Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
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26-12-2012, 07:20 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2012 07:38 AM by Dark Light.)
Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
So it occurred to me thins morning, while watching a re-run of a special on human evolution on H2 (History 2) called Ape to Man that I have only rarely seen models of our ancestors as being dark-skinned. We do know that homo sapiens evolved from primates originating in ancient Africa, and almost certainly had dark skin before the Eurasian peoples developed fair skin in the harsh winters of the ice age. Why don't you ever see models, drawings, and models of prehistoric black humans? It always seems to go from ape, to hunched white people with big noses throwing spears. What is the reason? I'm counting that some of you are more knowledgeable about evolution and sociology than myself. Am I right in suspecting that the scientific community may have some racial biases, even it is on a subconscious level?

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26-12-2012, 07:26 AM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
Oh, here we fucking go... Dodgy

All of those models of primitive man? They pull 'em straight out of their ass.

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26-12-2012, 07:32 AM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
(26-12-2012 07:26 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  They pull 'em straight out of their ass.
One more reason for them to be brown.
Sorry, I am truly ashamed on myself. Will now leave and go back to work [Image: smiley-ashamed005.gif]

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26-12-2012, 07:33 AM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
(26-12-2012 07:32 AM)Vera Wrote:  
(26-12-2012 07:26 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  They pull 'em straight out of their ass.
One more reason for them to be brown.
Sorry, I am truly ashamed on myself. Will now leave and go back to work [Image: smiley-ashamed005.gif]
Fucking troll. Don't you have some vampires in heat to share with the world?

Here's a linky, DL: http://theweek.com/article/index/221534/...-early-man

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26-12-2012, 08:16 AM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
(26-12-2012 07:33 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Fucking troll. Don't you have some vampires in heat to share with the world?

Here's a linky, DL: http://theweek.com/article/index/221534/...-early-man
At least have the decency to call me a trollette. As for the horny vampires - just give it a couple days more Drinking Beverage

Interesting link. The sad thing is how little some people nowadays seem to have changed compared to their ancestors. And I don't mean in terms of looks.

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26-12-2012, 06:28 PM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
I think they might be catering to the generations who have grown up watching the The Flintstones, who were all white cavemen and women. Neanderthals are often depicted as being white, too. The average person would probably lose interest if they were watching something that went further back in time than this. I'm sure racism may play some part in it, though. Some people may not like the fact that they are descended from ancient Africans.
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26-12-2012, 09:37 PM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
I'd wager homo ergaster had a dark skin, since they lived in Africa and from them we obtained hairless bodies.

As for exact skin colours, well paleoanthrology is a science based on inferences. It's not like mammalogy, in which scientists can observe lion behaviours whilst on safari. It's akin to what colour the dinosaurs were, we can only speculate.

I would also wager that the first homo sapiens were dark-skinned, though not modern black people as it were.
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27-12-2012, 05:09 AM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
I'm not sure if it's racial biased rather than cultural ignorance. For years in America you see white cave men (Flintstones, ect). They never really thought about other races since they were religious and God was usually painted as white.

This is just my unsupported opinion, but you do point out a interesting observation. I may do some more research later on if I can stay awake.

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27-12-2012, 05:23 AM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
1. OP, I'd like to stress that climate, and environment are not static. Africa, as I understand it, was very different hundreds of thousands of years ago. Africa of today was not the same as Africa then.

2. You said spear throwers. The earliest spears were found in Europe, if not invented. I'd assume at that point, they would have been lighter in melanin. I see no issue with the program you saw jumping from "hairy ape" to when humanity developed it's first real tool that would go onto change the face of the globe.
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27-12-2012, 06:55 AM
RE: Human Evolution and Racially Biased Scientists?
Since I posted this on a whim I have thought about it a little more. Is it possible that the very earliest earliest ape-men just have much fewer remains to be discovered? Forgive this analogy, but it may be akin to an alien watching current our current television programs and not having ever encountered earth. He would see automobiles all over the place. It's true that horses are still used as a means of transportation by some people, but you so rarely come across it in the modern world that it doesn't get much attention.

The fair-skinned cavemen are not uncommon to find for two reasons (I'm continuing my speculation) a.) They were a more recent development and b.) they lived in Europe/Asia, which is more developed, and has more resources for research than Africa.

Anyone know if any of my conjecture has any truth to it. I'm still trying to come up with a good explanation...well a better explanation.

pb88,

Even if true, that the spear-throwers were originally in Europe, then it certainly spread to Africa. You hardly ever see prehistoric spear throwers depicted as black. Also, what about the black cavemen that appeared before the the invention of the spear? When do you see them depicted in the media? Virtually never. I'm not just speaking of car insurance commercials either, I'm talking scientific programs. Thoughts?

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