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auhsojsa's avatar

Is there a theory that suggests pale skinned people's brains have evolved to desire control of their territory more so than other humans?

Asked by auhsojsa (2516points) February 20th, 2012

Please, I’m not trying to be racist in anyway. But after taking Biological Anthropology pointless questions have risen in my head.
Could it be, that since the roots of pale skinned humans are derived from a extremely cold climate something in their brain triggers the need to control and manipulate their surroundings even further to their liking? Even going as far as to dominate other ‘places’ (countries and etc)

This is all probably just hocus pocus as I’m well aware that it is the rulers of people who ultimately decide which way a society will turn, for the most part.

Mind you have taken into consideration history lectures and what not, I’m well aware that for the most part the early dominant societies like Sumeria and such were already dominating their neighbors.

Anyhow know of any theories along this line that is indeed back by history dates and what have you?

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16 Answers

deni's avatar

It doesn’t sound outrageous. I mean god its gotta be something, right? We’re such killers. But maybe that’s just man in general….?

gasman's avatar

If you’re wondering why Europeans came to military and economic dominance over the rest of the world in recent centuries, read the acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. Bottom line: it was mostly luck. “History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.”

PhiNotPi's avatar

Not necessarily.
Things like these depend primarily on culture, which in this case is the social situation in which a person grew up. There are many examples of territoriality in people of non-European descent.

The Maori people are a group indigenous to New Zealand. They had no influence from the Europeans, are not pale-skinned, and are located in a spot very remote from most societies on Earth.

These people were farmers, which allowed them to feed a class of warriors. They were divided into many warring groups that fought constantly and sought to take over each other whenever possible. This was driven because of the ease with which they could invade the other groups and other groups could invade them. This fueled competition, and the least competitive villages were swiftly destroyed.

This competition also fueled a style of fighting that is often considered barbaric. They would hunt down and kill every single occupant of a village and eat them. Every single occupant. Once again, this was based on tradition, and because those who didn’t were destroyed.

Then comes along the Moriori. These were very small group of peaceful hunter-gathers who could simply not afford to fight because they would all kill themselves. They lived on another island with plentiful natural resources.

Of course, the Maori catch wind of a group of people with tons of resources and no weapons. A small ship of 400 or so Maori set off to invade. A couple days later, almost every single Moriori was dead. The Maoris won, plain and simple, doing pretty much the same thing that any European conqueror would do. Yet they weren’t Europeans.

Source: Guns, Germs, and Steel

Aethelflaed's avatar

@gasman The acclaimed, and extremely controversial Guns, Germs, and Steel.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m working on obtaining my Master’s in Cultural Anthropology, but I’ve taken Biological Anthropology courses as well. In short, listen to @gasman. It was “luck”, for lack of a better word. I can see how one might wonder if, because Europeans came from a harsh environment, they strove to dominate in order to survive. However, there are other very harsh environments in the world, such as Africa for instance, where you don’t see the same level of domination occurring. Hence, evolving in harsh environments doesn’t have an impact on making a culture dominant. People everywhere, for the most part, have always had pack mentalities and strove to conquer. It’s human nature. Just like all of history, that’s simply the way it went. There are plenty of cultures that would have gone the same way… Had things gone that way. ;)

King_Pariah's avatar

Sure, you could look at any race of people overall and see that “pale skins” seem significantly more imperialistic. However, everyone else does show a similar if not equivalent level of genocidal imperialism as the “pale skins” on a more personal level which could be deemed because of lack of technology. Ex. Tribal Africa. African tribes had long been wiping out and enslaving other tribes before influence by the “pale skins.” Ex. 2 Aztec and Inca Empires, empire, need I say more? Imperialistic tendencies have long been witnessed throughout the world. It was truly only “luck” that the Europeans came into dominance of so much.

zenvelo's avatar

No, I think of that were true many of the major empires would have been Northern tribes. Hasn’t quite worked out that way.

CWOTUS's avatar

It sounds kind of… silly.

There’s a lot more to the world than the Western Hemisphere. But speaking of the Western Hemisphere, before white folk were here there were a lot of differently-colored native peoples who were doing a hell of a lot of territory expanding on their own. You have at least heard of the Aztec and Inca empires, haven’t you?

Aside from the Western Hemisphere, though, Ghenghis Khan, as far as I know, was not exactly “pale skinned”. Nor Tamerlane. Nor most of the Chinese emperors and other rulers before China was “an empire”. (Reading a quick Chinese history is pretty interesting; I should read more of it.)

Even India and Africa, which are certainly not filled with pale-skinned people, had a lot of territory conflicts before whites entered those areas. There was a lot of history in a lot of places before Europeans started writing their versions of it!

marinelife's avatar

Not at all. it’s a human trait that we all share. Sadly.

auhsojsa's avatar

You guys are thinking too linear. I’m talking about the original humans who grew up through the ice age, those pale skinned people. Never mind there’s too much to explain with this before someone could discuss it.

King_Pariah's avatar

I’m pretty sure that from modern understanding of what was going on in the Ice ages that humans as a whole were pretty nomadic and bent more so on individual/tribal survival more so than imperialistic tendencies. And who’s to say they were pale skinned for sure?

zenvelo's avatar

@auhsojsa Those pre-Ice Age pale skinned people did not demonstrate anything that would support your theory.

Pandora's avatar

I think the urge to move to more furtile lands can have had something to do with it. Its call survival. However, I think it is something that is in the nature of man period. Its just a matter that those who lived in southern fertile lands may have found it more prosperous to not be so violent because there was no urge to move. I mean, if your crop is a fertile as the next clan and you had enough food than there is no need to fight them for what they have. Of course there were still wars when one village would start to suffer some sort of drought and the next village seem fortunate. Then it was fight to survive. It just happened less. In the north it was easy for winters to make living difficult. Also colder lands tend to have more ailments due to a weaken immune system. Less, fruits and veggies, and sunlight. All these things could contibute to a less sound mind.

Nullo's avatar

Sounds like a bit of a stretch.

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mattbrowne's avatar

No. Such a theory, should it exist, has never gained acceptance in the scientific world.

The paler skin has to do with sunlight, not temperature.

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