16 April, 2006

A geometric problem

I received a pamphlet this week, offering a 10-point proof of the Intelligent Design of bananas. An appropriate fruit for such an exposition, one might think. I was particularly interested by Point Number 10: "Is curved towards the face to make eating process easy". This might sound commonsensical as a proposition, if not as evidence for ID—but is it? Below is an elegant montage (I thank you, my photoshop chops are sans pareil) demonstrating two plausible orientations for the banana during its consumption:

I ask my reader: in which of these two pictures is the banana "curved towards the face"? The problem with the initial statement is that it only makes sense to speak of one object being curved towards another when that object is fixed at one end, allowing its distal end to be pointed towards or away from the other. But in the case of the banana being eaten, the fixed end is at the mouth, ie. on the face itself. Therefore its distal end can only be said to curve away from the face, either up into the sky, or, as with the two pictures above, towards the ground. In other words, it is impossible for any object, while being eaten, to be curved towards the face in any meaningful sense (unless, I suppose, one were eating the banana while still attached to the tree, which would give it another fixed point). One's only option, in light of this, would be to accept the notion that all curved foodstuffs were evidence of ID. Alas, the only other possibility for an attenuated comestible is to be straight. Which would leave carrots, celery sticks, rhubarbs, corn-cobs, and men who manufacture kebabs, chocolate bars and breadsticks, as incontrovertible proof against Intelligent Design.


Alanna Ossa said...

I think bananas are underused in the theories of a great many things. Of course, a.p. did teach us the great banana joke for five year old spanish speakers. It only works if spoken aloud...written, well, it obviously gives the game away.

Oro no es, Platano es, que es?

Answer : Platano es...is already given (it's a banana) but the SOUND of oro no es (it isn't gold) platano es (it's a banana) SOUNDS like it could be plata no es (it isn't silver).

One is fooled into thinking that the person has said, "it isn't gold", "it isn't silver" because of the gold in the first phrase rather than what is actually spoken which is "it isn't gold", "it's a banana". It's great stuff if you're five.

Conrad H. Roth said...

Yes, I think I understand; I like it.