BANANAS

THE CONTRARIAN

We are told that bananas are as near a perfect food for humans as can be found, in fact, if a person was only allowed one food, he would survive longest if he chose bananas.  Bananas are a fruit, and plants put forth fruit as a way to entice animals to carry and spread their seed, so fruit is an essential part of the plant’s survival strategy.  But bananas have no seed; in fact, they only grow where they are planted by humans, and the fruit does not seem to serve a purpose useful to the plant.  If humanity disappears, bananas will be one of the first species to disappear.  Bananas are therefore not a product of evolution, natural selection and so on, but were created for the benefit of humans, perhaps by a creator, perhaps by a lost previous civilization.

Quack grass is an interesting plant.  It only dominates in nature where there is an unnatural concentration of available nitrogen, generally produced by a large quantity of animal waste, feces and urine.  It translates that excessive fertility into large quantities of very high quality animal feed; it spreads and dominates by its roots and does not care if the above-ground plant including the seed is taken away.  It seems ideally adapted for situations where animal waste is very concentrated, for example as a way to transform the waste from a city into a useful product.  It is at least possible that quack grass is not a product of evolution, but was designed to facilitate the growth of cities without environmental degradation.

Erich Von Danniken wrote a book about 50 years ago, which has sold 60 million copies, putting it right up there with the Bible.  He looked at ancient stone artifacts all around the world, and pointed out facts about them that make it seem highly unlikely they could have been created by primitive societies.  In fact, many could not be made today, even with our much-vaunted technology.  Emphasize that   — there are things out there that we could not make, yet conventional wisdom is that they were somehow whittled out by cave men using stone tools.

Von Danniken’s thesis is that these were made by space travellers from another world, who visited us in ancient times, and a whole ‘religion’ has grown up around that idea.  That is entirely possible of course, as is the notion that the visitors came from another dimension or are time travellers from our own future, or any number of other unprovable ideas.

It is fun to speculate on what all this really means.  I kind of lean to the notion that a greatly advanced society existed in prehistoric times, which developed bananas and quack grass and other things we cannot explain, along with Von Danniken’s stones.  One good asteroid or ice age might have removed all other traces of their existence.  After all, suppose a solar flare takes out our hydro grid and the internet tomorrow.  That, along with giving us say a two year winter could wipe out our ‘civilization’.  In a thousand years the only evidence of our technology might be some very interesting plant life, and a collection of odd stones, while our descendants run around in fur underwear, telling weird fables about ancient ‘gods’,  and developing such niceties as written language.

Then again, maybe there really are critters zipping around in their little space cars, keeping an eye on us.

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