(+)  Irish at 5 '8/10. A reason put forward is that the large people who stayed during the famine required more food hence died in greater numbers. This is my simplification i just can't remember the details. It's also interesting that the generation in their 20's now seem to be taller in the area where I live. No science just a lot of comments from various people. Tghis is Ireland tall tales and short stories a plenty. 

It could also to be due to better nutrition over the last 100 years in the Irish-American population. For example remembering back to an article a couple years ago in Irish Times, they mentioned that average height in Ireland had increase by 2" in the period 1920-2000. The younger generation (today's teenagers) seem taller on average then my age cohort during the mid 90's. Not surprising as these are the children of the "Celtic Tiger" years. They also tend to have higher obsesity rates.

Yeah I would reckon there has been another inch or two added since 2000.  I think the biggest leap in height has only become noticeable in the last few years among people in born about the late 1980s-early 90s.  I definately have seen a major jump of a couple of inches between people who were around 20 in the early 90s and those who were born about then and are around 20 now.  I think this really only came through 2 or 3 years ago. About 20 years back if you were over 6ft you towered over most people but now the average seems to be only an inch or so less than that with loads of men around 6ft give or take an inch.     
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #67 on: July 02, 2012, 02:36:09 PM »

I'm fair skinned and have the sun tolerance of an anemic vampire. As are most of my kids. We've got burned to blisters wearing t-shirts in a couple of hours in Ireland. None of us have freckles. maybe 1 here and there. Apparently our skin type is pale cream and oil content is a factor, we fry, so I'm told. I do eventually go tan(ish)on my arms but only after blistering peeling etc. Eczema and psoriasis seem more common in Ireland. I know more sufferers here than when I lived in SE England. That's just a personal observation.     
 

I think that 'peaches and cream' type of very fair skin is about equally common as the freckly sort in Ireland.  Both are very bad in the sun.  I tend to think the peaches and cream super-pale skin (with rosey cheeks when young) tends to go with the fair skin-dark hair-light eyes combo (which I think is most common in the east) while freckles tends to go more with the red/sandy/auburn hair and is more western IMO. 
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« Reply #68 on: July 02, 2012, 02:42:21 PM »

I have light blue eyes, a ruddy complexion, and tend to sunburn pretty easily. A friend of mine with reddish hair has already had a melanoma surgically removed from his nose.

But it seems to me skin cancer doesn't usually catch up with you until you are past your prime breeding years, so that even in a sunny place light eyes and fair skin wouldn't be selected against.

I have blue eyes, and pale skin, and got lots of sunburns in my youth as a swimmer trying to get a tan like my brown-eyed, darker-skinned sister, who slathered on the Johnson's baby oil. I had a malignant melanoma removed from my arm this March. So, that was 30 years after my prime "breeding" years. Prognosis is excellent, so no worries.
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« Reply #69 on: July 02, 2012, 03:11:20 PM »

I think the variations in hair color and eye color are just genetic predipositions that generally lead to brown hair and blue eyes. Yet, people seem to have a harder time accepting anything but the general when it comes to Ireland.

In Irish legend there are stories of dark eyed, dark haired people being descendants of "Selkies" (seal people). I have Ronans in my family oddly enough! In America it's all about the Spanish Armada. Where I live in Oregon, if a person has dark eyes and dark hair they are Italian and that's that!

I have spent hours trying to explain why my Dad, sister and I have dark eyes and dark hair. As I've said before, I have seen this combination frequently among my cousins in Wexford and Derry. People say I MUST get the dark coloring from my French-Canadian 25%, but I know of nothing but blue eyed, fair people on that side of my family. My Irish 75% is much darker overall than my French part.

What it comes down to it, it's genetic prediposition; some Irish are fair, some are not. I don't think there's a more definitive answer to it than that.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #70 on: July 02, 2012, 03:32:47 PM »

I think the variations in hair color and eye color are just genetic predipositions that generally lead to brown hair and blue eyes. Yet, people seem to have a harder time accepting anything but the general when it comes to Ireland.

In Irish legend there are stories of dark eyed, dark haired people being descendants of "Selkies" (seal people). I have Ronans in my family oddly enough! In America it's all about the Spanish Armada. Where I live in Oregon, if a person has dark eyes and dark hair they are Italian and that's that!

I have spent hours trying to explain why my Dad, sister and I have dark eyes and dark hair. As I've said before, I have seen this combination frequently among my cousins in Wexford and Derry. People say I MUST get the dark coloring from my French-Canadian 25%, but I know of nothing but blue eyed, fair people on that side of my family. My Irish 75% is much darker overall than my French part.

What it comes down to it, it's genetic prediposition; some Irish are fair, some are not. I don't think there's a more definitive answer to it than that.

Would be a bit of a shocker if you got one of those autosomal many marker tests and it came in 70% north-west European, 5% Caucuses and 25% Irish Sea Grey Seal.  That would be the mother of all skeletons in the ancestral closet! You havent ever found a strange attraction to raw fish, a love of sushi etc :0)
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eochaidh
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« Reply #71 on: July 02, 2012, 03:37:24 PM »

I think the variations in hair color and eye color are just genetic predipositions that generally lead to brown hair and blue eyes. Yet, people seem to have a harder time accepting anything but the general when it comes to Ireland.

In Irish legend there are stories of dark eyed, dark haired people being descendants of "Selkies" (seal people). I have Ronans in my family oddly enough! In America it's all about the Spanish Armada. Where I live in Oregon, if a person has dark eyes and dark hair they are Italian and that's that!

I have spent hours trying to explain why my Dad, sister and I have dark eyes and dark hair. As I've said before, I have seen this combination frequently among my cousins in Wexford and Derry. People say I MUST get the dark coloring from my French-Canadian 25%, but I know of nothing but blue eyed, fair people on that side of my family. My Irish 75% is much darker overall than my French part.

What it comes down to it, it's genetic prediposition; some Irish are fair, some are not. I don't think there's a more definitive answer to it than that.

Would be a bit of a shocker if you got one of those autosomal many marker tests and it came in 70% north-west European, 5% Caucuses and 25% Irish Sea Grey Seal.  That would be the mother of all skeletons in the ancestral closet! You havent ever found a strange attraction to raw fish, a love of sushi etc :0)

I hate fish!! Cooked, or raw!!
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« Reply #72 on: July 02, 2012, 07:00:10 PM »

I was remembering this story...

In 1992, a black haired, black eyed 18 year old female County Wexford cousin was telling me how she was going to spend the summer of 1993 in Maryland, USA. She is the closest to the coloring of my father.

I warned her about two things: #1 Never ask where the craic is!! And, #2 Be ready to answer over and over again why you have black hair and black eyes and whether you're Italian.
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« Reply #73 on: July 02, 2012, 08:49:36 PM »

One of the interesting aspects of this project is associating facial features with detailed autosomal DNA analysis. There is a good description of the process on the link below. This should give better data than using calipers on the skull.  They will have one of the 3 D cameras used in the study at this weeks exhibiion at the Royal Society. Is anyone planning to attend the exhibition?

"So far we have managed to collect 3D face photographs from about 920 volunteers,
most of whom have been people kind enough to respond to us getting in contact after the initial blood collection. Of these, we have genetic data for about 820 and should soon be in a position to start looking for genes involved in specific facial features."

http://www.peopleofthebritishisles.org/nl5.pdf

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« Reply #74 on: July 02, 2012, 09:44:02 PM »

My 'birth mother is one of twins she is short sandy/light brown hair and blue eyes her twin is shorter near black hair and brown eyes other than that their near identical. That side of the family are supposed to be descended from vikings O' Higgins -yellow haired.
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