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Discovery Magazine 5/1/1991


Why are There so Many "Colors" of People?

Do you remember the song that says: "Jesus loves the little children—all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight"? Did you ever wonder why there are so many colors of people? How did this happen?

In humans, skin color is caused by a chemical called melanin (MEL-uh-nin). The color of a person's skin depends on how much melanin he has. If a person has a lot of melanin, he will be dark-skinned. If a person has very little melanin, he will be light-skinned. The amount of melanin is controlled by genes which are found inside each cell of our body. Some genes control hair color; some control eye color; some control the amount of melanin. Melan~in helps humans because it can soak up harmful rays from the Sun that might damage our skin.

God designed our bodies so that melanin could be produced to protect us. In climates where there is a lot of sunshine, people with lots of melanin can survive better than those without much melanin. Those people who live in climates with less sunshine do not need much melanin. God knew that people would want to live all over the Earth, and He gave us skin colors as a "built-in" protection. Skin colors are just another piece of evidence of how wise God is!



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