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I wanted to address this issue because it seems as if American society is being drowned with this message that color doesn't matter. I don't really care to discuss to social implications of this in terms of how people are treated. I want this discussion to lean more heavily on the scientific data that is available about hue-mans, what causes color and what is the natural evolutionary purpose of having color (melanin). And the ultimate question, does our color make us superior or inferior in terms of science. I will leave my comments for a bit later as this will lead to another deeper issue.
Last edited by Yemaya
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Hmmmmm .... ????    Well, I have absolutely no idea!    Biology should have been my strong suit ...but due to a rather colorful education experience through my formative years ... well, let's just say it isn't!

But, that's a hell of a good question though, Yemaya!   I look forward to hearing a discussion about it ... I'm sure I could learn a few things!
Ok well let's start of with a definition of what melanin is. I will give a few definitions.
From WikiPedia:

Melanin (Greek μέλας, black; pronounced /ˈmɛlənɪn/<small> ( listen)</small> is a class of compounds found in plantsanimals, and protists, where it serves predominantly as a pigment. The class of pigments are derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine. Many melanins are insoluble salts and show affinity to water.[citation needed] The most common form of biologicalmelanin is eumelanin, a brown-black polymer of dihydroxyindole carboxylic acid, and their reduced forms. Another common form of melanin is pheomelanin, a red-brown polymerof benzothiazine units largely responsible for red hair and freckles. The presence of melanin in the archaea and bacteria kingdoms is an issue of ongoing debate amongst researchers in the field. The increased production of melanin in human skin is called melanogenesis. It is stimulated by the DNA damages that are caused by UVB-radiation,[1]and it leads to a delayed development of a tan. This melanogenesis-based tan takes more time to develop, but it is long lasting.[2]

The photochemical properties of melanin make it an excellent photoprotectant. It absorbs harmful UV-radiation and transforms the energy into harmless amounts of heat through a process called "ultrafast internal conversion". This property enables melanin to dissipate more than 99.9% of the absorbed UV radiation as heat[3] and it keeps the generation of free radicals at a minimum (see photoprotection). This prevents the indirect DNA damage which is responsible for the formation of malignant melanoma. 

From WebMD
Any of the dark brown to black polymers of indole-5,6-quinone and/or 5,6-dihydroxyindole 2-carboxylic acid that normally occur in the skin, hair, pigmented coat of the retina, and inconstantly in the medulla and zona reticularis of the adrenal gland. Melanin may be formed in vitro or biologically by oxidation of l-tyrosine or l-tryptophan, the usual mechanism being the enzymatic oxidation of l-tyrosine to 3,4-dihydroxy-l-phenylalanine (dopa) and dopaquinone by monophenol monooxygenase, and the further oxidation (probably spontaneous) of this intermediate to melanin. Cf.: eumelanin, pheomelanin

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Evidently color does matter in nature, considering that it is nature that is responsible for any and all color on earth, including that of human beings.  Color or lack of color in humans is only an adaptation to environment, no different or for no other reason than it is for flowers, trees, animals, fish, birds, or fruit and vegetables.  That fact alone is what makes it ridiculous for people to actually believe that the color of another human being means anything negative or positive.  However, as long as the majority of the people on this planet cannot read, or are uneducated or undereducated, people will still believe in racial superstitions, fables, and lies; and as long as people do this, the handful of powers that be will continue to play on and manipulate this vast ignorance to its advantage over the masses.

Reference:
I don't really care to discuss to social implications of this in terms of how people are treated. I want this discussion to lean more heavily on the scientific data that is available about hue-mans, what causes color and what is the natural evolutionary purpose of having color (melanin). And the ultimate question, does our color make us superior or inferior in terms of science.
Sunnubian, sista, this is a discussion based on science. I'm curious what and if there are any advantages to having melanin. The social implications we discuss all the time here. I want to get down to the nitty-gritty of the 'why' and what is the function of melanin. I'm sure its not just so we can have beautiful skin color, although that is an added benefit.
There has to be a practical and natural reason for this. There have to be beneficial properties of melanin or any other form of color as it appears in what we know as nature. What are they?
hmmm so the only advantage to having melanin is that we are protected from the harmful UV rays of the sun?? That definitely sounds like a natural advantage. That's not a small feat. Yet we are constantly bombarded with the message that skin color doesn't matter? A perfect example of how it does indeed matter. Now I wonder what happens to that energy after it becomes absorbed by the dermal melanin??
Hey, Yemaya


The melanin pathways have multiple functions, though the function scientists recognize best is the protection from free radical damage and (UV mediated) DNA nicking. There are "balanced polymorphisms" (eg certain "versions") of melanins that confer different types of benefits that have nothing to do with sun protection. When I discussed this here last year, I think I mentioned some of the other beneficial effects...


shulamite

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