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#1
Old 12-06-2005, 12:09 AM
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How Much Caucasian Blood Is Needed To Make A Blue-Eyed Asian?

There's a movie coming out soon that features an actress who has typical Asian features, except that she has blue eyes. While I'm sure this is probably not her natural eye color, I wonder if anything like this is possible via breeding with a blue-eyed Caucasian.

If I understand how dominant and recessive genes operate, this isn't possible, no matter how much admixture with blue-eyed Caucasians is performed. But I recall hearing somewhere that the whole dominant/recessive gene thing is much more complex than what's taught in high school biology.

Could a person who was half white and half Asian have blue eyes? What if they were three-fourths white??

Also, if a person has blue eyes and one of their parents does not, does this mean that the non-blue-eyed person cannot possibly be their biological parent?

Thanks.
#2
Old 12-06-2005, 12:21 AM
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Eyes that appear pale blue have the least amount of pigment (relative to other colors), and very dark brown eyes have the most. So unless I misunderstand, there aren't genes for blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes, etc. - just genes that produce different amounts of melanin. It's more like blending than one-or-the-other. (That's how you me, with green eyes even though that's not what either of my parents have.)

I'm not sure exactly how recessive genes would play into it, but I think that would make it very unlikely for someone with 'recent' Asian (meaning Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc) heritage to have blue eyes.
#3
Old 12-06-2005, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
If I understand how dominant and recessive genes operate, this isn't possible, no matter how much admixture with blue-eyed Caucasians is performed. But I recall hearing somewhere that the whole dominant/recessive gene thing is much more complex than what's taught in high school biology.
A simplistic explanation of the genetics behind eye color, pretending that blue and brown are the only possibilities:

Everyone has two genes for eye color, one from each parent. If the gene for brown eyes is present, it is dominant over the gene for blue, and you end up with brown eyes. However, you can pass on either the gene for brown or the gene for blue to your children. It is, therefore, possible for two brown-eyed people to have a blue-eyed child if they each possess and pass on a recessive gene. So if you're assuming that the "Asian" parent has two dominant genes for eye color, the children born to that person and a blue-eyed person would have brown eyes. Each of those children, however, would carry one recessive gene and, if he or she had a child with a blue-eyed person, that child would have a three in four chance of being blue-eyed. I'd draw the graph for you, but I don't have any idea how to express it in vB code.
#4
Old 12-06-2005, 12:36 AM
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IANAG (geneticist), so this is mostly WAG, but if your putative child were 1/4 asian and 1/4 caucasian on both sides of the family tree, it's at least possible for him/her to be blue-eyed. For example, if the paternal grandparents were Chinese and Norwegian and the maternal grandparents were Japanese and Irish with Norwegian and Irish grandparents both having blue eyes. Then the child could receive the recessive gene from both parents and end up with blue eyes. Although the odds are still low. I am the only blue-eyed person in my family of seven (including parents), but I have (had) one blue-eyed grandparent on each side. Of course, none of us are even slightly asian unless you count the 1/64th Cherokee, which I wouldn't.
#5
Old 12-06-2005, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhubarb
... if the paternal grandparents were Chinese and Norwegian and the maternal grandparents were Japanese and Irish ...

Forgot to add, if that child were female, she would be smoking hot. :babe smiley:
#6
Old 12-06-2005, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23
(That's how you me, with green eyes even though that's not what either of my parents have.)
You don't, per chance, resemble the mail man?
#7
Old 12-06-2005, 03:30 AM
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I have brown eyes and have a blue eyed son, his mom comes from a blue eyed set of parents and my mom has light eyes (in the hazel range), he also has blonde hair to my brown. I blame it on my Irish ancestry.

I did have a student who was half chinese half white with smoke grey eyes, the first time I looked her in the eye up close I almost lost my train of thought, give her a few years and she will be breaking hearts everywhere she goes. I dont know how pure her ancestry was but her mom looked very much chinese and her dad was definitly white although probably the same american mongerel most of us are.
#8
Old 12-06-2005, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal

Also, if a person has blue eyes and one of their parents does not, does this mean that the non-blue-eyed person cannot possibly be their biological parent?

Thanks.
2 brown eyed parents have a 1 in 4 chance of passing on blue eyes IF they both have the recessive gene. As i understand it, if a child has brown eyes, and both of their parents have blue eyes, then that's when you start looking suspiciously at the milkman.
#9
Old 12-06-2005, 03:50 AM
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Having really dark hair and light colored eyes is rare, since the genes determining the melanin amount for hair and eyes are grouped closely together and don't sort randomly. For example, if a really fair person had a child with an asian person, their kid would most likely either look pure asian or have medium eyes and medium hair, with a tiny chance of being fair. Having dark hair and light eyes is extremely unlikely, though not impossible.
#10
Old 12-06-2005, 04:34 AM
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Not Asian, but there is a type of person usually from Cornwall in England who has jet black hair, very pale opaque skin that flushes pink easily, and piercing blue eyes. I had a boyfriend at college with this colouring and he was drop. dead. gorgeous. Yum...

My kids are half Japanese, with a dark father (I mean, dark even for a Japanese person). They both had blond hair as small children, little one still does, though it is darkening. Their eyes are a goldy yellow brown. I would think that one more generation of dilution would bring green eyes out.

A woman I worked with had a Japanese mother and a Dutch father, and she had the most amazing cat-like eyes which were green shot with flecks of gold. Not hazel but much more striking than that. She wore glasses so I am fairly sure they were not lenses!
#11
Old 12-06-2005, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One And Only Wanderers
2 brown eyed parents have a 1 in 4 chance of passing on blue eyes IF they both have the recessive gene. As i understand it, if a child has brown eyes, and both of their parents have blue eyes, then that's when you start looking suspiciously at the milkman.
I don't think Asians have blue eye genes at all. I mean, I know that nobody is *pure* Asian, but every single one of my ancestors for about 4 generations (and probably more) is Han Chinese and from the same province to boot. This sort of thing is pretty much standard for a lot of Chinese people I know.

Now for the anecdote: I have a friend who is half Chinese and half British. He has dark brown hair, light skin and eyes that were very blue as a kid but have now become a medium brown. I don't think it's very likely for someone to get all the *other* Asian features but blue eyes.
#12
Old 12-06-2005, 06:10 AM
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Just wanted to note that there are already indigenous Asian blue-eyed people -- mostly in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
#13
Old 12-06-2005, 07:00 AM
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Johanna, I once had a Pakistani boyfriend who was of the Pashtun tribe, which is also found in Afghanistan. They're related to the Persians, and often have green or blue eyes. Sharbat Gula, the famous National Geographic covergirl, was Pashtun.
#14
Old 12-06-2005, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One And Only Wanderers
2 brown eyed parents have a 1 in 4 chance of passing on blue eyes IF they both have the recessive gene.
Which is apparently what happened with Lady Chance and I.

Her: Brown Hair/Hazel Eyes

Me: Dark Brown Hair and Eyes

Kid1: Brown Hair and Dark Brown Eyes.

All well and good so far...

Kid2: Very Blond hair and bright blue eyes.

Lady Chance's father had blue eyes and my father had green eyes.
#15
Old 12-06-2005, 08:29 AM
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My niece is half American, half Asian. Her father had blonde hair and blue eyes. Her mother is pure ethnic Chinese-Thai* going back as far as anyone can document. This niece has blue eyes, although not the sort of blue color that you might think of normal, more like a smoky, dark blue. She also has a brownish-blonde or blondish-brown hair color.

Her older brother had dark, brown, almost black hair and dark brown, almost black eyes.

So to answer the OP, I'd say 50% at most.

*Her family is Thai, of Chinese descent. Their ancestors moved to Thailand about 500 years ago.
#16
Old 12-06-2005, 09:22 AM
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Slight hijack, but in the book Memoirs of a Geisha she actually has grey eyes. So I am not sure if her eyes are grey or blue in the movie as I haven't seen it yet.
#17
Old 12-06-2005, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingRamenMonster
I know that nobody is *pure* Asian,

If a family's lineage in China (or thereabouts) goes back 3,000 years, one can make a compelling argument to the contrary.
#18
Old 12-06-2005, 09:57 AM
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My biology skills are a little rusty, but couldn't an individual with no blue-eyed ancestors get blue eyes as a mutation?
#19
Old 12-06-2005, 12:28 PM
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I'm a white dark brown/black haired blue eyed fella. My wife is black haired dark brown eyed Chinese woman. Both our daughters have black hair and brown eyes. So I'd say half ain't gonna cut it.
#20
Old 12-06-2005, 12:39 PM
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Read about eye color in wikipedia, as well as this interesting link.
#21
Old 12-06-2005, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excalibre
You don't, per chance, resemble the mail man?
If there was a mailman involved, he looked an awful lot like my father.
#22
Old 12-06-2005, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhubarb
IANAG (geneticist), so this is mostly WAG, but if your putative child were 1/4 asian and 1/4 caucasian on both sides of the family tree, it's at least possible for him/her to be blue-eyed. For example, if the paternal grandparents were Chinese and Norwegian and the maternal grandparents were Japanese and Irish with Norwegian and Irish grandparents both having blue eyes. Then the child could receive the recessive gene from both parents and end up with blue eyes.
That would be true if eye color were controlled by one gene (ie, two alleles) that could be represented B=brown and b=blue with B dominant. Then, simple high school genetics would produce the result you describe. Eye color is more complicated than that, being controlled by more than one gene, but it certainly is possible for your theoretical child to have blue eyes.

Also, the OP needs to be more specific about "Asian". I assume be means East Asian, as noted by Johanna.
#23
Old 12-06-2005, 01:14 PM
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It's possible for an "Asian" person to have blue eyes with an arbitrarily small amount of non-Asian ancestry. Let's say that one of the fellows in Marco Polo's retinue had a gene for blue eyes. He found a few willing lasses in China, and begat a few children, some of whom carried the blue-eyed gene. Even though these children have a blue-eyed gene, they will all have brown eyes, since their mothers are (presumably) full-blooded Chinese, without any blue-eyed genes, and the dominant brown eyes mask the recessive blue eyes.

Well, these children have children, and then grandchildren, and so on. At any given generation, a few of them will have the blue-eyed gene, but almost all of them will have one full-blooded Chinese parent, so almost all of these descendants will still have brown eyes.

Now, we come to the present, some 30 generations later, and let's suppose that a few of these descendants are still around. Each one of them has a single Italian ancestor 30 generations back, and all of their other ancestors are pure Chinese. We've stipulated that these folks all still have that blue-eyed gene kicking around in their cells, but it hasn't done anything for lo, these many years, since almost all of the genes in the local gene pool available to match with are dominant over them. But now suppose that two descendants of this long, long line meet, and have a child. That child will be less than one part in a billion Italian, by ancestry, with all the rest Chinese. But there's a 1 in 4 chance that that child will have blue eyes.

Unlikely? Yes. But then, there's an awful lot of people in the world, and of course, one needn't go nearly that far back to otherwise appear "pure" Chinese.
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#24
Old 12-06-2005, 01:40 PM
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Chronos: Are you sure eye colour is dominant like that? I think it is co-dominant (I can't remember the *real* word for this) since most mixed-race people I know are a combination of their parents instead of simply having the same pigmentation as the darker parent. For instance, none of the 3 Chinese/English people (no, I don't know why this seems to be such a popular combination) I know have black hair, but a dark brown. And since the hair colour and eye colour genes are closely related I don't think any kid with blue eyes would have just that and nothing else.
#25
Old 12-06-2005, 02:18 PM
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Another anecdote,

I have two friends who are Chinese/Irish siblings. She ended up with muddy hazel eyes, he got the traditional dark brown. She ended up with long straight dark brown hair, he ended up with curly black hair.

Go genetics
#26
Old 12-06-2005, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingRamenMonster
Chronos: Are you sure eye colour is dominant like that?
Read the wiki link I gave in post #20, in particular the "genetics" section. It's not clear that all the genes have been found yet.
#27
Old 12-06-2005, 03:35 PM
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The Hmong people of Loas were believed to be originally Blond haired with Blue eyes. Either by being of a mutated albino gene or an actual link to caucasians. I have a cousin who is blond/brown eyes and his daughter has blond hair/blue eyes. I've also heard anecdotal stories from my mother about how it was more common in the old country than it is here in the states.

http://thaitourism.com/articles/05_05_1.asp

PDF's.
http://ikap-mmsea.com/document%2...0Statement.pdf
http://hmongstudies.com/LeeCulturalIdentHSJv1n1.pdf
#28
Old 12-06-2005, 04:09 PM
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You sure Kid2 is yours?
#29
Old 12-06-2005, 04:23 PM
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The earliest annals of ancient China that mention the original Turks from Siberia record that the Turks had red hair and blue eyes.

I once knew a history professor from Kyrgyzstan. His skin color was light yellow. His hair was red, and his Mongolian-featured eyes were blue or green. The Kyrgyz people had originated as one of the Turkic peoples of southern Siberia, as in the ancient Chinese annals. My Kyrgyz historian friend looked like a throwback to his earliest known ancestors. Southern Siberia being a taiga forest zone, it would not be surprising if its indigenous people had light complexions like in Europe, although not looking European, because the skulls are still Asian.
#30
Old 12-06-2005, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Chronos: Are you sure eye colour is dominant like that?
What I posted is an oversimplification; I apologize, that I should have made that more clear. Qualitatively, though, the effect is the same, though it's probably a bit more difficult to end up with blue genes at all loci.
#31
Old 12-06-2005, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna
His skin color was light yellow. His hair was red, and his Mongolian-featured eyes were blue
I think of him as Primary Color Man.
#32
Old 12-06-2005, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poysyn
Slight hijack, but in the book Memoirs of a Geisha she actually has grey eyes. So I am not sure if her eyes are grey or blue in the movie as I haven't seen it yet.
I couldn't say. But they're bright blue in the movie posters.
#33
Old 12-06-2005, 05:24 PM
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Clearer photo over here, at the movie's official site.
#34
Old 12-06-2005, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One And Only Wanderers
2 brown eyed parents have a 1 in 4 chance of passing on blue eyes IF they both have the recessive gene. As i understand it, if a child has brown eyes, and both of their parents have blue eyes, then that's when you start looking suspiciously at the milkman.
So, um, if your mum has auburn hair and blue eyes, and your dad has light brown hair and green eyes, and your two sisters are blonde-ish with blue eyes, and they all have very Scottish colouring (pale, freckly, very ruddy cheeks when drunk/angry), and you have dark hair, dark brown eyes, olive-y skin, and certain bust-hip-waist proportions that many think of as more common in hispanic women, AND your mail carrier was a very nice blonde lady....

what does that mean?
#35
Old 12-06-2005, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaranta
So, um, if your mum has auburn hair and blue eyes, and your dad has light brown hair and green eyes, and your two sisters are blonde-ish with blue eyes, and they all have very Scottish colouring (pale, freckly, very ruddy cheeks when drunk/angry), and you have dark hair, dark brown eyes, olive-y skin, and certain bust-hip-waist proportions that many think of as more common in hispanic women, AND your mail carrier was a very nice blonde lady....

what does that mean?

You look like a great-grandparent? My mother had her great-grandmother's coloring (very fair skin, blue eyes, red hair) unlike either of her medium skinned, brown haired parents - though her father had blue eyes too. Red hair and fair skin won out again in my brother and I too, despite our dad also being medium skinned and having dark brown hair. It supports the fairly recent theory that the gene for red hair is in fact codominent rather than recessive, too.
#36
Old 12-06-2005, 09:17 PM
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china bambina was born with blue eyes that changed to a dark hazel after about a month. twins were bornbwith darker eyes that are still on the hazel side of brown.

mom is chinese, i'm mongrel caucasian with blue-ish hazel eyes and brown hair.
#37
Old 12-06-2005, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Guy
china bambina was born with blue eyes that changed to a dark hazel after about a month. twins were bornbwith darker eyes that are still on the hazel side of brown.

mom is chinese, i'm mongrel caucasian with blue-ish hazel eyes and brown hair.
Just keep trying. I'm sure you can get one eventually where the blue eyes will hold. Don't lose faith!!
#38
Old 12-06-2005, 11:24 PM
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I met a girl in my first year here who had red hair and greyish eyes. She also happened to be really pretty, aside from the exotic coloring. (Hmm, she should be legal by now. . . )I asked her teacher whether the hair color was real and was told that, yes, it was real, both her parents and grandparents are full-blooded Japanese, and that unusual coloring like hers pops up every once in a while.

I've never been able to find much more information on it, but the speculation seems to be that it's due to a combination of Ainu and Mongol genes from way, way back coming together in interesting ways. I don't think any Caucasian blood is necessary, it's just due to very infrequently expressed genetic material already present in the population.
#39
Old 09-20-2015, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burrido View Post
The Hmong people of Loas were believed to be originally Blond haired with Blue eyes. Either by being of a mutated albino gene or an actual link to caucasians. I have a cousin who is blond/brown eyes and his daughter has blond hair/blue eyes. I've also heard anecdotal stories from my mother about how it was more common in the old country than it is here in the states.

http://thaitourism.com/articles/05_05_1.asp

PDF's.
http://ikap-mmsea.com/document%2...0Statement.pdf
http://hmongstudies.com/LeeCulturalIdentHSJv1n1.pdf
Now that you mentioned it. My neighbor's are Hmong born and raised in Laos, moved to the U.S. They're youngest daughter was born with the albino genes. She has brown/blondish hair, pale skin and extremely light brown eyes.
#40
Old 09-21-2015, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Which is apparently what happened with Lady Chance and I.

Her: Brown Hair/Hazel Eyes

Me: Dark Brown Hair and Eyes

Kid1: Brown Hair and Dark Brown Eyes.

All well and good so far...

Kid2: Very Blond hair and bright blue eyes.

Lady Chance's father had blue eyes and my father had green eyes.
Or it could be that the mail man is blonde and blue eyed!
#41
Old 09-21-2015, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
If there was a mailman involved, he looked an awful lot like my father.
So the mailman is your half brother?
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