This shit is bananas

If you haven’t seen it, there’s a video making the rounds in which Kirk Cameron and his mustachioed co-host Ray Comfort explain how deeply stupid and easily refuted atheism and the theory of evolution are. The purpose of their program, which looks to be only one episode of a series of these shows, is to teach their fellow Christians how to convert atheists.

My brothers, if there are any atheists susceptible to these arguments, you can have ’em. As Fred Clark at Slacktivist says,

Watching Mr. Comfort is like listening to Lucy sing “Little Known Facts” in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown — he’s not just wrong, he’s condenscending to those who aren’t as misinformed as he is.

The most salient bit, for Clark as well as most of the commenters I’ve seen, is when Ray Comfort explains that the universe was designed by God because bananas are perfectly made for monkeys to eat them. Then the dumb motherfucker peels his prop banana from the stem-side, which, as Clark points out, is not the optimal method for banana-peeling. His most important qualification for dumb-motherfuckerhood, though, is that he’s using a domesticated banana – almost certainly a Cavendish, if one wishes to be specific – to make his point. So yeah, that banana he’s peeling was designed, but it wasn’t by God:

The Cavendish is the most common variety of bananas now imported to the United States. The Cavendish is a shorter, stubbier plant than earlier varieties. It was developed to resist plant diseases, insects and windstorms better than its predecessors. The Cavendish fruit is of medium size, has a creamier, smooth texture, and a thinner peel than earlier varieties.

Also, I’d like to share this paragraph from a Popular Science article:

The Cavendish—as the slogan of Chiquita, the globe’s largest banana producer, declares—is “quite possibly the world’s perfect food.” Bananas are nutritious and convenient; they’re cheap and consistently available. Americans eat more bananas than any other kind of fresh fruit, averaging about 26.2 pounds of them per year, per person (apples are a distant second, at 16.7 pounds). It also turns out that the 100 billion Cavendish bananas consumed annually worldwide are perfect from a genetic standpoint, every single one a duplicate of every other. It doesn’t matter if it comes from Honduras or Thailand, Jamaica or the Canary Islands—each Cavendish is an identical twin to one first found in Southeast Asia, brought to a Caribbean botanic garden in the early part of the 20th century, and put into commercial production about 50 years ago.

Did you catch that? He’s holding a clone.

It’s not like humans have a symbiotic relationship with bananas that would make an argument based on their usability compelling, either. This smarmy mustache that walks like a man picks one fruit that humanity found tasty and cultivated, out of thousands, and then uses this product of agricultural technology to prove God? Augustine, he ain’t.

It’s a long video, but I recommend watching as much of it as you can stand. It’s positively ripe* with examples of rhetorical sleight-of-hand and truthiness.

*(Booooooooo!)

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