Some days ago, I saw a meme someone had posted which was obviously from a rabid racist, but it does demonstrate the nexus between the far right and the religious, something I have written about here before, if only peripherally1.

The meme had a figure of what the author said was melanin and noted that it had 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons, these were stated of course to be 666, the ‘number of the beast’, presumably to impress the religious. What this racist vegetable was trying to get across was that people with melanin in their skin are ‘the devil’. This doesn’t narrow it down much, as well all have melanin in our skin. What I suspect he was trying to get across, was that the more melanin you have, the more evil you are. People with more melanin in their skin are darker skinned.

What this moron had illustrated in his meme was, in fact, an atom of Carbon 12, the most common naturally occurring isotope* of Carbon. Of course, what this person either didn’t know or pretended he didn’t know, was that melanin does not consist of one Carbon atom.

Melanin is a substance in your body that produces hair, eye and skin pigmentation. The more melanin you produce, the darker your eyes, hair and skin will be. The amount of melanin in your body depends on a few different factors, including genetics and how much sun exposure your ancestral population had. Surprisingly, there are several types of melanin, with the three main types being eumelanin, pheomelanin and neuromelanin.

  • Eumelanin is responsible for dark colours in skin, eyes and hair. People with brown or black hair have varying amounts of brown eumelanin and black eumelanin, the two types of eumelanin. When there’s no black eumelanin and a small amount of brown eumelanin, it results in blonde hair.
  • Pheomelanin pigments your lips, nipples and other pinkish parts of your body. People who have equal parts eumelanin and pheomelanin have red hair.
  • Neuromelanin, believe it or not, is responsible for the colour of your neurons2.

Melanin does not simply consist of one carbon atom, as the racist moron would have you believe. While the chemical composition of the various types differ, the smallest number of carbon atoms in a molecular unit is 18, with some having as many as 23. In addition, these molecules often occur as oligomers** or polymers***.

The fact that this moron could post such drivel shows that he is, firstly, a racist; and secondly, either ignorant or preying on the ignorance of the religious. Whichever of the latter options is correct, it demonstrates in microcosm the affinity between the far right and the religious.

*Isotope: These are distinct varieties of the same chemical element. They have the same atomic number (i.e. same number of protons in the nucleus) and hence belong to the same chemical element, but differ in having varying numbers of neutrons in their nuclei. For instance, carbon 12 (12C) has 6 protons and 6 neutrons in the nucleus and is the most common (98.9%) naturally occurring isotope of carbon. However, there are others, which are much rarer. Carbon 13 (13C) comprises 1.1% of naturally occurring Carbon and has 6 protons and 7 neutrons in its nucleus. Carbon 14 (14C) is extremely rare, comprising less than 0.0001% of naturally occurring carbon, and while it has the same number of protons, it has 8 neutrons3. Carbon 14 is also radioactive and is used to date archaeological materials4.

**Oligomer: This is a molecule that consists of a few repeating units which could be derived, actually or conceptually, from smaller molecules5.

***Polymer: This is a substance or material consisting of very large molecules called macromolecules, composed of manyrepeating units6.




  • JON says:

    Speaking of rabid, in this case religiosity. Did you hear Sarah Mokrzycki absolutely tearing Cumberland Council’s ex-mayor Christou’s book ban comments to shreds yesterday on ABC radio? Can’t find a link but from memory the gist was this: (1) the vast majority of child molestation involves hetersexual men; (2) there is no evidence that children from same sex couples do any worse than kids from traditional relationships; and (3) the greatest psychological harm done to kids is not by books like the one Christou wants banned, but by “people like him” (she pulled no punches) who denigrate and demonise others (my specific words but I believe they convey what she said adequately – think “Christian” hypocrite Folau). And, she backed up her comments with both statistics and references to studies.

    Meanwhile, the self-centred Christou was struggling to explain the basis for his council motion, also on ABCradio. He claimed the book sexualised kids despite admitting he hadn’t read it (as the Pedestrian article below mused: “To be fair, maybe it was above his reading level”), claimed he was representing constituent views despite not having consulted them, and was left dumbstruck when Craig Reucassel asked him if the Bible should also be banned from libraries on the same basis.

    To give some background to Christou’s actions the Pedestrian article mentions that “Christou was also responsible for bringing forward the drag queen storytime events ban, which passed in February this year. For context, this is also the same man who vowed to “dump Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies” if he is re-elected, called the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign “woke idealistic nonsense” and compared the Sydney COVID-19 lockdowns to “Nazi Germany“.

    Sadly this bloke is yet another example of the hypocrisy and lack of social understanding and conscience which infests small pockets of extreme conservative “Christianity” in this country.

    Found the Sarah Mokrzycki radio link mentioned at the top: from 1:08:18 – 1:19:48.
    “fear-mongering homophobic rhetoric” pretty much sums it up.

    • admin says:

      I finally got around to listening to he interview, and the one line that got me was, in essence: ‘it is Christou who is a danger to children by stigmatising same sex families’. People like him are simple bigots, and I suspect he is a religious nutter too. I also liked Craig Reucassel’s question about the bible being banned too. It is a primer for mass murder and bigotry.

      • JON says:

        Yes, as she said, studies show that where stigmatisation/demonisation/denigration occurs kids can be profoundly psychologically harmed – probably in the same way that gay teens have been for decades, and we all know the very sad outcomes for some of them. Don’t know why /s but I’d put Mokrzycki’s (related) PhD knowledge and experience about 10 rungs higher than Christou’s completely uninformed view on the book he wants banned from local libraries.

        Mokrzycki also wrote a similar piece for The Conversation which the editor asked her to water down lest they be dragged into an expensive defamation claim (which they shoud win on the basis of both truth and reasonable opinion but you never know under Australia’s oppressive defamation law). Frankly I preferred her take-no-prisoners, call-it-for-what-it really-is approach on radio, which interestingly the ABC chose not to censor.

        • admin says:

          Yep, she was good. I find it extremely prurient that some religious nutters are so concerned with what other people do in their bedrooms.

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