Monday, January 17, 2011

Behold the Banana! The atheists' nightmare!

Is it? Is it really? Well, no. Of course it isn't. What any informed and open-minded person understands is that any 'evidence', when taken in complete isolation, can seem persuasive. What explanation does Ray Comfort - the chap in the video - give for the shapes of apples or grapes or melons? They're hardly 'perfectly shaped for the hand'. And what about the fruits that don't have a helpful 'soda can tab' to open them with like oranges, apricots or pomegranates? That looks like an oversight on the part of God. 'It's curved towards the face for ease of eating'? Unless it's pointing the other way of course. Additionally, if Comfort had any research skills whatsoever and had travelled a bit more widely, he'd know that not all bananas are that shape or even that colour. Many have no ridges 'shaped for the human hand'. In Sri Lanka I ate stubby green and red bananas (which is why banana food colouring is red) which were round in cross-section. Extraordinarily, the banana he chooses as his 'proof' is a seedless yellow variety trained to grow like that by selective breeding. Its existence proves that evolution and the process of natural selection - even when forced by gene-fiddling human horticultural practice - is quite real.

This video shows just how desperate claims can be when they are made without the benefit of good science behind them. Facts are swept aside when they don't fit the tunnel-vision Creationist worldview. Using the same intuition shown by this chap, I could claim evidence for God's hand in the design of anything. What about the coconut? It provides edible flesh and drinkable water. The water is isotonic and can be used as plasma in humans. The coarse hair can be used for matting, the leaves can be woven into material and you can make boats from the trunks of the trees. The root and milk can be used to brew a potent alcoholic drink called arack. Oh, and the shells of the nut can be used as bowls, simple bras or to make horsey clip-clop noises. There you go. Much better example than a banana.

Except ... if God made it specifically for us, why put the nuts so high up in the tree so we have to risk our lives to get them? And why make the shells so hard to crack? And aren't the nuts actually designed to perpetuate the species rather than feed us? Like the banana, if they were made solely for us, then surely they'd just spring up all over the place rather than get involved in all that beastly reproduction nonsense? If God can create whole universes, he could surely make coconut palms immortal and ever-fruitful?

You see, these are the types of questions that Creationists never answer. Science has an answer for why things are the way they are. Creationism has nothing but 'I believe God did it'. What the wilfully ignorant never explain is why a sane, rational, omnipotent god (or gods) would take such a circuitous route to design living things. Why do we need to die? Why not just make things perfect and make them live forever? Why have such a complex intake and excretory system? Why not make us run on air and water? Why cover animals with tricky fur and feathers? Why not fit them with a handy soda can tab?

And why so many silly mistakes? Why were we created 'in his image' with wisdom teeth and appendixes? Why only one heart and brain - arguably the two most important organs - but two of almost everything else? Why are perfectly innocent kids born with defects and deformities? Why use the same organs for sex and excretion? That's like building a playground in a sewage farm.

I am all for open and fair discussion. But the kind of ill-considered and, frankly, misleading nonsense dished out by bananaman and his chums does no one any favours - Creationists included. And think that video was bad? Watch this one ... What have the 'filthy animals' done to deserve such vitriol?

Okay, I'll let you in on the joke; this second video is a spoof made by atheist comedian Edward Current (see more of his stuff here). What's scary, however, is that his video is almost indistinguishable from most Creationist videos I've seen. It's fooled many people. It fooled me the first time I saw it. It might well have fooled you too.

The fact is that I'd rather be a free-thinking filthy animal than a blinkered and indoctrinated zealot any day.


Msjuju8 said...

Unfortunately I can hear an Australian twang in Mr Banana - how embarrassing!

Unknown said...

I couldn't decide whether to post a comment to the above blog as it's not in my nature to get into an argument over creation v evolution on the internet. I prefer to do it in person ;)

However, as we're all adults I'm sure it will be taken as an opinion and I don't want to be pelted with rotten vegetables because my opinion differs from yours ;)

I am a Christian. I am not ignorant. I do believe that God created the earth and I believe that He created man too. The top video made me cringe slghtly as I'm not really one for trying to disprove evolution. In my mind it's wrong. I have a faith in God and therefore I don't have all the answers or it wouldn't be called faith. Evolutionists must have a faith of sorts as most don't understand the scientific terms used and sometimes people are sure something is right becasue "science" says it is. Isn't that just another type of faith and belief system, and another set of Gods?

The questions that are never answered by creationists I think are valid ones and are answered quite often in my church, and in my church cell group. God making man in his own image to me doesn't necessarily mean physcially in his own image, but instead with the moral compass and free will He has. We are alike socially and mentally rather than physicalaly.

Why are coconuts up high and why can'y we do all these amazing things? Well, I'm a parent. I don't believe in giving my kids a free ride. I want them to work hard and be individuals and learn how to make their own way in the world. I'm not sure how proud I'd be of my children if I gave them everything on a plate. Isn't it better to work hard and feel proud of what you have achieved, and then for you parents to look on and feel part of that too because they are part of you? I feel God is a father to me and feels exactly the same way. What a horrible world it would be to live in if we got everything for nothing.

Like I said this is my opinion and I won't rebuke you for having a different one.

Have a lovley day :-)

Stevyn Colgan said...

Julie - Eek!

Elsbeth - Hi there. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. As you'll see if you read back through the years I've kept this blog, I have no issue with people having faith. It's everybody's right to believe what they want. My issue is with people who deliberately deny, falsify or fight against established evidence.

Science is not fundamental in the way that faith can be. I currently believe in evolution because (a) there is (despite the claims of many fundamental Creationists) plenty of fossil evidence for natural selection, including transitory forms, (b) good science supporting the theory (age of the Earth etc.), and (c) much of the Bible's 'evidence' can be easily disproven by even a schoolchild with a rudimentary grasp of mathematics - Noah's Ark being a perfect example. However, evolution is not a 'fixed' idea in the same way as Creationism is. If evidence comes to light that provides a stronger argument for how we all got here, I -and 99.9% of Darwinists - would be happy to review the evidence and adjust our viewpoint accordingly.

I believe in evolution because there is more evidence to support it than I could actually read in my lifetime. Creationism is based solely upon belief and, as such, has no more evidence supporting it than there is for Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. And what 'evidence' the Creationist lobby provide us with is almost always easily disprovable. It's a lot harder to deny the actual real evidence that's in front of our eyes.

The fact is that people of faith will always hold the trump card because no matter what science says, believers in a god can alwayts say 'Well, God started everything - prove me wrong'. and science probably never will be able to. But if a god created everything then he/she/it also created the gloriously clever and intricate processes of evolution. Why isn't that enough for some people? I guess it's because in accepting Darwinism, you accept that humans are not divine.

Well, as far as I can see, they're not. I'm not and nor is anyone I know. And having served 30 years as cop in London, I've seen more than enough to convince me that we really are the apes that got lucky.

Thanks for popping by. xx

Unknown said...

Hey Stevyn,

I have no doubt that animals adapt to their surroundings to survive. That's just what we have done, although we seem to be making a mess out if it too. I just think it's very easy to believe in something that scientists are saying is real because it's the easy way out.

Divinity is a different matter and it depends on how you're using the word. I am not a divine being. God is. I am devoted to Him although I make mistakes and screw up a lot! People do and we're certainly not perfect. The Bible tells us this.

I find the comment about the Bible and the school child hard to swallow. The fact that the Bible is the biggest selling book of all time must mean there are a lot of people with the mental age of 4 buying books?

There are many pieces of evidence that point towards the Bible being historically correct. I'm not sure how easy that is to deny. Many very intelligent people are Christians and some top scientists who have shaped our world are too. Dr Rowan Williams, CS Lewis, Jim Lovell, to name a few. A study carried out by a sociologist called Elaine Howard Ecklund found that around two thirds of scientists in her uni (Rice University) believed in God. Albert Einstein himself, although not never having a personal relationship with God, found it impossible to believe in a non-created universe. I love this quote from him 'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'.

I have proof in my life that God exisits and is a living and loving God. This is why I don't like to disprove evolution. Rather I'd like to prove God exists through what He's done in my life. It's far more powerful. Don't tar all creationists with the same brush as our banana loving brother ;)

This argument will no doubt continue for a long time to come as people before have argued :)

Andrew Horne said...

Ray doesn't realise he's opening the banana from the 'wrong' end. It's easier to open it from the end without the 'tab', as demonstrated by monkeys in the wild (but not on youtube as far as I've looked), and there's less chance of making a mushy mess.

However, there is no wrong end, just do what you like best!

Here's a person demonstrating the method: