Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Just Right"

Many of you may have heard of the absurd argument made by Mr. Ray Comfort that the fact that the bananas we can buy in the store fit our hands so well is proof that god exists.  The most obvious problem with this argument is that it proves nothing but that there might be a coincidence.  The most conclusive argument against it, however, is that the modern grocery store banana is the result of artificial selection by human farmers over thousands of years and is just one of many varieties that exist in the wild.

If by chance, someone actually tries this argument with you, you can respond:

"The bananas in the stores don't fit our hands because god made them that way.  They fit our hands because we humans made them that way and they are in our stores because of the fact that they were made for us by us."

I remember reading one response to the "banana man" that another thing that nature naturally made just the right size for human hands is a mature rattlesnake--does that prove god exists?  And, if it does, does that mean he wants us all to die?  Or, maybe, it's just a coincidence.

"You know what else is "just right" for the human hand?  A mature rattlesnake."

More to the point, however, is the following response:

"You know what else is "just right" for the human hand?  Tree branches."

Finally, if you hear someone start talking about how the universe is "just right" for us, I find this response to be very useful:

"Yeah, it's almost as if we evolved to fit the environment."

(See my previous post on this, known as the anthropic principle.)

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