Black parents have white baby, according to a report in BBC News 20 July 2010. A baby girl with pale skin and blonde hair has been born to a black African couple from Nigeria, now living in London. They also have two other children who have dark skin and hair like their parents.

Light-skinned children are known to occur in black families where there is mixed race ancestry, but neither of these parents have any known white antecedents. Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford explained: “We are all of us genetic mixtures to some extent and occasionally you’ll have a convergence of the pale versions of these genes in African Americans and African Caribbeans who have a mixed black and white ancestry. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. The parents are Nigerians with little known white ancestry at all.”

The girl could have a form of albinism – a genetic defect in the biochemical processes for making melanin, the pigment that gives skin its dark colour. The most extreme form of this results in no melanin, but there are less extreme forms that result in reduced melanin. Type 2 albinism results in “creamy skin and yellow hair or light brown, which in some cases would darken with age” according to Professor Ian Jackson of Human Genetics Unit at the Medical Research Council. He also said that albinism “is perhaps one of the most common recessive disorders in Nigeria, and we have to remember that it comes in different forms.”

Recessive disorders are mutant genes that are masked by being carried alongside a normal gene through many generations. The recessive disorder only becomes apparent when two recessive genes come together in the children of parents who are both carriers. As there is no family history of white skin in this baby’s parents’ families Prof. Sykes suggested a mutation has occurred in the new baby herself.


Editorial Comment: The large variation in skin colour in different human races, ranging from black to white, is claimed to come from humans evolving to cope with living in different climates. However, as shown in this case, the extreme variation in skin colour seems to be due to genetic mutations. This is a degenerative process, not an evolutionary one. Skin colour is the result of a complex interaction of many genes that are involved in making melanin pigment and regulating the activity of the melanin producing cells. Melanin pigment protects the skin from damaging ultra-violet rays, but the amount produced needs to be regulated so that the skin can still absorb enough sunlight to make vitamin D. A loss of the genetic controls means that white people tend to get skin cancer if they live in a place with lots of strong sunlight, and black people are unable to make enough vitamin D if they live in a place with long dark winters. Given that we now know that hormones also play a role in melanin distribution, which is why many white European women go darker when they are pregnant and usually change back after the pregnancy – it may simply be that a genetic hormone control switch has mutated. Regardless of the reason in this case, it shows you don’t need evolution – you need degeneration and separation such as would have produced the 3 shades of colour recorded in Noah’s family followed by the separation that occurred at the Tower of Babel. Creation Research has been saying this for many years, so we are not surprised by what has happened to the Nigerian couple in the report above. (Ref. genetics, race, mutations)

Evidence News 28 July 2010