Just felt like posting this. No particular reason. Ahem.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Last night I was watching the Neanderthal Code on Nat Geo, and the narrator mentioned that some Neanderthals had red hair. This is a fairly new discovery considering as early as fifty years ago we believed our genetic cousins were mere ape men who may or may not have walked upright.
So this got me to thinking about the red head's (ginger's) place in the world. Like Neanderthals, gingers were once the object of scorn and prejudice by the rest of the world. And by rest of the world I mean Religious People. Red hair was once thought to be a mark of a beastly sexual desire and moral degeneration. Yeah, they considered that a bad thing. Beastly. Red hair and green eyes were thought to be the sign of a witch, a werewolf or a vampire during the Middle Ages. Maybe all three at once.
Of course this was during civilization's low point, and some 1,500 years in the past. Today we know that red hair is caused by the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a protein located on the 16 chromosome. Pigments are also involved, causing people like me to yell at random strangers, "Hey, Darkie, think you got enough eumelanin there? Why don't you try getting some more pheomelanin? Ya jerk!"
Ginger's are here to stay like it or not. We may be sex-crazed vampire maniacs, but we are people too. Also, according to one expert (me) we smell better.