Monday, April 28, 2014

Race's Matter*

Melanin Theory is a curious bit of pseudo scientific race theory which asserts the superiority of certain peoples because of their increased melanin content -- you can read some of the crackpot hypotheses at the link, but there's very little in the way of substantive support.

Melanin -- the molecule -- is ubiquitous (except in arachnids) and it comes in three basic flavors (cf. the link above) called eumelanin, pheomelanin, and neuromelanin.  New words for you too?

The most hotly debated type is the first one -- eumelanin; it is produced in 'black' and 'brown' subtypes and is responsible for hair and skin coloration. No less important and ubiquitous -- but usually masked by clothing -- is pheomelanin which is responsible for red hair and freckles, but also the coloration of erogenous zones. Finally, there is neuromelanin which is found in the brain and is accordingly the most mysterious and obscure.*

Eumelanin appears as a polymer in cells. Polymers fascinate me. In a sense, words and sentences are strung-together polymers of letters, as I tried to explain once here. But I digress.

Here's Wiki's depiction of eumelanin -- the type associated with skin color:

The structure screams chromophore but there's something wrong too: the arrow is supposed to represent where the next subunit connects, but if you joined two of these, head-to-head, you'd have exactly two of these units and no more. The normal way to describe polymers to draw the repeating subunits like links in a chain and then discuss how the chains terminate. Oh well.

It's interesting that the subunits in eumelanin and neuromelanin are indole derivatives. That's not to imply indolence -- in the etymological sense -- because higher amount of eumelanin correlates with less sensitivity to sunlight.  

Turning now to pheomelanin, a motif of sulfur-bearing chemical morphemes repeats in several directions in pheomelanin:

As a chromophore, pheomeanin is more light selective than eumelanin, reflecting or deflecting reddish wavelengths. This appears to be due to the sulfur and its effect on HOMO-LUMO gaps. 
_______________
*Given the three basic types of melanin and their phenotypical expression, I could have subtitled this post "Race, Sex, and Brains"

77 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

No comments on yet another racism post?

That's progress!

chickelit said...

Good point, ST.

I may have offended Lem by saying that the Sterling-Bundy stories are non-stories. I take that back in part. The former opens a whole discussion on privacy issues and other legal ramifications. A SI story comes up first on a simple Google of the issue: link

You'd think that the so-called legal blogs run by actual attorneys would be on this too...

Lem said...

I may have offended Lem by saying that the Sterling-Bundy stories are non-stories. I take that back in part.

You are going to have to try a little harder to offend me... whatever you are trying is not working.

edutcher said...

OK, I'll play along:

If Melanin Theory asserts the superiority of certain peoples because of their increased melanin content, how do we account for the fact so few developments in human history, with the exception of Islam, are the work of people with a lot of melanin?

Shouting Thomas said...

The great "national conversation" on racism was supposed to lead to healing and understanding.

Have you noticed that exactly the opposite is happening?

The more people bitch at each other about racism, the angrier and more polarized they get.

We'll probably get around to all out race war if we continue in this way.

chickelit said...

@Ed: It's all pretty much macho posturing.

From the Wiki link:

On both St. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, the white male gives gifts of chocolate candy with nuts…. If his sweetheart ingests "chocolate with nuts," the white male can fantasize that he is genetically equal to the Black male…. Is it not also curious that when white males are young and vigorous, they attempt to master the large brown balls, but as they become older and wiser, they psychologically resign themselves to their inability to master the large brown balls? Their focus then shifts masochistically to hitting the tiny white golf balls in disgust and resignation — in full final realization of white genetic recessiveness.

This reminds me of Kolob Nuts

chickelit said...

The more people bitch at each other about racism, the angrier and more polarized they get.

This is true. I try to debunk with humor, except when adherents take themselves too seriously.

Lem said...

The one thing... the problem with racism, as I see it, is that it is based on something very basic to the human psyche. That is our judgment abilities are predominantly based on our abilities to make comparisons.

In AA they say try to identify rather than compare. Because it is in comparing ourselves, drawing comparisons between peoples, places and things, where our base human nature, the ego, gets stuck.

We compare ourselves away from each other to the nth degree.

Lem said...

Don't get me wrong... we have to make comparisons. We just have a little hard time sometimes knowing when to stop comparing and pull away.

Shouting Thomas said...

Racism has a rational purpose.

That rational purpose is knowing how to identify a potential enemy from another group.

You can't get rid of this without rendering yourself into a defenseless idiot.

99,000 out of 100,000 members of that other group may be enlightened saints who would never think of attacking a member of another group. But, you have to be prepared to defend yourself against those who aren't enlightened, unless you want to hide in your house.

Racism serves a rational purpose. That's why it persists.

chickelit said...

Lem wrote: Because it is in comparing ourselves, drawing comparisons between peoples, places and things, where our base human nature, the ego, gets stuck.

Kurtz To Lem

Shouting Thomas said...

One of the most interesting shows I ever saw on TV was a true crime story in which a young white woman told this story...

She was driving home late one night and her car was low on gas, so she stopped at a service station.

A teenaged black man walked up to her and asked her for a ride home.

She said no because she was afraid and the guy walked away. She then debated with herself for some time over whether she was just reacting to a racist stereotype. She felt guilty.

So she gave the young man a ride.

He pointed a gun at her head as soon as she got into the car, ordered to drive to a deserted neighborhood, where he raped her, shot her in the head and stole her car.

Miraculously, she survived.

Racism serves a rational purpose.

Lem said...

I don't hear anything on the chirbit.

Lem said...

Now I hear it.

chickelit said...

Just click the little "play" icon.

Shouting Thomas said...

"National conversations" about racism inevitably degenerate into grudge matches, with every side in the debate dredging up past injustices and barbaric atrocities.

And every faction has suffered its own injustices and barbaric atrocities at the hands of every other faction. No faction is innocent. Everybody's guilty.

We aren't fixing things with this endless recounting of grudges. We're gearing ourselves up for unimaginable violence at some future date.

Best to let sleeping dogs lie. But, I don't expect anybody to take that advice.

Lem said...

Apocalipse Now.

chickelit said...

@Lem: Calypso Now; A Tribute to Jacques Cousteau

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Racism or distrust of "the outsider" is a natural thing for all animals. Our closest non human relatives are apes, chimpanzees, bonobos etc (and that is debatable as to whether they should not also be reclassified as human) are especially clannish. They go to actual war with outside clans of other apes. Dolphins are clannish and will shun and even attack the 'outsiders' who 'speak' in other dolphin dialects.

Teenagers will form cliques and gangs are another tribal effect of gathering those around you who you feel safe with and with whom you share commonality. Tribalism. Our group is better than your group. We know each other and are safe. Your group is weird and does strange things. You aren't safe. Keep away. .....or else.

The noticing and non acceptance of the other is a protective mechanism deriving from when the world for humans was much more dangerous than it is now. When it isn't based on skin color (the most obvious marker), the choosing of the inside group versus the outside group is done on other biases. Religion. Locality. We even wear uniforms, dye our hair, get tattoos, drive certain vehicles to declare ourselves part of a group and NOT part of yours.

Feeling danger is a normal thing. Do NOT ignore it. As in ST story. It is better to be wary than to ignore your gut feelings and put yourself into danger for some ridiculous politically correct reason.

Group loyalty can even trump the markers of skin color and other biases. Just ask the Marines.

In other words....It is NORMAL to be wary of the other. Everyone does it. EVERY ONE.

Shouting Thomas said...

In other words....It is NORMAL to be wary of the other. Everyone does it. EVERY ONE.

It isn't just normal. It is sane and essential to self-defense.

Lem said...

My nephews came in and took over the computer to watch their Mario 3d videos.

Did I miss anything?

Shouting Thomas said...

Did I miss anything?

Eh... depends on how you look at it.

Mitch H. said...

The one thing... the problem with racism, as I see it, is that it is based on something very basic to the human psyche.

Meh. I tend to be hostile to "just so" stories, and "basic to the human psyche" requires the subject to be very... universal. I'm willing to admit tribalism as intrinsic, or clannishness - but "race" is a fairly late-period cultural construct for it to be so essential to human nature.

I will grant you "not from my clan" bias, but it's a cultural leap from that basic hard-wiring to modern-day racism.

I wonder if anyone has done comparative anthropological studies on "racism" between culture/tribal groupings with exogamic traditions and those with endogamic traditions. Do societies which preferentially practice cousin marriage have a higher incidence of racial bias than those that have a taboo against the practice?

The Arab societies historically had both a universalist religion, and a very strong tribal bias towards strict endogamy. They also imported tens of millions of African slaves in the period before and during the Atlantic slave trade, and yet outside of areas like southeastern Iraq, you don't see an awful lot of Sub-Saharan features in the greater Arab world.

Anyways.

The Dude said...

Ron White's take on race.

And grizzlies.

Shouting Thomas said...

I keep hoping that the racism hysteria will explode in a sort of Army/McCarthy hearings sort of way:

Have you no sense of decency, sir?

You know what I mean? Some sane person will find a way to break through the bonehead lecturing about racism and demonstrate how truly loathesome this shit has become.

edutcher said...

Unfortunately, it's going to require the use of theater-level thermonucular weapons.

Meade said...

If I didn't know better, I'd suspect that Shouty, DBQ, edutcher, and several others here were in fact Democrat partisan plants engaged in a false flag operation.

Would the tiniest bit of political correctness really kill you? For the sake of not losing another election to the D's?

Forget it. Maybe you'll listen to Mitch H. up there a few comments up. I think he might be trying to help you with your lost cause of explaining Shouty's "rational purpose of racism".

Oh, never mind - he's as perplexed as the rest of you.

KCFleming said...

Cloven Hoof hisses:
"Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

The response:
"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Unknown said...

Meade is courting his new found adoration for the progressive cause.

Forget logic and give yourself to the collective. Just a little.
Ignore the devastation and give yourself to the mind crime.

Meade said...

Crack is right -- you guys WANT to lose elections. Small ball is beneath you. You insist on going down swinging. For you there can be no such thing as taking one for the team.

You seem to take some sort of sick satisfaction in expressing your rigid ideological purity and your "racial" purity.

On second thought, don't bother reading that article I linked to. It will only aid and abet you in your quest to give the Democrats the win this fall.

KCFleming said...

The GOP has been slinging that same bullshit for 40 years.
Up your game, man.

KCFleming said...

Seriously, dude, you got anything new, or are the back issues of Time magazine too enticing for your concern trolling?

Unknown said...

Meade- you do realize "The New Republic" is left/progressive/leftwing, right?
They advocate for the left. I don't disagree that the democrats want power more than the GOP. The leftists do have a better ground game.
Why don't YOU get off your ass and go door to door then?
Nah - much easier to pester and obsess over the few people you hate here at Lems.

KCFleming said...

Every goddamned advancement of the Leviathan has been GOPsplained as just One More Thing to Accept before they really really this time Stop the Next Step.

Bullshit.

Unknown said...

Easier yet - just give into the Hillary persuasion. She's awesome and oh so moderate and she cares about women. (Ignore the 4 guys that died under her watch in Benghazi - just dudes - fuckem)

Unknown said...

I will be the first to admit that Ken Buck screwed himself over with his stupid and unnecessary remarks. The GOP's biggest problem isn't what you and crack think it is.

And yes- it needs solving.

The other problem is that the dems need a lot of crutches in order to win. And they get them.
The Dems rely on and get a media crutch.
Then there's the bullshit and lies crutch. They come as a set.
There's the "war on women" crutch ... all for the power and the glory.
Why is that? Why can't the left win on an honest and level playing field?

The financial devastation alone done to the American middle class should devastate the dems for a few generations. The left excel at wasting our money. $250 million up in smoke on the government insurance web site in Oregon. oops - nope. War one women!
Democrats love late term abortion - and the rest of the nation abhors it. No problem because the democrats swear that the evil GOP are going to take away your tampons. The horror. I heard it on the Matt Lauer show.

chickelit said...

Meade is sounding more and more like Inga everyday.

Is she locked away in the attic at Meadehouse?

Shouting Thomas said...

Meade, you're such a fucking idiot.

I could give a shit less whether Republicans win elections.

chickelit said...

@Meade: If you're such a Republican, how did you stomach the relentless Romney bashing Crack engaged in during the last election? Neither you nor your wife said a word about any of that.

chickelit said...

This is why I accuse you of collusion with Crack at some level I don't undersatnd. You and she let entirely too much of his bullshit go unchallenged, and yet she (Althouse) has taken to confronting Pogo on a regular basis now. Your favorite boogeyman now is apparently Haz, whom you admit you came over to needle.

There was a time when I wanted to build bridges with you but now I'm convinced they would be booby trapped.

KCFleming said...

Whatever happened to Gadsden flag Tea party Meade?

Talk about your false flag operations.

Meade said...

Pogo, where were you on March 20, 2010 - just as Obamacare was about to be rammed down our throats? Or were you already only mostly dead?

Meade said...

And why do you guys tend to personalize issues? Do you not realize that when you do that you are only shooting yourself in your own thin-skinned foot?

Shouting Thomas said...

And why do you guys tend to personalize issues? Do you not realize that when you do that you are only shooting yourself in your own thin-skinned foot?

I don't give a shit about "issues."

How am I shooting myself in the foot? I could care less about the Republican Party.

I'm a friggin' free man. My house is paid off. I'm financially secure at a modest level. I'm doing what I want with my live. I'm retired, so I can say what I want and there ain't nothing the friggin' fags and fag hags can do about it except bitch.

The racism scoundrels are jackasses who want my stuff. Apologists like you give comfort to black racists. Unlike you, I do biz and walk in black neighborhoods.

Unknown said...

So according to Meadecrack, we are responsible for slavery and now also Obamacare's passage? Why didn't we do something?!?

Meade said...

"I do biz and walk in black neighborhoods."

I'm unsurprised. Lots racists walk and do business in "black neighborhoods". Not all racists practice their racism on the internet after all. And for all I know, there could be racists practicing their racism right here in my "mixed neighborhood". It's a free country. Racists have been freely practicing their racism throughout America for many generations.

KCFleming said...

Althouse's (among others) November 2008 vote for Obama sealed our doom.

March 20, 2010 was far too late.


Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

If I didn't know better, I'd suspect that Shouty, DBQ, edutcher, and several others here were in fact Democrat partisan plants engaged in a false flag operation.

So...I guess Meade objects to the principles of Anthropology and Sociological dynamics, which have been well proved by many "Professors" and as we know, his wife thinks that if you are a professor you must be smart.

My post wasn't political but rather was to explain the dynamics inherent in not only all humans but in other sentient species that drive suspicion of the other and racism (as the progressives are so fond of calling everyone who disagrees with their crackpot ideas)

Why do we personalize issues? Because they ARE personal. Every issue not only affects me, it has an effect on the society that I live in, my children, my grandchildren, my friends.

I don't care about winning elections when the person running for office is just the same as the crappy politician we are trying to get rid of. I care about standing by my principles and not bastardizing them in order to curry favor and suck up to other people. I care about WINNING and defeating those who would trample on me. I have decided that we need to win by any means. Any. Even if that means we get called names by the male church lady and even if there is some attrition.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm unsurprised. Lots racists walk and do business in "black neighborhoods".

Fuck you Meade.

You're an enemy. It's good when fuckheads like you are the enemy.

Shouting Thomas said...

As I said, Meade, I'm a free man. A Lone Ranger.

I don't give a shit about racism. Or abour low life bastards like you.

Kiss my ass, motherfucker. You've already got plenty of shit on your nose from kissing black racist ass.

KCFleming said...

@Meade: "And why do you guys tend to personalize issues?"

Hilarious. That's the pot calling the kettle black.
If we can still say that.

And you evaded my question.

What happened to Gadsden flag Meade?
Was that just a false flag operation?

Shouting Thomas said...

Racism hysteria is now the nuclear weapon of financial scam artists.

Reels in the dumb suckers every time.

KCFleming said...

@Meade: "And why do you guys tend to personalize issues?"

Writes the man who tried to destroy Palladian and goes after Haz and makes personal comments about ST.

Jeebus on a pogo stick!

Aridog said...

DBQ said ...

Why do we personalize issues? Because they ARE personal.

Thank you.

Meade said...

@Pogo: Palladian tried to destroy himself. You were one of his enablers.

"And you evaded my question. What happened to Gadsden flag Meade? Was that just a false flag operation? "

I'm not sure I understood your question as a serious question, Pogo. What is it you want to know? What happened to my old avatar?

Meade said...

"I don't care about winning elections when the person running for office is just the same as the crappy politician we are trying to get rid of. "

Am I wrong to assume you voted for neither McCain nor Obama in 2008?

Meade said...

"Althouse's (among others) November 2008 vote for Obama sealed our doom."

I see. You've been only mostly dead for the last 5 and a half years? Alive just enough to regularly comment on some lady's blog?

Unknown said...

I love this:
"Moral outrage is exhausting. And dangerous. The whole country has gotten a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome from the newest popular sport of Extreme Finger Wagging. Not to mention the neck strain from Olympic tryouts for Morally Superior Head Shaking. All over the latest in a long line of rich white celebrities to come out of the racist closet. (Was it only a couple days ago that Cliven Bundy said blacks would be better off picking cotton as slaves? And only last June Paula Deen admitted using the “N” word?)

--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

RTWT

Here's more:

...He [Sterling] was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing. It was public record. We did nothing. Suddenly he says he doesn’t want his girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson on Instagram and we bring out the torches and rope. Shouldn’t we have all called for his resignation back then?

Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney’s comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it.

Make no mistake: Donald Sterling is the villain of this story. But he’s just a handmaiden to the bigger evil. In our quest for social justice, we shouldn’t lose sight that racism is the true enemy. He’s just another jerk with more money than brains.



btw- Meadecrack won't understand or relate. No mention of collective guilt slavery and how the GOP will never win an election ever again!

KCFleming said...

@Meade "I see."

No, you don't.
You refuse to see.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Am I wrong to assume you voted for neither McCain nor Obama in 2008?

You are not wrong. I live in California. It doesn't matter who I vote for on the national level. The Democrats will finagle the election so that all electoral votes go to the Dem candidate and my vote is worth a bucket of warm spit.

Meade said...

"I live in California. It doesn't matter who I vote for on the national level."

Then could you please explain to Pogo that Althouse (among others) lived in Wisconsin in 2008. It didn't matter who she voted for on the national level.

Meade said...

@April Apple, I RTWT, as you instructed. Did you "love" this?:

"[T}hey put his head on a pike, dubbed him Lord of the Flies, and danced around him whooping.

I don’t blame them. I’m doing some whooping right now. Racists deserve to be paraded around the modern town square of the television screen so that the rest of us who believe in the American ideals of equality can be reminded that racism is still a disease that we haven’t yet licked."

KCFleming said...

"Althouse (among others) lived in Wisconsin in 2008. It didn't matter who she voted for on the national level."

Bullshit.

1. Wisconsin i and was a purple state that also voted for Walker.

2. She had more than 500,000 visitors a month back then.

She influenced people and wrongly. She made a horrible decision with ramifications extending out for decades.

Unknown said...

You're whooping? How pathetic and sad.

Whooping about what exactly? The entire episode is sickening. Much like your holier than thou moral preening and your pathetic attempt to tar and feather people who are simply tired of the non-stop hypocritical moral outrage. As Kareem says - it is exhausting.

Meade said...

Bullshit yourself, Kevin.

The last time Wisconsin voted to send electors to the EC to elect a Republican president was 1984. It has been a "blue state" for more than 20 years, including 2012.

You overestimate her influence. AND you (among others) overestimate your own influence of her influence. At least in the way you would like to believe you do.

I, for one, do not believe you are a racist, a sexist, or a gay-hater. But some of your comments sound that way to enough individuals in the demographic of voters who identify as urban, millennial, non-white, and/or female. That's the demographic the tipped the election to President Obama. Twice.

Take a look in your own mirror of influence.

Meade said...

April Apple said...
"You're whooping? How pathetic and sad."

The "whooping" quote came directly from the article by KAJ of which you asked me to RTWT. The one you said you "loved".

Unknown said...

They caught big game on a slow news day, so they put his head on a pike, dubbed him Lord of the Flies, and danced around him whooping.

-- Mr. Abdul Jabbar

Just like you were whooping, Meade, when Bundy said what he said. Exhausting.

Meade said...

Alright, April. I wasn't, but you perceived me as "whooping". I'll give you that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Then could you please explain to Pogo that Althouse (among others) lived in Wisconsin in 2008. It didn't matter who she voted for on the national level.

Actually, it does matter. Althouse has promoted herself on a nationally read blog and has touted Obama. Praised him. She is quoted on other more widely read blogs like Instapundit. "Supposedly", her opinions matter and carry some influence. Althouse voted with the herd. She voted FOR Obama.

I'm just a lowly commenter on some blogs. I don't influence people outside of my immediate sphere. Unlike Wisconsin, In California, conservatives are outnumbered. There is zero chance of a Republican in a National election getting the CA electoral votes. Hell will likely freeze over before there is a Republican Governor or Senator. With the flooding of illegals who vote and the clever machinations in counting the votes, out and out election fraud, gerrymandering, the Democrats hold a lock on the State.

In local elections, in my area of the world, conservatives and Republicans (not the same thing by the way) are the majority. Therefore my vote can count on local and regional issues and occasionally on State issues. Those measures that aren't invalidated by a bunch of liberal judges who erase all of our votes. There doesn't seem to be much value in voting.

So. While Althouse's vote might also be individually not accountable, her circumstances are different. She may have swayed others to vote for the "articulate" Obama. Pretty stupid reason to vote for someone, but...there you have it. SHE VOTED FOR OBAMA. (Bragged about it) At least once and probably twice.

Unknown said...

Yes- I love refreshing opinions from people who actually have first hand knowledge on a particular situation.

KCFleming said...

Your use of first names is replete with malintent, part of a pattern of destructiveness I've seen in your interactions with Trooper.

But homey don't play that.

KCFleming said...

More clearly:

I forgive you, but will not deal with you further.

Meade said...

Says the malcontent master, himself, of malintent.

Meade said...

But I forgive you too, what'syourname.

chickelit said...

2. She had more than 500,000 visitors a month back then.

Pogo: I do think you overestimate Althouse's influence. Personally, I've always been more persuasively swayed by her many commenters, such as yourself and many others and also by Meade before he opened his heart to Obama and was swallowed by the Borg.*
_____________________
* I have the exact thread bookmarked where that happened in case you're interested.

Meade said...

"Borg is a collective proper noun for a fictional alien race..."