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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Fun - Religion and Bananas

Anyone still think we need to teach intelligent design in the science classroom?

I'm not even convinced that that THEORY had an intelligent designer!


  1. I love the theory of intelligent design in a religious context. It's a wonderful progression from believing the literal story of Adam and Eve.

    The clip is interesting. Even if bananas naturally grew that way from the beginning of recorded time, what about all the other fruits? Oranges are a pain in the ass, for instance. Is the message that bananas were designed for eating by a superior being, while oranges were not? Why?

    Even apart from the bananas clip, it's not science by definition. There's no way of testing the unknown variables, and no way of measuring the subjective values that determine that something must have been "designed".

    That leads to my favorite argument about ID:we are supposed to conclude that things that are excessively complex must be designed by a higher power, but our determination of what's "complex" relies on our own understanding and intellectual capabilities. So the existence of a higher power is proven by the fact that we don't understand something, which is essentially a rationalized version of the exact same reasoning the ancient Greeks used. "We don't understand why the seasons change, so we think there's this guy named Hades, and this girl named Persephone..." The kicker is that if we were to suddenly understand something, that would then disprove the existence of the higher power. If some space alien came down and could rattle off your DNA sequence just by looking at you, then the reasoning that there must be some religious creator is completely nullified.

  2. Brabantio,

    Yep. You got it. So in addition to completely circular reasoning, it's also commiting the divine fallacy; namely: I can't explain it, so it MUST be God. What's funny about that (check out 'divine fallacy' in skepdic.com!) is that the same logical falacy is used to explain aliens visiting earth or psychic powers. IOW: I can't explain it, therefore aliens must be behind it. Or: I can't explain it, so psychic powers must be at work. Put that way, the exact same logic sounds totally absurd.

    Personally I have no problem with people believeing whatever they want, just to fill the blanks of what goes unexplained. Thing is, I don't put any one person's idea (idea = make up bullshit) over anyone else's. No person's idea or heaven/hell/afterlife could possibly be any more or less valid than anyone else's, since we can't test ANY of them anyway! So as long as they're not trying to write over the 'blanks' that scientific observtaion has ALREADY filled in, or trying to legislate that I buy into their nonsense, or trying to convinvce me that their BELIEF is FACTUAL as opposed to A BELIEF, then I'm cool with just about anything. Sadly, as low a threshold as that seems, at least to me, very few people are be able to satisfy it, inevitably taking their BELIEF too far.

    The other goofy thing about ID is that it doesn't really work as science OR theology. WE know why it's not science: can't test, measure or observe it. It answers WHY in a philosophical way. WHY in a scientific way is closer to HOW. But theologically it's weak tea too! Because it tries to bridge the gap between science and religion (bravo, fine) but it does so in a way that says very little ABOUT God (or Gods) other than that s/he/they proably exsist, and made us. So what? Does it say which one(s)? No. How many? No. Is there an afterlife? Couldn't tell you. Morality? Again, nothing. It accomplishes absolutely nothing in terms of theology other than to give hard-core funny-mentalists an excuse to come to the table to acknowledge evoluition without some stupid, irrational fear about going to hell. All it does is 'take the curse off' being a reasonable, rational THINKER; but it doesn't actually TELL you anything.

  3. We all struggle with knowing why things are the way they are. Some people give up easily because they don't care enough, or they don't have the resources (time, reference materials, etc.), or they think there are just too many questions to know all the answers to. Although a good answer is "I don't know," it sounds lazy and not very resourceful to most people. It is a responsible answer. However, when bombarded with too many unanswerable questions, a person is likely to start feeling tired saying the same thing and perhaps a little useless. When finding the time and/or the resources to get the answers is not an option, people have been given imagination and free will (or developed it over many, many years...whatever...we are all made of particles or we aren't even here, or we always have been and there are other parallel universes: I don't know). Imagination lets us make sense of it all (and satisfies our own minds). Sometimes, other people see it our way too, or like the visuals, or they don't care enough either, or they don't have the time nor resources.

    Personally, I think Americans are sleep-deprived with too much guilt about being "lazy" and "unproductive". The more I sleep, the less irritated/ing I am. I can't speak for anyone else, but I hear a lot of complaints about not sleeping from "working" too hard: it's like anorexics talking about how little they ate: taking pride in it. We're lucky winter is starting and people will naturally sleep more, and be more friendly (during the holidays). Could it be related? I don't know, but I think maybe so. (I am already thinking about studying the holiday season in countries that are not any darker in winter, or at least looking it up. Is it our faith in a God that makes us more friendly, or more sleep.)

    Here is a video on bananas where man shares a solution to a struggle with the not-so "perfect" fruit (it's great story-telling, and it seems like he just woke up). Classic good example:


  4. Anon,

    You're absolutely right. And "I don't know" IS the best answer to most questions. And not just the most responsible, but the wisest as well. It takles a lot of strength and shows charecter to admit when you don't know something.

    I have no problem with people just making stuff up - I do it too - as long as they let that explanation go when a better, more scientific one comes along.

    Thanks for the post!

  5. Eddie;
    Enjoyed this discussion, and have very little to add. When I was a good Catholic schoolboy (Archdiioces of Washington, D.C, Youth of the Year when I was 18, I'm embarrassed to recall)we were taught that a difference between the ancient pagans and us was that they made their gods in their own image, and we know that we're
    made in the "image and likeness of God." That's a nice angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin formula, but I've found it's not true in the real world. I've observed that among believers (I'm no longer in that group)the god they worship tends to reflect their own proclivities. Decent, openminded and loving people tend to see a god like that, and thin-lipped, tight-assed bigots see a judgemental tyrant glaring down from the clouds. Each can find ample room for their view in Scripture, which is why the Right wants to censor the "unchanging word of God," the Bible.

    Also, you might want to take that apostrophe out of your headline. The plural of banana is bananas. There's too much good thinking on the site to undercut it with sloppy editing.

  6. Thanks for the gramatical catch, I'll do that.

    AFor my part, I'm not sure I have ever accepted that "man was made in God's image." I think your obersavations would be self-evident to any objective observer, leaving no doubt that GOD was made in MAN'S image. It is only the inherent arrogance (Pride) of MAN that would lead anyone to believe otherwise.

    And beised... With some exceptions (Greek, Norse) WHERE do they get the idea that "ancient pagans" made gods in thier own likeness? Most of the Egyptian pantheon deviates from normal human appearance. Most of the Hindu patheon does as well. As for the old earth/sun/sky/nature worshipers... again: gods that are not like us at all!

    Seems to me to be another VERY CLEAR case of religious conservtaives PROJECTING their own flaws and vices (Pride, in this case) onto others, and missing the inherent contradiction in their logic in doing so.