Julian Sanchez header image 2

photos by Lara Shipley

The Evolving Banana

June 10th, 2008 · 4 Comments

So, at some point you’ve probably seen that absurd clip of Kirk Cameron and some Aussie preacher arguing that the banana is “the atheist’s nightmare,” because its perfect adaptation to human food needs implies a divine creator. This would be a hopeless argument under any circumstances, of course. (Obvious first question: Then why aren’t all foods this convenient? Is this proof God meant for us to subsist entirely on bananas?)  But as one of Andrew Sullivan’s commenters points out, it’s actually even worse than that: All the features cited in that clip as proofs of divine providence are not features of the wild banana, but were (ahem) selected for by thousands of years of domestication.

Tags: Religion · Science



4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dave W. // Jun 10, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Which means God wants us to do genetic engineering.

    *whoops* I got confused and thot ths ws the Ron Bailey blog for a sec.

  • 2 tp // Jun 11, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Ron Popeil post conversion.

  • 3 Sandy // Jun 12, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Apparently God thought the banana was done early, so it sent a banana blight similar to the one that took out the first banana variety. Growers are racing to evolve one that can withstand both the old and the new blight yet taste as good.

    And the one Kirk is holding? Supposedly it’s smaller and less tasty than the one that a microbe evolved to eat before we could.

  • 4 thoreau // Jun 13, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I’m not as interested in the biological issues in that video as I am in the psychological issues. The guy in the video is quite impressed that a banana will fit into his mouth, you know?

Leave a Comment