Bill Nye Breaks Down The Science Behind Skin Color, Points Out 'We're All One Species'

Written by on July 22, 2020

Within the span of 1 minute, Invoice Nye the Science Man defined the science behind pigmentation to his TikTok followers, stressing that regardless of completely different shades of pores and skin, “We’re all one species.” 

“It seems that everyone on Earth is descended from people who lived right here in Africa,” Nye mentioned within the TikTok clip, pointing to 2 maps highlighting the depth of Earth’s ultraviolet rays in addition to varied pores and skin shades across the globe.

“After which as teams of us moved world wide, the colour of our pores and skin needed to change. And right here’s why. Our pores and skin is the place we make vitamin D. Should you don’t get sufficient ultraviolet, you then don’t get sufficient vitamin D. However in case you get an excessive amount of ultraviolet, you then break down your folates. It’s important to have it in good steadiness. And since the ultraviolet varies, the colour of our pores and skin varies. And that’s it, everyone. That’s why we now have completely different coloured pores and skin.”

Nye went on to argue that people had been all the identical species however weren’t “treating one another pretty.”

“Not everyone is getting an excellent shake,” he mentioned, rattling a bottle of vitamin D. “So it’s time to alter issues.” 

At the start of the video, Nye was referring to the work of Nina Jablonski and George Chaplin, two Penn State College anthropologists. They carried out intensive analysis on the hyperlink between pores and skin coloration and ultraviolet radiation because it pertains to the manufacturing of vitamin D, which they known as a “selective power within the evolution of pigmentation” in a scientific paper revealed in 2010.

The Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past’s web site on trendy human variety factors out that as a result of “sturdy solar publicity damages the physique, the answer was to evolve pores and skin that was completely darkish in order to guard towards the solar’s extra damaging rays.” 

Nye’s video went viral on Twitter shortly after it was posted, with a number of commentators praising his utilization of TikTok to share scientific information. Others mentioned that his argument that people are all the identical species proved the folly of racism.

Racism is “the assumption that one other individual is lower than human … due to pores and skin coloration, language, customs, place of origin or any issue that supposedly reveals the essential nature of that individual,” in response to the Anti-Defamation League.

Nye beforehand used TikTok to show the effectiveness of face masks towards COVID-19, arguing that carrying a masks is “actually a matter of life and loss of life.” 


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