Will all humans eventually have the same skin colour?

You have heard this idea before – that through interbreeding across cultures (over a great many generations)  skin colour will coalesce into one uniform shade of brown (or something like that). The comedian Russell Peters has a funny bit that uses this meme which i recommend every to see, but that is just an aside. While this makes intuitive sense it is actually not true.

When you look at the phenotypes (the expression of genes) from kids’ parents who have greatly differing complexions, some of the possible combinations of genes produce phenotypes that are more extreme than the parents! Translation: when you look at the skin colour of kids whose parents have different skin coloration, the kids sometimes end up with skin a skin colour out of the range of shades between that of their parents. A child can be born with skin darker or lighter than either of their parents has, and this is not a very small chance. This means we will always have a lovely diversity of appearance in the human population.

For more information check out this blog post which covers this research nicely.

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