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nightsurfer on 2009-08-31White Europeans could have evolved as recently as 5,500 years ago, according to research which suggests that the early humans who populated Britain and Scandinavia had dark skins for millenniums.
It was only when early humans gave up hunter-gathering and switched to farming about 5,500 years ago that white skin began to be favoured, say the researchers.
This is because farmed food was deficient in vitamin D, a vital nutrient. Humans can make this in their skin when exposed to sunlight, but dark skin is much less efficient at it.