Blue eyes, blue genes

I was interested to read that those with blue eyes have something in common.

Everyone with blue eyes alive today – from Angelina Jolie to Wayne Rooney – can trace their ancestry back to one person who probably lived about 10,000 years ago in the Black Sea region, a study has found.

Scientists studying the genetics of eye colour have discovered that more than 99.5 per cent of blue-eyed people who volunteered to have their DNA analysed have the same tiny mutation in the gene that determines the colour of the iris.

This indicates that the mutation originated in just one person who became the ancestor of all subsequent people in the world with blue eyes, according to a study by Professor Hans Eiberg and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen.

The scientists are not sure when the mutation occurred but other evidence suggested it probably arose about 10,000 years ago when there was a rapid expansion of the human population in Europe as a result of the spread of agriculture from the Middle East.

There’s more at the link.

I can’t help but wonder how the first person with blue eyes was received in his or her community.  Clearly, they can’t have been shunned – the fact that they had descendants, who passed on the ‘blue gene’ in their turn, proves that – but they must have been, at the very least, an object of curiosity.  Was the blue considered a sign of Divine favor – or, for that matter, something demonic?  Primitive humans would have surely ascribed some spiritual value or influence to it.



  1. If the first one was male, the original blue-eyed boy, and could exercise some sort of Stone Age "jus primae noctis" then the population of blue eyes would grow rapidly.

  2. I'm fair certain the first blue-eyed individual would probbably been viewed as a rarity, but unique.

    Think: Albino…and how the white (buffalo/stag/elephant/whatever) is usually revered by the local populace.

  3. Well its interesting BS, But its still BS. "Blue eyes" (and green) are found world wide and in almost every genotype, Including those with NO genetic relation to "other" human genotypes (other than being human) of any kind. (including Africans and Indians with NO European ancestry) That makes it far older than ten thousand years. This is more PC nonsense. The same people who did this want us to believe in the "genetic eve" BS and global warming. Its about control, not science. The last "common ancestor" for all the peoples who carry the "blue eye" gene died out more than one hundred thousand years ago , and quite probably as much as FOUR hundred thousand years ago. This is UN manufactured PC "all men are the same EXCEPT Europeans" propaganda… You seem deeply invested in the "only one race" theory. Too bad its a communist political fabrication. AND everyone that doesn't go along is racist. Or Nazi . Or KKK. Its the only solution guys like you ever have to truth you don't like and don't want spoken.—Ray

  4. I find it interesting that blue-eyed people tend to have eyes more sensitive to light than darker eyed people. I, for example, being blue-eyed, wear sunglasses far more consistently than my wife or son, who are both brown-eyed. The threshold on the comfort level is simply at a different point in the brightness spectrum that seems to correlate with the hue of the eye pigment. In more equatorial regions, thousands of years ago, when the trait may have been far more of a rarity than it is here and now, I posit that it would almost certainly have been seen as a weakness. at least in the way a person can function in full daylight.

    With that framing, please consider the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah. In Genesis 29:17, Leah was described as having "weak" or "tender" eyes, depending on what translation you're reading. It's a little vague of a description, and not much more is said of her eyes. I have to wonder if that meant that she had blue or green eyes, thereby making her more sensitive to the sunlight. There's probably not enough evidence to draw a clear conclusion, but it does still make for some interesting thought.

  5. Color this blue-eyed male as skeptical, at least of the basis presented. When I see words like "likely" and "indicates" in what I assume is a lay person's ("science editor") summary of a study, my little suspicion hairs on the back of my neck come to attention.

    Those little hairs are left over form my first sergeant days and may be worthy of study themselves, e.g. Did our civil war first sergeants have those little hairs? Did Napoleon's first sergeants have those little hairs? I suspect an overview of such a study would be presented with the same amount of proof as in the present article. By the way, I believe in today's parlance, those little hairs are called bullshit detectors. 🙂

  6. Huh. A little curiosity-driven Google searching seems to suggest that some translations did actually describe Leah's eyes as "blue." Funny, I don't recall reading such translations.

  7. a few months back I saw a brief article about whether or not 'blue' was even recognized as a color until a couple of millenia ago, as there didn't seem to be a word for it in ancient languages. If that's so, maybe people didn't really notice it all that much.

  8. If this is true, how did the Mandan tribe in North Dakota get their blue eyes? We're not getting the whole story here, IMHO.

  9. Regarding light sensitivity, in my teens and twenties, I wore my RayBan sunglasses day and night, to protect my blue eyes. I wouldn't even notice I still had them on, unless someone would question my sunglasses at midnight. BTW, they were the most expensive sunglasses in the 60's-70's, IIRC. Think I paid $16 for my first pair in '67.

  10. As a direct descendant of vikings, and blue eyed, I claim that all people with blue eyes are also descendants of Vikings. Just like all green eyed folks are descendants of the Celts. Well at least they have someone in their lineage with the appropriate genes.

    Blue eyes are a beneficial adaptation that allows folks who live is dim places (like the far northern regions of Europe) to see better.

    Since blue eyes are a recessive gene, only folks with that gene can produce blue eyed kids.

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