The Sunday Times reports:
[N]ew research has found that it was cavemen who were the first to be lured by flaxen locks.
According to the study, north European women evolved blonde hair and blue eyes at the end of the Ice Age to make them stand out from their rivals at a time of fierce competition for scarce males.
The study argues that blond hair originated in the region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Until then, humans had the dark brown hair and dark eyes that still dominate in the rest of the world. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men.
Lighter hair colours, which started as rare mutations, became popular for breeding and numbers increased dramatically, according to the research, published under the aegis of the University of St Andrews....
The increase in competition for males led to rapid change as women struggled to evolve the most alluring qualities. Frost believes his theory is supported by studies which show blonde hair is an indicator for high oestrogen levels in women.
Read it here:OK, it's easy to make fun of this stuff -- in the end it is little more than a "just so" story -- but there is a serious principle involved here. Northern Europeans, unlike populations in other parts of the world, have remarkably diverse hair and eye color. What is more, this diversity seems to have emerged rather quickly. What evolutionary mechanisms could account for this rapid diversification? Random variation cannot explain it. Some powerful selective factor must have been operating. Sexual selection seems to be the most plausible explanation.
But here's the interesting part. Usually, when evolutionists invoke sexual selection it involves females selecting males, and that is why such theories have been so popular with feminists. Here, apparently, it is the males who are doing the selecting on the basis of presumed surface attractiveness. This carries the implication that there are universal standards of female beauty, and that blue-eyed blondes are inherently more attractive than non-blondes. Somehow I don't think that theory's going to fly once the feminists get their hands on it. And consider the implication of a theory that suggests that Northern Europeans evolved differently from other humans..., hmmmm, not gonna touch that one.
And, there is another implication. Once technology makes it possible to fake blondness, and the presumed original scarcity of males associated with large-animal predation no longer tilts selection in their favor, the features selected for would gradually disappear from the population. In fact, that is exactly what other "scientists" have predicted. According to the World Health Organization blondes will become extinct within approximately 200 years. The WHO predicts that the last blond will be born in Finland in 2202.
Really, that's what they say! I'm not making this up.
In a possibly related development, Reuters reports:
TOKYO (Reuters) - It's a case of the vanishing blondes.
Ten years ago, a stroll through central Tokyo could leave travelers wondering what country they were in as they watched a parade of tanned, fair-haired women walking tall in precarious platform shoes.
Now fashion has moved on and hairdressers say bleached blonde tresses are going the way of fake tans, although a dark brown tint still seems more popular than natural black.
The only fair-haired women to be seen on the covers of Japanese fashion magazines nowadays are foreign models.
Read it here.