Media, friends and even complete strangers have been telling us redheads will go extinct and while we understand the concern, rest assured we are not. A new article from National Geographic sheds more light on the topic with information from experts in the field.
According to the article, redhead DNA is over 50,000 years old. Although the gene wasn’t discovered until 1995. The “redhead gene” was discovered by a team at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. One of the geneticists on the project told media “this is the first time in humans that a specific gene for any common visible characteristic has been identified.”
Now almost 30 years later, we know a lot more about the gene, and about genetic testing in general. This is why geneticists are confident that redheads won’t go extinct. If our genes can last the last 50,000 years, they won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
The reason redhead genes have been around so long, yet makeup so little of the population (1-2%) is because the gene is recessive. The genes can be dormant in a family before popping back up generations later. As National Geographic stated, “While recessive genes can become rare, they don’t utterly disappear unless every person who carries that gene either perishes—or does not bear children. And clearly, that’s not going to happen.”
Maybe keep this article handy for the next time someone tells you we’re going extinct.
Rock it like a Redhead!