October 29, 2010

Facial composite of "global human"

Razib points me to a Dutch article where a "global average" was created, by averaging 1470 people in 25 countries, taking into account population size. Not sure what the exact methodology is (feel free to comment if you have more info), but it looks plausible enough. Here is a link to the original article (in Dutch).

11 comments:

Lucas Brouwers said...

The article is a bit vague and non-specific (it is from a popular science magazine, after all). They say they've calculated a weighted average, with the data points from highly populated countries contributing more to the averages than others. That's all the information I could get from this snippet..

They also don't cite the study they took their morphological data from.

DagoRed said...

And what can it mean this "study"?
It's just a waste of time.

Andrew Lancaster said...

De lengte van het oor, de breedte van de ogen, de hoek van de neus, de hoogte van het voorhoofd: in totaal 16 kenmerken werden bij iedereen in kaart gebracht. Per land werd per kenmerk een gemiddelde berekend.

The length of the ear, the breadth of the eyes, the angle of the nose, the height of the forehead: in total 16 characteristics were measured from everyone. An average was made for every characteristic in every country.

onur said...

And what can it mean this "study"?
It's just a waste of time.


I think it has one accomplishment: showing that the average of humans has no resemblance to any population from the pre-1492 world, thus proving that hybridization doesn't bring about familiar types but usually previously unknown types. But I think these were already obvious from the existing hybrids.

AdygheChabadi said...

Looks like an admixed African American to me.

Jim Bowery said...

The specious appeal of this image is that it seems to imply "the face of the melting-pot future".

It is no such thing. The melting-pot future face would be far more weighted to populations:

1) presently in high reproductive mode
2) genetically dominant not just in the Mendelian sense but in the epistatic and extended phenotypic sense.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Looks quite a bit like this guy who has a similar, real life, heritage.

Another famous composite face is that of Betty Crocker, the trademark face of a leading cookbook.

princenuadha said...

"I think it has one accomplishment: showing that the average of humans has no resemblance to any population from the pre-1492 world, thus proving that hybridization doesn't bring about familiar types but usually previously unknown types. But I think these were already obvious from the existing hybrids."

Good point I hadn't thought on that. The real question is whether that would be the more typical result if populations hybridized. When populations mix do they average out all characteristics evenly.

My initial reaction what that everything seemed normal but the large gap from his upper lip to the bottom part of his nose. Its not the average I would have expected : )

Even though the Guy has an averaged face (this time of different races) he is not attractive IMO, but I guess he could be slightly above average.

shynson said...

Come visit Hawaii, we are all around.

onur said...

The real question is whether that would be the more typical result if populations hybridized. When populations mix do they average out all characteristics evenly.

Good question. Well, even though the authors of the study took the "human average" based on the number of inhabitants in the tested countries, they also should have taken into account genetic factors like gene dominance in certain traits. Still, the high number (1470 people) of the surveyed individuals must have lessened the impact of genetic factors and rendered the average a fairly realistic average of the surveyed countries.

"Do only 25 countries represent humanity" is another good question, but I think if the countries were chosen carefully they may to a large degree.

Even though the Guy has an averaged face (this time of different races) he is not attractive IMO, but I guess he could be slightly above average.

The urban legend that hybrids are more likely to be attractive than pure people has never been proven, so I see nothing surprising in the "human average" being ugly.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

One of the big factors in perceived attractiveness is facial symmetry which can be as present or absent in a "human average" person as in someone of monoethnic lineage.

With regard to "the face of the melting-pot future." This certainly isn't the case everywhere, but there are certainly places, like California and Peru, where this is very much of the face of the future.

It would be interesting to look at the map and pick up the hot and cold spots of admixture in today's world.