This is part one of a four-part series titled Worst Apologetics Arguments Ever. Check out the accompanying podcast!
An episode of youthful fancy sticks out in my mind from my childhood. The previous summer I had begun to notice girls, but was still lacking knowledge in the wooing department. On the day in question, one such young lady looked at me over her math textbook. Our gaze met for a brief moment and then she looked away. Lightening shot through me, electrifying my heart, and vivifying my first pubescent crush. But was it for real? There was only one way to find out. During recess I ran out to the back field and found a daisy. After situating myself under the shade of a large maple, I began the scientific process of love-divination:
She loves me, she loves me not.
As the plucked petals from the flower floated to the ground, my heart accelerated as I anticipated the outcome.
She loves me!
I hurried back to class and wrote a note. In it I professed my crush and included an opportunity for her to do the same. It read: “If you like me, sign on the dotted line.” Genius, right? I gave it to my trusted friend and waited, with baited breath, for him to return with the signed note. Once it was back in my hands, I opened it slowly, savouring the excitement. My eyes looked down and my heart fell in my chest.
There was no signature on the line. It was empty.
How could this be? Just like the words from that old sage, the magic 8-ball, all signs had pointed to yes!
Had they, though? Sure, she had glanced my way. But people look at one another all the time. What about the daisy? Although I found it compelling, it turned out to be a poor indicator of how things really were.
Why am I talking about young love, maple trees, and daisies? Because sometimes, as believers in Christ, we also tend to take the supposed evidence for our faith and make it fit our desired conclusions. Take, for example, the Banana Argument. It basically goes as follows:
Premise 1: Everything that bears the appearance of design has a designer.
Premise 2: Bananas bear the appearance of design.
Conclusion: Therefore, bananas have a designer.
The assumption, of course, is that because God is the only entity capable of designing nature, He is responsible.
Now, am I saying there is nothing significant to an argument from design? Of course not. What I am saying is that the banana argument isn’t an argument from design. Instead, it’s like shooting an arrow into a wall and then painting a bull’s eye around it.
The strength of a true argument from design, or teleological argument, is that it takes seemingly impossible occurrences in nature and shows that the best explanation is a creator. Check out this video by Reasonable Faith that explores this idea. The modern banana’s genesis, however, has multiple hypotheses. It appears that the best of these is that humans have bred them.
Unfortunately, some in our community have looked at the banana and seen what they wanted to see. They saw the cute girl peering at them over the textbook and concluded it had to be love! Sadly, just as it ended for me, so goes the Banana Argument, easily one of the worst apologetics arguments ever.