TEDxNewYork is held at GreyNY, 200 Fifth Avenue. We meet every week (mostly) on Fridays now and (mostly) from 1-2pm. We are open to the public. If you want to attend, send a note to admin@tedxnewyork.com (that's Don McKinney & Chel O'Reilly) with your vitals. Our biggest limitation is space so give us plenty of notice and we'll do our best to accommodate. Hope to see you at one of our events soon.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Session 5: Understand- Nina Jablonski

The history of skin: pigmentation and evolution. Nina starts with comments on Darwinism and evolution.

Darwin said, "Light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history"

Charles Darwin knew skin color was one of the most important ways people varied. He wasn’t understanding of the relationship of skin pigmentation to locality.

We developed a wonderful protective covering of melanin AND were dosing ourselves with the light to develop vitamin d. Then we moved to northern hemispheres so we lost the vitamin d and then the melanin.

The movement of people across time caused us to develop different skin colors which has social and health consequences. The social ones are very, very obvious. The health ones, like burns to pale skin and vitamin d deficiency.

"Skin color is the most visible product of evolution by natural selection on the human body. Teach it. Celebrate it."

Nina loves that we are the products of evolution so much, that we are carry history on ourselves that her passion is intense, her happiness about it is contagious, and it is an obsessive love.

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