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Redheads and Pre-History

Scientists have identified a gene that causes red hair color in Neanderthal DNA. This story is riding the media merry go round. Have you ever noticed how depictions of pre-historic humanoid species always have skin darker than the average European but lighter than a sub-Saharan African? It’s curious that even in the image used to illustrate the BBC article on this story, the Neaderthal is portrayed as darker than the modern European red head. Why do they continue to do that? Chances are that any red headed Neanderthals were as light skinned as my near albino redheaded father. They were, no doubt, close to Rupert Grint in complexion.

Take time to note that chimpanzees have white skin. They have skin as white as that red headed European in the BBC story. Someone drawing these illustrations or the editors ordering these illustrations need to step back and say, “No more racist depictions of pre-historic homo species.”

October 26, 2007   2 Comments