The law of reversion to type as cultural illusion

By Razib Khan | August 9, 2012 1:01 am

A comment below:

Does the higher genetic diversity in sub-Saharan Africans explain why mixed children of blacks + other couples usually look more black than anything?

As in, the higher number of genetic characteristics overwhelms those of the other parent and allows them to be present in the child.

But this makes you ask: is the assumption that people with some African heritage tend to exhibit that heritage disproportionately even true? From an American perspective the answer is obviously yes. But from a non-American perspective not always. Why? Doe the laws of genetics operate differently for Americans and non-Americans? I doubt t. Rather, hypodescent, and its undergirding principle of the “reversion to the primitive type” are still background assumptions of American culture. In fact today black Americans are perhaps most aggressive and explicit in outlining the logic and implications of the “one drop rule,” though non-blacks tend to accept it as an operative principle as well.

Assessing someone’s racial identity has a subjective aspect. We see through the mirror darkly, and that’s a function of the cultural preconditions of gestalt cognition. But there are some objective metrics we can look at it. Foremost among them is skin color.

The locus SLC24A5  is probably the largest effect gene which impacts normal human variation in skin color. It is responsible for 25-40% of the difference in pigmentation between Europeans and Africans. If you have the genotype AA you are lighter than if you are AG, and if you are AG you are lighter than GG. Almost all Africans are GG, and almost all Europeans are AA. What’s the impact on African Americans then? Below are two panels which show the distribution of skin pigmentation using a quantitative metric as a function of the genotypes.

 If you don’t get the significance, let me highlight the text for this figure:

Effect of SLC24A5 genotype on pigmentation in admixed populations. (A) Variation of measured pigmentation with estimated ancestry and SLC24A5 genotype. Each point represents a single individual; SLC24A5 genotypes are indicated by color. Lines show regressions, constrained to have equal slopes, for each of the three genotypes. (B) Histograms showing the distribution of pigmentation after adjustment for ancestry for each genotype. Values shown are the difference between the measured melanin index and the calculated GG regression line (y = 0.2113x + 30.91). The corresponding uncorrected histograms are shown in fig. S7. Mean and SD (in parentheses) are given as follows: for GG, 0 (8.5), n = 202 individuals; for AG, –7.0 (7.4), n = 85; for AA, –9.6 (6.4), n = 21.

The difference between GG and AG is 7. AG to AA is 2.6. In short you see that the allele which results in lighter skin exhibits dominance to the allele which is correlated with darker skin! Strangely, this is not an isolated fluke.

The results to the left are again the quantitative pigmentation values for an admixed population of mostly African descent, with some European ancestry. In this case it is for the KITLG locus, which can explain 20-25% of the difference in value between European and African populations in terms of pigmentation. The G allele here is the lightening variant. You see that GG are lighter than AG, who are lighter than AA. But what are the median values? -4.7 for GG, -2.9 for AG, and 1.9 for GG. The difference between AG and AA is 4.2. Between AG and GG is 1.8. Again you note that the lightning variant exhibits dominance on this phenotype in relation to the darker variant!

The reason I’m rehashing these results (which I’ve presented before) is that in this case the cultural norm, at least in the U.S.A., is at variance at what is the reality on the phenotypic level. I was surpised when I first saw these results, and everyone else I’ve mentioned them to is moderately surprised. Why? Naively I assume that’s because in the U.S.A. a white phenotype is “default,” and deviations from that default prototype are particularly salient. Less noticeable to us is the possibility that those deviations may still result in a physical type closer to the default prototype than other types.  More colloquially someone like Colin Powell is black because of the color of his skin, not white. But objectively his skin color is closer to white than it is to black (and judging from his features his ancestry is probably more European than it is African).

Of course I’m not arguing here that all non-African features are dominant to African features. In terms of hair form it seems that this is not true. But again, this is partly an artifact of how we as humans classify the phenotype. People of mixed ancestry often have a different hair form from both their parents. It simply is the fact though that we “bin” moderately kinky and very kinky hair together into one class.

The moral of the story is that when we talk about human population differences we need to be very careful of separating the subjective from the objective. Obviously this has been a fraught domain, and the best way to move it back into respectable mainstream discourse is to bleed it of its less scientific aspects.

 

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Genetics
MORE ABOUT: Admixture, Race
  • Sid

    One thing I noticed in high school was that half-white, half-black students were, for all intents and purposes, black. They might have had great relationships with their white parents and get along well with whites, but they still considered themselves black first and foremost, and largely regarded their white ancestry as an after thought.

    In contrast, the students who were half-white and half-Asian tended to be considered white, with an exotic splash. They didn’t speak Asian languages, and while they may have enjoyed manga a bit more, they were still effectively white on a cultural level. I think a lot of this has to do with how Asian-Americans consider their own national-ethnic origins to be of paramount importance. Korean-Americans and Vietnamese-Americans might both be “Asian-American,” but their particular sub-ethnicity was more crucial to them than that they were Asian.

    If a Chinese person marries a white American and they produce children, those children won’t be so readily accepted as Chinese by their peers, it seems to me. Whites tend to accept them as white, first and foremost, so their own Asian ancestry tends to play less of a role in their lives than the African ancestry does for half-black Americans.

    I’m a white American, so my perspective should be taken with a grain of salt. Half-black, half-white Americans tend to stick out as being “black,” with them maybe having fairer features. In contrast, half-Asian, half-white Americans tend to look white to me, and I have a hard them figuring out what makes them look a bit “different.” When they explain that they’re half-Asian, I think to myself, “Okay, that explains it.” Some half-Asian, half-white people look more strongly Asian, but on the whole, their features look predominately white, with some Asian influences at work, just as half-black, half-white people look predominately black, with fairer features.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    #1, just a minor note. the issue here isn’t whether someone who is mulatto vs. eurasian looks more white. is it whether they look more black/white or asian/white. it does seem that people who are half asian more easily ‘pass.’ those who are 1/4 asian almost always pass if they want. less so with people with black ancestry.

    let’s use an extreme example. if someone is half-human and half-vulcan, do they look ‘more vulcan.’ i bet humans would say yes, they look more vulcan. but that’s probably because vulcan features are salient. in contrast, to a vulcan they might look more human. all the while, the individual may actually be a relatively balanced mix.

  • Dwight E. Howell

    If they hadn’t been told how many people would know by just looking that Obama was a halfling? He is obviously not the ebony of his father or a few of my high school classmates but many Africans of non mixed heritage aren’t that dark either. The same may be said for his hair. On the whole you pretty much need to be a quarter blood to actually look mixed heritage to most Americans. Of course people have been straightening hair and messing with the color for a long time. Blending of populations is still occurring.

  • quantum

    Its all about perspective. You might find it strange, but in Africa mixed race kids are considered white and look white in our eyes. From a more thorough perspective they do not look white, but they do not look black either. It is a product of American culture such that what is considered black is very broad and in such a cultural environment the classification would make sense. However black in america is not equal to black elsewhere. A lot of African Americans would not be considered black in Africa. They would just stand out in their distinctiveness

  • Insightful

    Sid, I am looking at the pic of Obama and he looks exactly in between his father (left) and his grandfather (right). By the way, Dwight, Obama’s grandfather’s hair is not that much different from his hair either, just a bit more loosely curled. When I read the comments of Sid and Dwight above it just goes to show me how powerful and unscientific the culture we grow up in is. Culture certainly affects our perspective viewpoints and anchors our beliefs. It is like ‘faith’ regardless of the ‘facts’. Sid and Dwight’s comments above prove that race is indeed a ‘social construct’.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    I said awhile ago I thought it would be an interesting study to take a SSA facial composite, and a West Eurasian facial composite, blend the two in percentages, and see where different populations set the “color line” between black and white. Other posters claimed this wouldn’t be useful, as so much of how we determine “black” and “white” is socially signified in the U.S.

    To an extent I agree. At my local gym, there is a guy with a latino first name who looks like he is approximately 25% SSA. His skin is only a shade darker than mine, his hair is short, but you can tell it is probably fairly curly, if not kinky, and his facial features have a slight SSA cast. Even to my own eyes, being fully conscious of the color line, my impression of his race shifts slightly if he is in his gym clothes versus a suit when he changes to go to work.

    One thing I have seen people mention online, however, is impressions of the color line are dramatically different for people of partial East African ancestry. Here’s a selection of half East Africans, mostly Somalis with some Ethiopians and Eritreans mixed in. Of course, Horners have more white admixture than African Americans (30%-45% or so), but even given that, none of the presumed F1 crosses here would pass as black in the U.S., instead looking vaguely Near Eastern or merely “White.” I presume a large portion of this is due to hair texture – East Africans don’t tend to have hair as curly as elsewhere in Africa, meaning F1 crosses can have wavy or even straight hair which doesn’t set off the U.S. “color line” radar.

  • lee

    I am half white and half chinese. All my white classmates in high school considered me as one of the asians. They never saw me as being white.

  • Sid

    “the issue here isn’t whether someone who is mulatto vs. eurasian looks more white. is it whether they look more black/white or asian/white.”

    I understand that, but I was using “Rushton’s Rule,” so to say. When discussing white/black issues, it’s important to consider Asians, for a more balanced perspective.

    “it does seem that people who are half asian more easily ‘pass.’ those who are 1/4 asian almost always pass if they want. less so with people with black ancestry.”

    Yes, I agree. Let me bring up the matter of people who are half black and half Asian. Usually, their black features are more more noticeable than their Asian ones. There have been times when I’m surprised to hear that someone, who I originally thought was an “African-American” (no immediate white relatives, but is about 20% white genetically) was actually half Asian and half black.

    Am I judging them to look more black than Asian because of my culture? I don’t think so. American culture usually identifies people with black and white ancestry as just being black. In contrast, black/Asian hybrids are a more recent phenomenon (on a macro level), so American culture doesn’t instruct us to identify identify Afro-Asians as being just black. If there is a instinctual component at work (whereby I find African ancestry to stand out more to me in mulattoes than their white ancestry, because white is genetically “normal” to me and what is not normal will stand out more), then it would not be in play here, since I lack both African and Asian ancestry.

    “let’s use an extreme example. if someone is half-human and half-vulcan, do they look ‘more vulcan.’ i bet humans would say yes, they look more vulcan. but that’s probably because vulcan features are salient. in contrast, to a vulcan they might look more human. all the while, the individual may actually be a relatively balanced mix.”

    I would wager that if you asked Chinese people if mulattoes appear more white or more black, they would say more black. Similarly, Africans would identify Eurasians as looking more white than Asian. I say this with some confidence, because Afro-Asians tend to look more African than Asian to me.

    I’m not at all doubting that culture and ones own race play a significant role here. That being said, I think factoring Asians into the mix is important, because it gives us a third perspective and helps to sort these things out to degree.

  • jb

    In contrast, half-Asian, half-white Americans tend to look white to me, and I have a hard them figuring out what makes them look a bit “different.”

    Marcel Nguyen, German silver medalist gymnast in two events a the 2012 Olympics, is half Vietnamese. It’s obvious once you know, but when I first saw him I didn’t notice the name, and I thought he was just a somewhat atypical looking German.

    I wonder if the greater genetic distance between Europeans and sub-Saharan Africans doesn’t in fact make crosses somehow easier to recognize. In fact I wonder whether, if not for the very obvious difference in the shape of the eyes, Europeans would even have classified East Asians as a separate race at all. I’m sure they would have made some distinction, but perhaps they would have seen Mongoloids as simply a subgroup within a greater Eurasian race, on the same level as Nordics and Alpines, rather than as a higher level race on par with the Negroids and Caucasoids.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Edit: Now my old post shows!

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    Here’s a selection of half East Africans, mostly Somalis with some Ethiopians and Eritreans mixed in. Of course, Horners have more white admixture than African Americans (30%-45% or so), but even given that, none of the presumed F1 crosses here would pass as black in the U.S., instead looking vaguely Near Eastern or merely “White.”

    some of the links were very interesting. fwiw, this seems like a classic case of west eurasian components segregating out. a substantial number of people of south asian-european ancestry also ‘pass.’ at 6 months my daughter has green eyes, light skin, and light brown hair. her eye color and hair color may darken somewhat, but it is pretty obvious i think that she is going to be ‘undercover half-brown.’

  • Insightful

    Karl Zimmerman is contradicting himself because he describes the latino guy as being only 25% ssa and only a shade darker than he is; yet, to Karl’s mind his impression of the latino guy shifts slightly(unlike that towards a half east african). What Karl is unconciously expressing is not the mixture of east africans with eurasians but the Phenotypic difference between west africans and east africans (disregarding Eurasian admixture). Yes, there is a phenotypic difference on a base level. The latino guy is only about 25% ssa (according to Karl). In effect, he may be more mixed than a mixed east african horner (which is the contradiction) but that is very likely the West African in him, which makes him still appear more different, even from a mixed east african with more percentage of ssa. This is a phenotypic difference between East and West Africa minus any eurasian admixture. Note that East Africans also have a different build or body type from West Africans as well. So it’s not just the face. And East Africans are long distance runners while West Africans are sprinters

  • Ed

    #8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv3TbDlwR8Q

    Depends which Asians you ask too, they don’t all have the same cultural predispositions after all. If you ask Koreans, 100% Cambodian people might not even be considered ‘Asian’ to them.

  • Der Alte

    How sure are you, Razib, that the guy on the left is the father of the guy in the middle?

    Barack Jr.’s mom and Barack Sr. lived together for at most a few days, maybe not at all, after Jr.’s birth before Stanley Ann took Barack Jr. with her to Washington state, leaving Barack Sr. to finish his studies back in Hawaii. This is the relationship that Jr. later referred to as “an improbable love”.

    I think Barack Jr. resembles Frank Marshall Davis much more than he resembles Barack Sr.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xUBuh81BAFs/T5nR2aJt8CI/AAAAAAAAFj4/1sArlrL2SSs/s1600/obama-anndunham-davis800x786.bmp

    And then there are these pictures of someone who looks remarkably like Stanley Ann Dunham.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ehtYejeKDkQ/TSDTttg3hcI/AAAAAAAADYA/hCZWp5EMIjc/S1600-R/POLobamamomma960x392.jpg

  • Sid

    “It’s obvious once you know, but when I first saw him I didn’t notice the name, and I thought he was just a somewhat atypical looking German.”

    Right. Compare him with, say, the Hodgetwins: http://img.youtube.com/vi/ADXRWhU5R7s/0.jpg

    Marcel Nguyen’s Asian features are noticeable once you learn he’s part Asian, but you wouldn’t think he was lying if he instead claimed that he was 100% white. In contrast, the Hodgetwins unmistakably have African ancestry, even though their skin is fair and their eyes are green.

    “I wonder if the greater genetic distance between Europeans and sub-Saharan Africans doesn’t in fact make crosses somehow easier to recognize.”

    The question arises: why are African features so dominant when mixed with others? One could say it’s because their facial features and skin color are especially strong in a certain direction, so that they will continue to turn up even with considerable foreign admixture. That being said, Australian Aborigine features tend to be more quickly absorbed when they interbreed with whites, as Steve Sailer has pointed out. The other explanation is that Africans have a more diverse genome, which more easily absorbs traits from other races. I’d like to see the offspring of Khoisan/white couples, to see if the Khoisan features predominate as they do with blacks.

    “In fact I wonder whether, if not for the very obvious difference in the shape of the eyes, Europeans would even have classified East Asians as a separate race at all. I’m sure they would have made some distinction, but perhaps they would have seen Mongoloids as simply a subgroup within a greater Eurasian race, on the same level as Nordics and Alpines, rather than as a higher level race on par with the Negroids and Caucasoids.”

    Good point… Personally, I consider Mongoloids to be a distinct race from Caucasoids, though the differences (genetic and otherwise) between them are smaller than those between those two races and Negroids. Mongoloids have distinct features (such as jawlines which down to shift downward at the end of their jaws) which show up among Polynesians, Northeast Asians and Native Americans. I think the two races are distinct enough to merit their own separate racial categories, though clearly they’re fairly closely related.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    #14, he looks like his half-brother. how much money are you willing to put down on your skepticism? let’s exchange email addresses and write down a contract, as with whole genome sequencing any anomaly will come to light in the next 10 years. give me your odds and i’ll give you an amount i’m willing to put down (we can index it to CPI in the contract). if the monetary amount is high enough it should be worthwhile for one to sue the other if we back out. i’m pretty confident obama will release his genome before 2020, and we can easily check to see if he’s kenyan or not.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    #15, your foray into genetics is in the “not even wrong” class. you are talking about phenotype but moving into genotype. as i note above african dark skin is NOT dominant in the technical sense. the value of the trait is closer that of the europeans, not africans, when you cross. that’s different from saying that african ancestry is evident. if someone is half black, and the population the area is black or white, then the black ancestry is highly salient, because non-white skin, even light brown, is distinctive. you are more correct when you say that their “facial features and skin color are especially strong in a certain direction.” or at least that’s defensible. if you have huge trait value differences, then the hybrids are going to be somewhere in the middle, and even if they shift toward one parent, the admixture will be clear from the other parent.

    The other explanation is that Africans have a more diverse genome, which more easily absorbs traits from other races. I’d like to see the offspring of Khoisan/white couples, to see if the Khoisan features predominate as they do with blacks.

    i don’t really know what you’re trying to say. you need to say more, because i know enough genetics that i should know what you’re trying to say. in any case, do note that khoisan are MORE diverse than most other sub-saharan africans. and many cape coloureds have a lot of khoisan ancestry along with white, though they have asian (east and south) as well as bantu. so hard to say.

    Personally, I consider Mongoloids to be a distinct race from Caucasoids, though the differences (genetic and otherwise) between them are smaller than those between those two races and Negroids.

    the separation time between different eurasian groups is about half the time between eurasians and africans. perhaps somewhat more. the Fst (genetic distance measure) between europeans and east asians is about 0.10. between europeans and africans 0.15. between east asians and africans 0.20.

  • syon

    Lee:”I am half white and half chinese. All my white classmates in high school considered me as one of the asians. They never saw me as being white.”

    The Tilly sisters (Jennifer and Meg) offer some insight into our collective sense of racial identity. Both women are mixed race (Chinese father and White mother), yet both are routinely cast as White characters in films . Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, neither actress has ever portrayed an Asian or mixed race character in a film. As far as Hollywood is concerned, they are White.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Razib –

    I have read before “make a Pakistani an Albino, and he’ll walk down the street in Stockholm unnoticed.” This is a bit of an exaggeration, as there are some minor differences between the faces of South Asians and Europeans, but it is true the two show more facial similarity than any other major population groups (intervening middle easterners excluded), so you’d expect that if their major genes for pigmentation tended to be light enough, F1 crosses would pretty easily “pass”

    I knew a half-Bangladeshi woman in Pittsburgh for many years. She had dirty blond hair and light eyes. I always thought she was slightly “exotic” looking, but until I found out I was never able to put two and two together.

    12 –

    I wasn’t contradicting myself at all. American “black-dar” is based upon West African features because West Africans were who were brought to the U.S. as slaves. I’m sure in an alternate world, were *Australia brought slaves from Somalia, *Australians would learn the look of half Somalis.

  • Sid

    On genotypes and phenotypes:

    Feel free to correct my errors. My understanding is that Africans have the most genetic diversity, with Eurasians having markedly less genetic diversity, and Native Americans having the least.

    Now, what the comment you posted in this blog entry said was, “As in, the higher number of genetic characteristics overwhelms those of the other parent and allows them to be present in the child.” This would mean that since Africans have more genetic diversity, that their traits “stand out” more when they interbreed with other races. To reiterate: Afro-Asians tend to look more black than Asian to me.

    This idea may be total nonsense, and I’m not particularly committed to it. So my point wasn’t that fair skin is recessive and dark skin is dominant, but that the higher genetic diversity in Africans could explain why their features tend to dominate, in my eyes at least, among their mixed offspring.

    As for the Khoisan: your point that the Khoisan are more genetically diverse than other sub-Saharan Africans is very much true. One way you could test the hypothesis that African traits predominate in mixed offspring because of their greater genetic diversity relative to other races, would be to examine the children of Khoisan and white or Asian pairings. If the Khoisan features predominated usually, then that would give some credence to that idea. Again, I’m not propounding the idea as true, I’m just throwing around possible explanations.

    Steve Sailer noted some time ago that he thought the offspring of Australian Aborigines and whites looked surprisingly more white than Aborigine, at least compared to mulattoes (where their African traits appear more). Aborigines also have very dark skin and pronounced facial features, but those seem to recede more easily than they do with Africans. I don’t know how genetically diverse Aborigines are, however.

    “the separation time between different eurasian groups is about half the time between eurasians and africans. perhaps somewhat more. the Fst (genetic distance measure) between europeans and east asians is about 0.10. between europeans and africans 0.15. between east asians and africans 0.20.”

    Makes sense. If memory serves, the proto-Eurasians migrated out of Africa some 60,000 years ago, and the Caucasoids and Mongoloids began to diverge some 30,000 years ago.

  • http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com ohwilleke

    Put another way, intuitive social racial classification is a product of subconscious cluster analysis, not subconscious plurality admixture percentage analysis.

  • Gail

    In some photos Obama looks remarkably similar to his maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham – there was a photo in either Newsweek or Time Mag about three years ago in which they look like twins, except for minor difference in skin color. I can’t find that photo now, but look at this one:

    http://researchandideas.com/index.php?title=Image:Obama_grandfather_01_aa_10-25-08.jpg

    I’m a white person who lived in Africa for several years, and Obama looks and seems “white” to me. But most white Americans are so attuned to skin color that a small difference in skin color is enough for them to judge that a person is “Black”. This should be a lesson in how arbitrary and meaningless the concept of ethnic “race” really is.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    #22, This should be a lesson in how arbitrary and meaningless the concept of ethnic “race” really is. i don’t think it’s arbitrary or meaningless. for the record.

  • fb?

    #22 Obama himself does not seem to think he’s white. I don’t think its all skin color either, since Italian-Americans aren’t considered black.

  • Der Alte

    Razib (#16), I agree that the similar appearance of Obama and Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo is evidence in favor of Barack Sr. being the biological father of Barack Jr. Another piece of evidence in favor is that Barack Sr. visited Barack Jr. once, years later.

    But there is some counter-evidence. As I mentioned before, Stanley Ann left her husband (and her parents) behind in Hawaii shortly after the birth of Barack Jr. to go attend college as a single mother in Washington State. She returns to Hawaii shortly after Barack Sr. leaves Hawaii. Pretty weird, what? Looks like the marriage may have been a sham. There’s no dispute, I think, that Barack Jr.’s grandfather Stanley Dunham was a good buddy of Frank Marshall Davis (communist, pornographer, libertine, called “Pop” by Jr.). There are pictures, attributed to Davis, of a naked young woman with a remarkable resemblance to Stanley Ann.

    So, was Barack Sr. the biological father of Barack Jr.? Probably yes, but maybe not, in my opinion.

    So here’s an offer of a friendly bet. I send you $50. If President Obama releases his genome before January 1, 2020, and analysis of that genome is strong evidence, in your opinion, in favor of Barack Sr. being the biological father, then you just keep the $50. (In the absence of DNA from other relatives of Barack Sr., just evidence that Obama’s paternal DNA is Kenyan would be fine.) If Obama does not release his genome by January 1, 2020 or if his released genome is not consistent, in your opinion, with Barack Sr. being his biological father, then you send a donation valued at $200 in today’s dollars (indexed to the CPI) to VDARE. If the evidence of paternity based on Obama’s released genome is ambiguous, in your opinion, then you send $50 in today’s dollars to VDARE. If VDARE has been outlawed by 2020, you send the donation to what you judge to be the nearest equivalent.

    I’m happy to trust your judgment and your honor if you agree to the bet.

  • LongMa

    Since sid wants to speak about phenotype so much…instead of picking and chosing Eurasian mixes, lets look at some nonfamous examples…I grew up in a military family with a lot of Korean, Japan, Filipino /white mixed kids, and the minority could “pass for white”, especially the half Filipino kids, who were plentiful. Google the term Hapa which a lot of these people in the US call themselves (yes I know it was originally specifically a term for Eurasians in Hawaii, but not now)…and you will see a wide range.

    You will see a lot of people who look like Mike Shinoda from Likin Park:

    http://api.ning.com/files/Win6tyxjpYR70pJIfUULVeHAdflImulJegoday8o2f0Tsc8V1lPxdTdtzzo*pmk7HYUzUt-qztopdvJsHoJWRWbPlfE1UAwJ8Zgw79lJWyQ_/2885915772_bc53353e50.jpg

    Half Japanese/white

    I currently live in Singapore, and I know a few Eurasians, in fact two who are half Chinese whose ancestry is Chaozhou and Hokkien (one has a white Aussie parent and the other a white Englishman) and both just look like stereotypical “Northern Chinese”. Almost like this Chinese/white mix or this Korean/white mix

    http://abagond.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/daniel_henney.jpg

    Daniel Henney

    http://www.starscolor.com/images/russell-wong-02.jpg

    Russel Wong

    Most Eurasians to me look Hispanic, the ones who are Northeast Asian and white do tend to have more caucasion features, due to the fact their parents also might tend to have higher and narrower noses, higher (longer heads), etc.

    However I know a lot of people who are half Thai and Filipino and they don’t look much different from Mestizos. There are a lot of of both mixes who look nearly pure Asian, I can produce dozens of more pictures of real people, not actors, just school kids, etc.

    Razib took this post in an interesting direction when talking about genetic dominance compared to cultural perception…I just don’t want to see it turn into bias sampling to prove a preconceived bias. The reality is somewhere in between.

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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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