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Any precedence to this?

  1. Jul 22, 2010 #1


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  3. Jul 22, 2010 #2
    Wow... I think that's pretty damned unprecedented barring the initial ancient mutations to white/blond/blue-eyes, or albinism. At a guess, I would find it hard to believe that child is not some kind of semi-albino... and I would be interested to see what happens as she ages. The dormant gene hypothesis seems unlikely to me, as I'd expect black children to be born to white parents as being more likely than this, given the genetic history of humanity.

    Either way, this is just... wow. Of course, maybe this is just a re-emergence of dormant genes, but I would expect that could be tested for.
  4. Jul 22, 2010 #3
    Most, if not all, of those traits are determined by more than one gene. So the chance of them all changing in just one generation seems unlikely. I suspect this is a case of botched artificial insemination, which has many precedents. Either way a simple paternity test would solve the mystery.
  5. Jul 22, 2010 #4
    I believe that was already done... or at least I assumed. Evo doesn't seem like the type to be shocked by infidelity posing as genetic mutation.
  6. Jul 22, 2010 #5
    Even if the quotes from the story were true, he may just not be willing to admit he's impotent for cultural reasons. Also, if the same type of thing happened to a white couple they may not suspect anything for quite a while.

    I just need more evidence than what was presented in that article to believe there's a simple genetic switch that can so systematically make the child look so caucasian when the parents are so very not. Eye color and skin pigment are not simple Mendellian traits. It takes several different mutations in different places to achieve it. If it were due to some form of albinism that still wouldn't explain blue eyes and straight blonde hair.

    Maybe I should have said maternity test instead of paternity.
  7. Jul 23, 2010 #6
    In domestic animals this is not particularly unusual (such as recessive colour dilution showing up after several generations without any sign. (Real example in cats, but not unusual in most species)). However, as someone else pointed out, your example involves several genes, so it is not realistic in practice.
    The cat example involved a single gene locus with dominant and recessive alleles.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  8. Jul 24, 2010 #7

    Albinos have pink eyes, not blue.
  9. Jul 24, 2010 #8
    Albinism does not come in only one flavor; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albinism and especially: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oculocutaneous_albinism

    I will admit that this doesn't seem like the child is albino; in fact if it were not a mentor asking this question I would assume an issue of maternity, paternity, or an outright hoax. Genetic tests can easily rule albinism in or out, as well as parentage.
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  10. Jul 24, 2010 #9


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    I would hope that if doctors are running tests that the first and most obvious would be a paternity test. Unless they ruled out the possibility that the husband was not the father, this would not be news, and doctors would not be looking for other explanations. But who knows. That's why I'm asking if anyone has ever heard of such a thing.
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  11. Jul 24, 2010 #10
    I hear you, and I would hope the same, but I can't think of anything like this... ever. Even the emergence of blond and blue-eyed people was likely a gradual process, and unlikely to occur to re-emerge from a native African population.
  12. Jul 24, 2010 #11


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    Aren't caucasian babies born with blue eyes, which then turn their true color? I know it's common also for caucasian children to be born blonde then have their hair turn dark, and also straight hair turning curly.

    I'm assuming that the birth was witnessed so there is no question about an accidental switch.
  13. Jul 24, 2010 #12
    I chose not to make assumptions, but yes it is not uncommon for blond children to have darkening hair, and I speak from personal experience that hair can change to curly or straight based on age. Women often find that the hormonal activity of pregnancy changes their hair color and texture in some ways, with darkening being the most common alteration. My mother went from a blond to a near-brunette after having me, but again this doesn't really apply.

    HOWEVER... this is a bit different from the WWII era German ideal being born to a black African couple... that is as far as I know, unheard of. This child is colorless, it is clearly BLOND a la yellow-seeming hair, with clear blue eyes. I can't tell you how strange that is... I almost could believe in a switch before such a complex mutation. Re-emergence due to ancestry or a strange-appearing albinism is the only non-hoax/mistake scenario I can bring myself to believe.
  14. Jul 25, 2010 #13
    If the couple mentioned in the article used artificial insemination because they were having trouble conceiving naturally, then the switch could have happened at the clinic, at the very beginning of the pregnancy. This could be why the husband is so sure his wife has been faithful to him even though the child does not look like either of them. The very brief article does not state that the child was conceived naturally, nor does it explicitly state that any genetic tests have been performed. It also fails to mention any of the names of the so-called "genetic experts."
  15. Jul 28, 2010 #14
    Folks, (not only you, Nismar), this is an extraordinary claim needing extraordinary evidence. We have next to no sound, well-defined evidence all. We don't know what the parents looked like either now or at birth, what the child looked (looks) like, or the full circumstances. We don't know about the circumstances of the conception and birth, not the ancestry. We don't know about the attitudes of the people passing on the information. We do know something about genetics and probability.

    The idea of say, a convincingly blonde, "Caucasian" child being the biological child of equally convincing "non-Caucasian" parents is ridiculous to me. I come from a country (one of many, but my point is that I have plenty of first-hand observation to go on) in which products of outbreeding are numerous and varied and in which decades of class-consciousness once led people to be (tragically) observant about the resultant phenotypic characteristics of cross-breeding. The general impression that the report suggests, of a Scandinavian-type child from say the likes of the Williams sisters, just is not going to happen. (NB. There is nothing pejorative in what I am saying! Those sisters may not be Barbie dolls, but they are fine figures of women. I am discussing visual evidence, not superiority!)

    Bottom line? Never mind the original sources, not even if we have a queue of bishops lining up to swear to all sorts of things, till someone produces properly controlled 1) visual evidence, who looks like what, etc.
    2) Laboratory evidence, who has what biological parental relationship to whom,
    till then I say, we have exhausted the cogent aspects of the evidence at hand. And the wilder speculations. dealing with multiple gene loci, scientifically speaking, are of the order of close encounters of the nth kind.

    Till anyone tells me something more compelling anyway! :rolleyes: Just bear in mind: I have lived through the Geller, Velikovsky, von Daeniken years too! :biggrin:


  16. Jul 28, 2010 #15


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    Besides hair color, eye color and skin pigmentation, let's observe other physical features. Who's nose and mouth (lips) did the baby inherit. mother? father? neither? Are the baby's facial features not developed enough to say?
  17. Jul 28, 2010 #16
    I think this pretty much begins and ends with Jon's post at this point. Barring a much higher grade of verifiable evidence there is just no speculating beyond what has already been done, and that was about precedent, not this case in particular.
  18. Jul 29, 2010 #17


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    Nigeria is a former European colony, after the Europeans left the white skin color was quickly assimilated into the population. I don't think it is unthinkable that both parents carry recessive genes of European origin that came together in this one child. It could also be that the child has some form of albinism, but I wouldn't know why that would make the news.. although it is cucumber time..
  19. Aug 5, 2010 #18
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  20. Aug 5, 2010 #19
    Thanks for that. Having now seen the pictures, all I can say is that the child is nothing like an albino. Ethnic type is trickier to tell at birth, but that one looks about as pure "white" as you can get, whatever that means for an ethnic class as mongrel as "whites". (I smugly say that as having never done any research into my own ancestry, but having identified about seven nationalities in the forebears of my own children, just from hearing the gossip of my mother one afternoon! :biggrin:)

    I don't know what the flip is going on, or why, but without intending any disrespect to any party with any emotional or material commitment to any aspect of the situation, I reject any biological explanation that is predicated on either parent being a biological parent of that child. Not until someone eliminates all objections by a combination of totally unanswerable genetic evidence, and totally unanswerable evidence to eliminate jiggery-pokery in handling of the samples.

    I don't have to believe everything just because it appeared in the Sun.

    Nor ftm the Times, nor a Geller stage appearance, nor the proceedings of the supreme court!

    As for any families involved, I wish them all well.


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  21. Aug 5, 2010 #20
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