—– Originally Posted on my old blog: 1/26/2008 —–
This video has been around for a while, but it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on You Tube. In this video, which is an excerpt from their evangelical ministry TV program, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, who are both born-again christians, explain how the banana “proves” that god created the world, as it is.
It really does not matter which side of the evolution/creationist argument you are on, this is pure, unadulterated comedy, for their lack of effort in checking their statements for factual errors and the homo erotic undertones when Ray is handling and talking about the banana.
While I believe that watching the video should speak for itself enough, I would like to point out a few of the points that stuck out the most in my mind.
The most obvious thing that comes out right away is that in this video is that here you have two creationist christians, who as a group have used the straw man argument that man has evolved from monkeys in many debates, using a banana to “disprove” evolution. This is roughly the same absurdity as using the movement of the planets in the night sky to “prove” that the earth is the center of the universe.
The next obvious logical fallacy we can point to is that if god made the banana to be the “perfect food” in that it is perfectly “designed” for people to eat, why would it not contain all nutrients that we need in our diet to maintain a healthy life, or why would other foods which do contain those nutrients be as well “designed” for our ease of use as well. This quote from a blog posting about a related topic seems to do a good job of pointing out the absurdity of this argument:
If a banana is a perfect example of God’s handiwork because of it’s convenience to humans, then what the hell is a pineapple? Ever try to harvest and eat one? Ouch! And a pomegranate? What a pain in the neck. What was God thinking when he “designed” kumquats? A joke? You can maim yourself trying to get into a coconut. Why doesn’t that have a “tab” too? What exactly is the point of an artichoke? A huge pile of litter for a few bites that you have to scrape off with your lower teeth.
The next point to make is about the banana, as we know of them in the western world, being created by god. As many people with an understanding of biology can attest there is a well known history of how we got what we know of as bananas. From a National Geographic article on some of the potential threats to bananas:
The domestic banana that we know and love is an asexual clone, one that results from the sedate, artificial act of vegetative propagation…
How the banana has got away without sex for so many thousands of years owes much to the hand of man. Although wild bananas do pollinate their flowers—having the botanical equivalent of sex—their fruit is packed full of peppercorn-hard seeds, making them inedible…
The soft, yellow flesh of the edible varieties is the result of a mutation many thousands of years ago that rendered the fruits of these plants sterile…
There is, in fact, nothing very natural about the banana…
Another article that does a good job describing the history of the banana is from a Washington and Lee University student:
The banana originated from seed bearing relatives in south-east Asia and the Pacific. The wild relatives were inedible, however a cross between two produced a sterile plant that has developed or been shaped into the varieties of edible banana and plantain growing today.
So then we can see that wild bananas, “as God intended them”, have seeds and are inedible. With even a minimal amount of research before they aired their program they could have avoided such an obviously flawed argument. As a poster on another blog on this video said:
Just like every ‘good’ piece of evidence against evolution, after a little research it ends up being exactly the opposite. Mutation and the hand of man had a huge part in crafting that banana he’s holding … oooh, the irony.
—– Updated: 7/5/2008 —–
I recently came across another blog that goes into this topic, and had a few great points to make that I felt were quite useful to add to this discussion. Many of the points below are already covered in my original post, but in a slightly different manner, and I believe they add some more humor to an already ridiculous subject.
First of all, is a mention of a discussion on the topic by one of my favorite podcasts, The Skeptics Guide To The Universe. As regular listeners of the SGU might expect, Rebecca giggles a lot, and makes many dick jokes, Perry dismisses them out of hand, and Steve tries to be boring, I mean scientific; the boringness comes naturally I guess.
The next thing from this other blog is a quick 2 minute video that I had not come across the first time I wrote this post, but it does a great job of ripping apart a number of the “points” Comfort tries to make.
The next video is a bit longer, but as the blog I found it on says:
It brings up the obvious question: If the banana is the atheist’s nightmare because it is so human-friendly, than what about the pineapple (no tab to open like the banana, no “green is bad, yellow is good, black is too late” because pineapples have all these colors at once, and they do not “fit nicely in the hand”. What about the potato that is toxic if not cooked sufficiently? What about onions? You really could go on and on.
Again to quote this blog:
My quick thoughts on this whole argument from design from banana is that he starts off showing his ignorance of the history of the banana- it’s actually a man-made product over the last 5000-8000 years. His argument also shows the fallacy of inconsistency which is simply- if you’re going to use the argument of the banana as proof of god’s design, you must also use the criteria for evidence to other fruits and vegetables around the earth as well. In doing so he actually proves himself wrong (according to his own criteria).