Saturday, 13 June 2015

No Comfort For Ray As God Hits Bananas

Americas may be hit by catastrophic banana disease -- ScienceDaily

In a long-expected response to Ray Comfort's cruel attempt to make American Christian fundamentalists look even more stupid with his banana 'proof' of creationism and Intelligent Design, God is sending a disease, Fusarium wilt, to decimate the American Cavendish banana crop.

Comfort, readers may remember, hilariously exposed the credulity of his creationist followers and simultaneously showed his contempt for them by trying to argue that the banana fits so perfectly in your hand while being eaten, just like a lot of other food, that it must have been designed.

God would have been understandably outraged at the way he made his devotees look so gullible. Apparently, God has been working on this response for some time but the American public were only made aware of it two days ago when the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences issued the following press release:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher warned that a disease that has decimated Cavendish bananas in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia could be headed for the Western Hemisphere.

Tropical Race 4 (TR4) of Fusarium wilt (aka Panama disease), attacks Cavendish varieties, which comprises 45 percent of the bananas that are produced in the world, said Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at UF/FAS Tropical Research and Education Center. The disease kills plants and is very difficult to control, he said.

“Fusarium wilt has been a destructive problem for well over a century. Race 1 was responsible for the demise of the first export trades of bananas,” Ploetz said. “Recently, TR4 moved from Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Africa.”

Cavendish bananas are very resistant to race 1 but not TR4, Ploetz said. There is no other cultivar of banana to replace Cavendish if TR4 hits the Americas, Ploetz said. In 2011, combined global production of bananas was 145 million tons worldwide, with a gross production value of $44 billion, he said.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, in 2007 the United States imported 4,003,801 tons of bananas, or 25 percent of the world total. “The banana is arguably the world’s most important fruit crop,” Ploetz said.

Reports of TR4 have been documented in Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan and Mozambique, Ploetz said. “It’s not in the Americas yet, but if it moved from Southeast Asia to Africa and the Middle East, then a jump from these areas to the Americas is certainly possible,” he said.

Researchers speculate that TR4 spread via Southeast Asian workers who helped establish banana plantations in other parts of the world, Ploetz said. “We are not sure how, but we believe that these workers transported the pathogen with them.”

The only way to manage TR4 is to develop resistant bananas, Ploetz said. “Meanwhile, there is no cultural, physical, or biological treatments to manage TR4.”


This is God's fourth version of the Tropical Race of Fusarium wilt (TR4) and he's hoping to repeat his success with his first version TR1 which he used to kill off the first banana export trade.

Had Comfort been familiar with the Bible or had chosen not to ignore the parts that don't suit him as usual he would he been aware of the consequence of this attempt to mock God and his followers.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Galatians 6:7


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalms 23:4

Okay, calm down. I don't believe this for one minute and I doubt even a Christian fundamentalist creationist would, but why not?

I've just done what you can see being done on just about any creationist website every day of the week. I've taken a news item about an impending disaster, credited God with it with no evidence whatsoever and ascribed a random cause for it in terms of God's displeasure at some act or other, and then blamed the entire thing on someone of whom I disapprove, with no regard for the truth of the claim, nor for its effects on the person I'm baming.

How does this differ from assigning blame for a tornado or a flood on gay marriage or homosexuality, or for an earthquake on people posing nude on a mountain?

Perhaps a creationist could explain to me why this TR4 Fusarium fungus wasn't designed by their 'Intelligent Designer' specifically to be a disease in bananas and especially virulent in the Cavendish cultivar. Did it make an inerrant mistake, maybe? If not, why is this Intelligent Designer intentionally going to cause massive economic damage and devastate one of the world's most important food crops?

The problem is, any decent 'Intelligent Design' theory has to account for the bad stuff as well as the good stuff. It just won't do to cherry pick, no matter how malevolent, vindictive or incompetent it makes the supposed designer look and it won't do to randomly ascribe blame to your favourite victim and give the credit to your favourite imaginary friend. That's not how proper, honest science works.

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1 comment :

  1. Ugh. Would someone please show Comfort what different wild cultivars of bananas look like? They look radically different from the Cavendish cultivar, & many aren't nearly as easy or pleasant to eat.

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