Evolution, Melanin And Brain Power #2 Part 2


Evolution, Melanin And Brain Power

#2 Part 2


R.E. Prindle

     Melanin is only one aspect of evolution.  I presume erik assumes that the only genetic differences between the various human species is color.  If low melanin were simply geographical  and if evolution had ceased when HSI, the African, evolved then indeed all Homo Sapiens would have the same capabilities but obviously in different stages of development.

     We know however that evolution didn’t cease one hundred fifty thousand years ago when Homo Sapiens evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor.

     Let’s consider two anomalies that distinguish Homo Sapiens from all other mammals with the exception of the Great Apes.  All other mammals are hairy whether they live on the Equator or the North Pole.  All other mammals with the exception of the Great Apes have tails.  Both Apes and HS at one time had tails.  They are now vestigial.

     The Great Apes who live in Africa are black beneath their hairy coats.  Certainly melanin is less needed by the Hairy Apes than White HS in the temperate zones.  Why haven’t Apes switched off their melanin genes?

     If having high melanin has a protective benefit in the tropics and if the hominid predecessors had a full coat of hair which they surely must have what happened to it?  Wouldn’t the hair have been more protective and beneficial than high melanin?

     With the Apes the anthropoids diverge from the four legged standard of mammals.  HS is the most erect of all.  As I said in EMBP #1  in the evolution of new organs or changes to the organism the organism cannot add to the existing structure from new materials it can only convert other substances to fill the new needs.  Thus it must be true that HS is relatively hairless because the hair was converted genetically to other uses.  When the hair disappeared the predecessor of HS was black but much less protected from the sun because of the hair loss.  So melanin had nothing to do with the tropical sun.  HS was already black.  He started looking around for clothes.

     The tail also could be eliminated safely so that it too disappeared to be used in evolutionary changes elsewhere. 

     If the HS brain continues to evolve adding new capabilities the material to do so will have to be provided by the alteration of some other organ or substance such as melanin.

     We know that evolutionarily great changes have occurred.  The changes necessary for the organism to walk erect are astounding.  And yet HS must have moved on all fours at sometime in its past.  I can tell you this, geography had nothing to do in the alteration of our species so it could walk erect.

     There are many things yet to be explained.


8 comments on “Evolution, Melanin And Brain Power #2 Part 2

  1. Really, “There are many things yet to be explained”.

    If skin colour and hairnessless point at an advance degree of a melanin-related brain development fish might be the best testimony to:
    http://www.weirdasianews.com/2009/03/01/south-korean-discovery-fish-humanlike-faces/ .

    Readers like no looong internet posts, that is why, sharp to the point, your grateful for delighting respondent would conclude that in sitius paribus (please correct the misspelling if any, of Latin for “in the same circumstances”)
    – ability to generate active melanin in shorter intervals of time allows species (human beings) to spread into environments of more harsh conditions for their survival than they had originated from
    – living in new environments demands new approaches to life-sustaining processes, feeding themselves and keeping bodies/offspring warm for instance
    – demand for survival requires better intellectual skills as any other physical abilities training and developing muscles among which a brain, perhaps, the most miraculous is.

    Understandably, every thesis above might be supported by the most recent researches from around a globe.

  2. Michael: I cannot quite equate environmental pressures with genetic evolution. The notion that blackness is consequent on more direct exposure to sunlight is ridiculous on the face of it. In the first place sunlight burns skins whether black or white. Skin is skin; sun us sun. A black human will roast as easily as a white one.

    The gorilla with its full coat of hair has no need for high melanin and yet it has it. Therefore melanin has nothing to do with the sun. Hair is a much better protection to the skin from the sun than high melanin could ever be. Just as in the North a thick coat of fur is much more effective against cold than low melanin which is no protection at all. So why do all Northern mammals with the exception of man have fur and why doesn’t man?

    Hence any environmental reasons for melanin high or low fall short of explaining anything, not to mention that Caucasians and Mongols came from the same area yet have different melanin levels.

    Mammals do not just grow adaptive organs because it might be convenient for them and if they could the material would still have to come from somewhere else in their organism. Hence the hair of their ancestors must have been transformed into something else. Hair just doesn’t cease to exist for no reason.

    Humans didn’t ‘learn’ to walk erect, evolutionary changes allowed them to. It makes just as much sense to say that they ceased living in trees when their anatomical changes made tree living inconvenient as it does to say that when man moved into the plains it became more convenient for them to walk erect. Cause and effect? Well then examine the possible causes and effects.

    If Gorillas don’t walk erect then obviously evolution has denied them the ability else seeing the advantages of walking erect in humans why wouldn’t they want to do it?

    I know it’s hard to accept but just as Homo Sapiens has evolved beyond the anthropoids so more advanced specimens of Homo Sapiens continue to evolve before earlier and hence more primitive specimens.

    It can’t be any other way.

    And, believe me, I would never attempt to correct anybody’s Latin.

  3. You misunderstand me. The sun does not create melanin. At most it releases it in what is called a protective mode. Thus both Black and Whites ‘tan.’ Too much sun and you can forget melanin as your skin reddens and bubbles burning to a crisp.

    The sun actually burns the skin. When crossing the equator I had my arms exposed the upper layer of skin burned black, cracked like the bottom of a creek and fell off leaving the white skin underneath unchanged. At that point I gave up any idea of tanning.
    For obvious reasons.

    If your argument is that the sun actually creates melanin perhaps it is best that you drop out of the conversation.

  4. Of course, Sun does not produce melanin.

    Melanin is a sort of a reaction on radiation surrounding…

    I write recently on this topic and thankful for everything relevant your works already initiated.

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