Jack's Church Adventures, Banana Edition, week of 16 Aug 2009

As some of you know, my family is out of town and so the impetus to go to church at all is likewise not here. Not being as masochistic as some may like me to be, I've decided not to go to church.

However, to avoid a big gap between my church adventure entries I've decided to do some non-church-adventures into other forms of idiocy.

Today we tackle...

... the Banana.

Kirk Cameron's best friend...

... ok, not really.

I'm sure you've all seen Kirk's "checkmate" video. Oh woe is us, our atheist nightmare. How do we tackle such an air tight argument? Maybe we should all go out into the wild and pick the fruit that topples centuries of mounting evidence for evolution. Maybe we should all succumb to proof that God exists and he gave us all bananas to eat forever...

GOD DAMN IT, KIRK! YOU SON OF A BITCH! YOU'VE KILLED US ALL!

Now, that is what a wild banana looks like. There is no tab with which to pull it open, the skin is as leathery and unwieldy as an orange peel, the seeds occupy almost the whole of the fruit and are hard as pebbles, it isn't curved to facilitate eating, and I would dare Mr. Cameron to try and fit it in his stupid mouth. The wild banana is as hostile as any other wild fruit to being ripped open and devoured.

However, let us suppose for a minute that bananas naturally grow they way Kirk and friends think they do. Let us suppose that there is a God and he said, "lawl bananas," and suddenly bananas. Am I really supposed to believe that we were meant to subsist entirely on bananas? Most digestible foods are impossible to find in the wild, most of which will kill us either passively or actively. The only nutritional element that bananas have in abundance is Vitamin B6 -- a vitamin that is the easiest to find in anything even somewhat edible. Even for that element which bananas are so prized for, Potassium, we would have to consume about 12.5 bananas just to get our daily recommended amount of Potassium.

Let's step away from bananas for just a moment. Let's assume that all fruits are made the way they are because god loves us so much:

The Orange: leathery peel, hard to open; opening the peel invites acid to be sprayed into your eyes

The Watermelon: even domesticated it is still encased in a thick skin that requires tools to open

The Pineapple: fuck you, god!

Back in the real world all of the domestic breeds of fruits that we cultivate are notoriously susceptible to disease, infection, parasites, and a whole host of other vulnerabilities that require us humans to constantly monitor them and beat back that which would destroy our precious fruits.

Just an example, how many of you have seen this particular fruit?

If you said yes, I'd say, "stop lying you lying liar -- lie face -- lie head."

That is a Gros Michel banana, driven almost to extinction by Fusarium oxysporum, a fungus that destroys the xylem in the root structures of plants; of particular vulnerability to this was the Gros Michel banana.

Some cultivated fruits, such as the banana, are prevented from reproducing sexually, instead they reproduce via vegetative reproduction: for the banana that involves taking the root system of a banana, replanting it, and allowing it to grow again. Each generation of banana is genetically similar to the one preceding it. While this has allowed farmers to maintain our delicious, totally unnatural, seedless bananas; it carries with it the horrible vulnerability brought by halted evolution. Vulnerabilities like extinction. Extinctions like what nearly happened to the Gros Michel banana.

The Gros Michel is no longer widely exported, it can only grow in a few soils where the Fusarium fungus cannot survive.

Instead we have the Cavendish banana. Not itself immune to the xylem destroying fungus; but different enough that the fungus hasn't yet evolved into a form that can attack the Cavendish root system. Have no fear, when untamed evolution is one of those forces that can always find a way and we'll have a new banana shortage before you know it -- at which point I wholly expect Kirk Cameron and friends to attempt to show us how the lemon is proof of God's love.

And there you have it, bananas.

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Comment by Louis on August 22, 2009 at 7:25pm
I have a growing suspicion that Kirk Cameron is the kind of guy who thinks Pineapples grow in cans.

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