Re: American Indians skin tone and the Vikings

Todd A. Farmerie (taf2@po.CWRU.Edu)
18 Sep 1995 16:33:01 GMT

In a previous article, (Peter/Stephen Sjolander) says:

>>Plains tribes, for instance, saw plenty of sun. However, their
>>skin was, in fact, lightening up, especially when compared to
>>Natives of Central America.
>I believe the lightening of the American Indian skin tone may have been
>caused by the presents of the Vikings all along the 45th parallel.

What exactly is the scientific evidence for vikings "all along the 45th
parallel? There is no evidence whatsoever that thire was any genetic
interaction between the two peoples, and while it is possible, the
probability of significant genetic influence by the small number of
scandinavians in the new world is small. This is particulary the case with
the small amount of time which passed between the arrival of the vikings
and that of other europeans. It is as likely that if such a differece in
pigmentation does exist, it has more to do with the intense interactions
among the natives and the anglo/german Americans for three hundred years
before anylone looked closely enough to notice that indians don't all look
the same. Still more likely, because of the inbred nature of
hunter/gatherer populations and pre-industrial farming societies, the
groups had different pigmentation for reasons of genetic drift, and not due
significantly to any external input.