Skin color variation, Steve Olson

Interviewee: Steve Olson. Author Steve Olson speaks about the evolutionary explanation for one of the more obvious differences between people - skin color. (DNAi Location: Applications > Human Origins > Variation > Interviews > Skin color variation)

We know that as people moved into parts of the world where they had more or less exposure to the sun, their skin color changed accordingly. In fact, the Bushmen, the group with, that I spent time with down in Botswana, tend to have lighter skin in Africa, than Africans who still live much closer to the Equator, and are subject to higher levels of solar radiation. Very dark skin in those cases by the Equator is protective, and as you move farther away from the Equator your skin can be lighter, in fact in some respects it may need to be lighter so that you can generate enough vitamin D to be able to have strong bones. This is an explanation, probably the leading explanation, for why the skin of the people who moved into the far northern latitudes, into Europe and into northern Asia became so light. By the same token if you look at another group of people who came out of Africa and went to Australia and New Guinea, they continue to have very dark skin largely because of the environments in which they live.

northern latitudes,color variation,human origins,steve olson,solar radiation,evolutionary explanation,location applications,dnai,skin color,dark skin,bushmen,equator,northern asia,new guinea,vitamin d,africans,respects,token,bones,environments

Related Content

15143. America: the melting pot, Steve Olson

Author Steve Olson speaks about the genetic variation of North American residents.

  • ID: 15143
  • Source: DNAi

15142. An ancient lineage: the San, Steve Olson

Author Steve Olson talks about the stable and isolated history of the San people of Southern Africa, who are sometimes known as "Bushmen."

  • ID: 15142
  • Source: DNAi

1004. Causes, Sunlight

In this section learn that ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight is the major cause to skin cancer.

  • ID: 1004
  • Source: IC

15615. People diversity (variation collage)

An image collage showing variation (genetic diversity ) in human populations (in skin color, hair color, and other genetic traits).

  • ID: 15615
  • Source: DNAi

15141. A wealth of information from DNA markers, Steve Olson

Author Steve Olson talks about the possibilities for new genetic data about the history of human populations.

  • ID: 15141
  • Source: DNAi

15186. From Africa to Europe and Asia s, Douglas Wallace

Mitochondrial DNA pioneer Douglas Wallace explains the movement of different lineages of humans from Africa into Europe and Asia.

  • ID: 15186
  • Source: DNAi

15153. Preservation of ancient DNA, Svante Paabo

Evolutionary geneticist Svante Paabo talks about the environments that will best preserve ancient DNA.

  • ID: 15153
  • Source: DNAi

15801. Guinea pigs showing color inheritance

Guinea pigs showing color inheritance, part of a Fitter Families exhibit, 1926.

  • ID: 15801
  • Source: DNAi

15529. Radiation can cause DNA mutations, 3D animation with narration

Mutations and the molecular clock.

  • ID: 15529
  • Source: DNAi

893. Preventing Schizophrenia

In this review of schizophrenia, the authors show how our growing knowledge of causal factors offers hope for successful preventive measures.

  • ID: 893
  • Source: G2C