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The Beginning of the End for Bananas?

Already reeling from a 20-year losing battle with a devastating disease, the banana variety eaten in the United States is now threatened by a new—but old—enemy.

By | July 22, 2011

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, MARLITH

Our standard supermarket banana, a variety called Cavendish, may be at the brink of disaster. Chosen for its resistance to a fungal pathogen that wiped out its predecessor, the Gros Michel banana, the popular fruit has long battled a related fungus, which has all but devastated the banana industry in certain parts of the world. Now, it appears the Cavendish variety is facing a new threat—the very same fungal disease that drove Gros Michels off the market.

Cavendish bananas account for about 45 percent of the fruit's global crop, with an annual export value of US$8.5 billion, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. It was chosen to replace the original Gros Michel banana after a deadly fungal infection, known as Panama disease (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cubense), wiped out much of the world’s banana crop in the first half of the 20th century.

Farmers adopted the Cavendish variety because it appeared to resist the blight, as well as about a dozen other banana diseases that also threaten the worldwide crop. But it wasn’t long before it too started suffering from disease. In the late 1980s, a mysterious malady began to wipe out Asian Cavendish plantations. Soil samples were sent to plant pathologist Randy Ploetz of the University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center, who made the shocking identification: Panama disease was back, in the form of a new strain, which he dubbed Tropical Race 4.

Race 4 is just as virulent to Cavendish as Race 1 was to Gros Michel. The fungus enters the plant via its roots through infected soil or water and spreads via the plant’s vascular system. Once exposed, the plant yellows, and begins to look obviously sick—dried-out, sunken, and sagging. As the disease progresses, brown and purple stripes appear on the trunk, and the plant eventually dies. The disease, however, lives on, spreading via infected soil from plant to plant, plantation to plantation.

Today the disease has spread across Asia, into the Pacific, and to Australia, where it has devastated the island country's banana industry. Though Race 4 has yet to hit Latin America, where bananas imported to the United States are grown, there's little doubt it will, said Ploetz.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, ENZIK

But it turns out that Race 4 is not the only threat to Cavendish bananas. As banana growers have fled from Race 4, replanting their Cavendish trees in areas only known to harbor Race 1, they quickly learned that Gros Michel’s old foe was now tormenting Cavendish bananas as well.

In 2010,  scientists conducting a survey of plants infected in India, which grows and consumes more bananas than any other country in the world, were the first to conclusively identify the presence of Race 1 in the Cavendish banana. They published their findings in Plant Disease that November, and this March, Bioversity International—the global umbrella group for banana research—released a report announcing the finding: Race 1 had begun killing Cavendish plants in plantations around the Theni District of Tamil Nadu, India.

Banana scientists are still trying to determine why some Cavendish are no longer immune to Race 1. Altus Viljoenm, a researcher with the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, speculates that this new strain of Race 1 may have evolved over time so that it could attack Cavendish.

Other researchers are skeptical of the finding. Ploetz notes that there have been rare cases in which Race 1 has killed individual Cavendish plants when they were already stressed—due to drought conditions, for example, or flooding. "I suspect that this is the same thing," he said.

But the authors of the Plant Disease paper reported that they had confirmed the finding with laboratory tests on sterile, potted Cavendish. “To our knowledge,” the researchers wrote, “this is the first report of [such] a virulent strain.”

Today, there are no cures, treatments, or even reliable molecular diagnostic tests for either Race, partly due to lack of detailed information on the banana genome, according to Bioversity. Currently, the best available strategy is containment. Ploetz has developed a plan to fight Race 4 if it appears in Latin American plantations, involving the use of strict quarantines on affected plantations to prevent, at least temporarily, the spread of the disease.

But isolating infected plantations is more a stopgap than a solution, Ploetz knows. "It buys time," he said, but barring any new discoveries, the spread of Panama disease remains inevitable. Ploetz said it's important that similar agricultural practices be instituted in already affected countries to help prevent the spread to Latin America in the first place.

In the meantime, scientists are working to develop new approaches to quell disaster. Last year, for example, University of Queensland researcher James Dale began the first field tests of a genetically modified Cavendish, which he hopes will provide long-term resistance against Race 4.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, ACDX

Banana companies such as Chiquita and Dole are also reportedly working to develop new varieties. Though genetic modification has long been considered the only way to breed Cavendish, since the variety is completely sterile, recent research conducted in Honduras has revealed that a few Cavendish plants do produce viable seeds. Researchers at the Fundacíon Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA) say these non-sterile fruit form the basis of a series of promising hybrids, that can be bred for resistance to the fungi. It will still be at least six years before the new breeds are ready to be brought to market, however, according to a source familiar with the project, or may never appear at all, now that the banana companies are no longer funding the research.

Most banana researchers agree that the real answer—as has been the case with crops like potatoes, apples, and grapes—is to abandon the monoculture that makes the emergence of a disease so devastating. A more diverse banana harvest would allow farmers to isolate susceptible bananas, surrounding them with more resistant varieties. If the solution ends up being a Cavendish stand-in that is resistant to both strains, on the other hand, the predicament of the banana monoculture—with its vulnerability to old, new, and yet-to-be discovered pathogens—would continue.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from its original version to clarify that Bioversity International's report merely announced the finding published in Plant Disease (that Race 1 had begun killing Cavendish plants in India), and did not perform any additional studies to confirm the results.

Dan Koeppel is the author of “Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World.” His account of a search, conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for potentially diversifying banana breeds will appear in National Geographic in 2011.

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Avatar of: crl

Anonymous

July 22, 2011

Bees and bananas...

In some countries and regions, plant monoculture is encouraged by a regulatory requirement to grow only approved varieties. Will this policy ever be modified?

Farmers who cultivate a mix of varieties are likely to get lower yields than those who go for monoculture. Is there an insurance scheme in place that covers them against this risk?

Avatar of: Wade Lee

Wade Lee

Posts: 1457

July 22, 2011

Bananas!!! The bananas are going bananas!!

Avatar of: guest

Anonymous

July 22, 2011

Why should there be an insurance scheme to cover growers against a method of growing, which THEY instituted and which caused the problems in the first place?  The fact is that it's monoculture - and the concentration in single strains of anything, which not only causes disease increase, but also results in a reduction of nutrients in the fruits themselves.  Just as "stressed" Cavendish are susceptible to Race 1, the very soil and plant conditions in some of these plantations, and the huge relentless use of sprays, will be a contributing factor to the spread of Race 4.  Something I note that no-one has the guts to discuss for fear of a reaction from the industry.

Furthermore, anyone who grows their own bananas under organic good management conditions - something so far removed from commercial methods as to be on another planet - will tell you that their bananas have the most amazing taste which leaves commercial cavendish far behind.  In comparison, commercial bananas as as tasty as plastic.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 22, 2011

Bees and bananas...

In some countries and regions, plant monoculture is encouraged by a regulatory requirement to grow only approved varieties. Will this policy ever be modified?

Farmers who cultivate a mix of varieties are likely to get lower yields than those who go for monoculture. Is there an insurance scheme in place that covers them against this risk?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 22, 2011

Bananas!!! The bananas are going bananas!!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 22, 2011

Why should there be an insurance scheme to cover growers against a method of growing, which THEY instituted and which caused the problems in the first place?  The fact is that it's monoculture - and the concentration in single strains of anything, which not only causes disease increase, but also results in a reduction of nutrients in the fruits themselves.  Just as "stressed" Cavendish are susceptible to Race 1, the very soil and plant conditions in some of these plantations, and the huge relentless use of sprays, will be a contributing factor to the spread of Race 4.  Something I note that no-one has the guts to discuss for fear of a reaction from the industry.

Furthermore, anyone who grows their own bananas under organic good management conditions - something so far removed from commercial methods as to be on another planet - will tell you that their bananas have the most amazing taste which leaves commercial cavendish far behind.  In comparison, commercial bananas as as tasty as plastic.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 22, 2011

Bees and bananas...

In some countries and regions, plant monoculture is encouraged by a regulatory requirement to grow only approved varieties. Will this policy ever be modified?

Farmers who cultivate a mix of varieties are likely to get lower yields than those who go for monoculture. Is there an insurance scheme in place that covers them against this risk?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 22, 2011

Bananas!!! The bananas are going bananas!!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 22, 2011

Why should there be an insurance scheme to cover growers against a method of growing, which THEY instituted and which caused the problems in the first place?  The fact is that it's monoculture - and the concentration in single strains of anything, which not only causes disease increase, but also results in a reduction of nutrients in the fruits themselves.  Just as "stressed" Cavendish are susceptible to Race 1, the very soil and plant conditions in some of these plantations, and the huge relentless use of sprays, will be a contributing factor to the spread of Race 4.  Something I note that no-one has the guts to discuss for fear of a reaction from the industry.

Furthermore, anyone who grows their own bananas under organic good management conditions - something so far removed from commercial methods as to be on another planet - will tell you that their bananas have the most amazing taste which leaves commercial cavendish far behind.  In comparison, commercial bananas as as tasty as plastic.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 23, 2011

Agreed - Monoculture is the bane of any plant population!  Diversify or die - basically.
The large companies that sell and promote all the chemicals and fertilizers must take a large share of the blame too.   :-(

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 23, 2011

Monocultural enviroment is very good condition for natural selection and developing for viral races.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 23, 2011

Concerning bees, bananas and monoculture of bananas.  Genetic plasticity has always been a factor in the evolution of plants as well as in animals.  No plasticity - lose the battle. Disease runs through the populace like a train through a station.

Allow the little apiers do their thing - with multiple varieties interspaced carefully.  Allow fertilizers to be used discrimately and find a company that can/will heat kill the soil organisms/spores ( huge undertaking ) in the planned plots - thus allowing for the growth of healthy plants in a fairly controlled setting. Allow the bees to provide the pollination and the plants to show their diversity.

Water sources seem to propose a similar problem - world wide.  Consider the battle with the blue greens vs plantothrix in recreational and drinking water sources. Some resources show multiple possible solutions. However, oxygen and the subsequent growth of "aerobics" seem to work wonders. A fungal bio killer?  Wonder the effects .

I guess we are all looking for that magical biological miracle/bullet control that gets us back to a healthy Topography.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 23, 2011

Not sure why we have to keep learning the lesson that monoculture may be a short-term money-saver but can be a long-term disaster. There are other varieties that will serve. Thanks for the wake-up call.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 23, 2011

Agreed - Monoculture is the bane of any plant population!  Diversify or die - basically.
The large companies that sell and promote all the chemicals and fertilizers must take a large share of the blame too.   :-(

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 23, 2011

Monocultural enviroment is very good condition for natural selection and developing for viral races.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 23, 2011

Concerning bees, bananas and monoculture of bananas.  Genetic plasticity has always been a factor in the evolution of plants as well as in animals.  No plasticity - lose the battle. Disease runs through the populace like a train through a station.

Allow the little apiers do their thing - with multiple varieties interspaced carefully.  Allow fertilizers to be used discrimately and find a company that can/will heat kill the soil organisms/spores ( huge undertaking ) in the planned plots - thus allowing for the growth of healthy plants in a fairly controlled setting. Allow the bees to provide the pollination and the plants to show their diversity.

Water sources seem to propose a similar problem - world wide.  Consider the battle with the blue greens vs plantothrix in recreational and drinking water sources. Some resources show multiple possible solutions. However, oxygen and the subsequent growth of "aerobics" seem to work wonders. A fungal bio killer?  Wonder the effects .

I guess we are all looking for that magical biological miracle/bullet control that gets us back to a healthy Topography.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 23, 2011

Not sure why we have to keep learning the lesson that monoculture may be a short-term money-saver but can be a long-term disaster. There are other varieties that will serve. Thanks for the wake-up call.

Avatar of: Devils Advocate

Anonymous

July 23, 2011

Agreed - Monoculture is the bane of any plant population!  Diversify or die - basically.
The large companies that sell and promote all the chemicals and fertilizers must take a large share of the blame too.   :-(

Avatar of: Azad Najafov

Azad Najafov

Posts: 4

July 23, 2011

Monocultural enviroment is very good condition for natural selection and developing for viral races.

Avatar of: Gerald Conover

Anonymous

July 23, 2011

Concerning bees, bananas and monoculture of bananas.  Genetic plasticity has always been a factor in the evolution of plants as well as in animals.  No plasticity - lose the battle. Disease runs through the populace like a train through a station.

Allow the little apiers do their thing - with multiple varieties interspaced carefully.  Allow fertilizers to be used discrimately and find a company that can/will heat kill the soil organisms/spores ( huge undertaking ) in the planned plots - thus allowing for the growth of healthy plants in a fairly controlled setting. Allow the bees to provide the pollination and the plants to show their diversity.

Water sources seem to propose a similar problem - world wide.  Consider the battle with the blue greens vs plantothrix in recreational and drinking water sources. Some resources show multiple possible solutions. However, oxygen and the subsequent growth of "aerobics" seem to work wonders. A fungal bio killer?  Wonder the effects .

I guess we are all looking for that magical biological miracle/bullet control that gets us back to a healthy Topography.

Avatar of: Carol Covin

Anonymous

July 23, 2011

Not sure why we have to keep learning the lesson that monoculture may be a short-term money-saver but can be a long-term disaster. There are other varieties that will serve. Thanks for the wake-up call.

Avatar of: Leon

Leon

Posts: 1

July 25, 2011

The ‘Gros Michel’ is not completely disappeared. It grows in
the tropical forest of Bas-Congo (see the WWF website).

The yield of this organic banana is 5 tons per ha, compared
to 40 ton ‘Cavendish’ bananas in a commercial banana farm.

The ‘Gros Michel’ vitamin A content is five times higher than
the Cavendish. The WHO should support the WWF initiative to plant ‘Limba’
trees, combined with banana and so attack vitamin A insufficiency in the Congo
Bassin.

Avatar of: grn1

grn1

Posts: 1

July 25, 2011

James Dale is wasting time

Avatar of: fruitlover

Anonymous

July 25, 2011

Fundacíon Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA) needs to crowd-source its funding instead of waiting for Dole et al. FHIA: Set up a foundation and put a Donate button on your website...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

The ‘Gros Michel’ is not completely disappeared. It grows in
the tropical forest of Bas-Congo (see the WWF website).

The yield of this organic banana is 5 tons per ha, compared
to 40 ton ‘Cavendish’ bananas in a commercial banana farm.

The ‘Gros Michel’ vitamin A content is five times higher than
the Cavendish. The WHO should support the WWF initiative to plant ‘Limba’
trees, combined with banana and so attack vitamin A insufficiency in the Congo
Bassin.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

James Dale is wasting time

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

Fundacíon Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA) needs to crowd-source its funding instead of waiting for Dole et al. FHIA: Set up a foundation and put a Donate button on your website...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

The ‘Gros Michel’ is not completely disappeared. It grows in
the tropical forest of Bas-Congo (see the WWF website).

The yield of this organic banana is 5 tons per ha, compared
to 40 ton ‘Cavendish’ bananas in a commercial banana farm.

The ‘Gros Michel’ vitamin A content is five times higher than
the Cavendish. The WHO should support the WWF initiative to plant ‘Limba’
trees, combined with banana and so attack vitamin A insufficiency in the Congo
Bassin.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

James Dale is wasting time

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

Fundacíon Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA) needs to crowd-source its funding instead of waiting for Dole et al. FHIA: Set up a foundation and put a Donate button on your website...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 27, 2011

I agree with the comments below, monoculture is dangerous. Monsanto continues to control around 90% of the worlds soybean and corn production with their GMO products. What happens when a new disease develops that wipes out that GMO soybean or corn strain across the planet. Are we looking at Soylent Green?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 27, 2011

I agree with the comments below, monoculture is dangerous. Monsanto continues to control around 90% of the worlds soybean and corn production with their GMO products. What happens when a new disease develops that wipes out that GMO soybean or corn strain across the planet. Are we looking at Soylent Green?

Avatar of: Anaxpb

Anonymous

July 27, 2011

I agree with the comments below, monoculture is dangerous. Monsanto continues to control around 90% of the worlds soybean and corn production with their GMO products. What happens when a new disease develops that wipes out that GMO soybean or corn strain across the planet. Are we looking at Soylent Green?

Avatar of: Julio Reinecke

Anonymous

August 8, 2011

has anyone tried to spray the plant with deactivated pathogen? in other plants it does seem to have a beneficial effect, albeit not 100% effective.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 8, 2011

has anyone tried to spray the plant with deactivated pathogen? in other plants it does seem to have a beneficial effect, albeit not 100% effective.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 8, 2011

has anyone tried to spray the plant with deactivated pathogen? in other plants it does seem to have a beneficial effect, albeit not 100% effective.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 15, 2011

Cultivating bananas with VAM inoculation may be helpful to contain the fungus to some extent.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 15, 2011

Cultivating bananas with VAM inoculation may be helpful to contain the fungus to some extent.

Avatar of: Hmbehl

Anonymous

August 15, 2011

Cultivating bananas with VAM inoculation may be helpful to contain the fungus to some extent.

Avatar of: Plgepts

Anonymous

August 16, 2011

 I am tired of the doomsday predictions of banana scientists! The solutions to the supposed disease problem are well-known: use genetic diversity in the genus Musa (of which there is a lot) to develop new clones, develop banana genetic polycultures in time and space, institute campaigns to inform consumers about the diversity of bananas (tastes, textures, ..), etc. Instead, we are faced with an industry that is in a rut and adheres to antiquated production methods.

And, no, just because banana clones are sterile, this does not mean that they cannot be improved by hybridization.

Avatar of: Mraviv

Anonymous

August 16, 2011

Another trusted solution is the use of mature, disease suppressing compost. In addition to its biological function, it also helps to prevent stress, by improving soil's physical characteristics. Of all pathogens tested so far, Fusaria species are the most affected by good composts.

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 16, 2011

What are the chances that a banana genome study will occur anytime in the foreseeable future?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 16, 2011

 I am tired of the doomsday predictions of banana scientists! The solutions to the supposed disease problem are well-known: use genetic diversity in the genus Musa (of which there is a lot) to develop new clones, develop banana genetic polycultures in time and space, institute campaigns to inform consumers about the diversity of bananas (tastes, textures, ..), etc. Instead, we are faced with an industry that is in a rut and adheres to antiquated production methods.

And, no, just because banana clones are sterile, this does not mean that they cannot be improved by hybridization.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 16, 2011

Another trusted solution is the use of mature, disease suppressing compost. In addition to its biological function, it also helps to prevent stress, by improving soil's physical characteristics. Of all pathogens tested so far, Fusaria species are the most affected by good composts.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 16, 2011

What are the chances that a banana genome study will occur anytime in the foreseeable future?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 16, 2011

 I am tired of the doomsday predictions of banana scientists! The solutions to the supposed disease problem are well-known: use genetic diversity in the genus Musa (of which there is a lot) to develop new clones, develop banana genetic polycultures in time and space, institute campaigns to inform consumers about the diversity of bananas (tastes, textures, ..), etc. Instead, we are faced with an industry that is in a rut and adheres to antiquated production methods.

And, no, just because banana clones are sterile, this does not mean that they cannot be improved by hybridization.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 16, 2011

Another trusted solution is the use of mature, disease suppressing compost. In addition to its biological function, it also helps to prevent stress, by improving soil's physical characteristics. Of all pathogens tested so far, Fusaria species are the most affected by good composts.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 16, 2011

What are the chances that a banana genome study will occur anytime in the foreseeable future?

Avatar of: symcoxkd

Anonymous

August 17, 2011

Australia is an island?  My geography teacher will be surprised.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 17, 2011

Australia is an island?  My geography teacher will be surprised.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 17, 2011

Australia is an island?  My geography teacher will be surprised.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 19, 2011

Of course the logical solution, as indicated above, and in the comments, is to rotate the banana crop - surely this has been attempted?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 19, 2011

Of course the logical solution, as indicated above, and in the comments, is to rotate the banana crop - surely this has been attempted?

Avatar of: oldebabe

Anonymous

August 19, 2011

Of course the logical solution, as indicated above, and in the comments, is to rotate the banana crop - surely this has been attempted?

Avatar of: Blah

Anonymous

September 8, 2011

Farewell Banana, I will miss thee....

Avatar of: Sly

Anonymous

September 8, 2011

Yes. We have no bananas.

Avatar of: Ianmacfarlane

Ianmacfarlane

Posts: 1

September 8, 2011

So, natural evolution is stronger than artificial (man made) evolution.  Unless you are an evangelical neoconservative and don't believe in evolution.

Avatar of: Ian Mott

Anonymous

September 8, 2011

For the record, the Australian banana industry was decimated by Cyclone Yasi, not race 4 or any other disease. And it is about to recover, fully.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 8, 2011

Farewell Banana, I will miss thee....

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 8, 2011

Yes. We have no bananas.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 8, 2011

So, natural evolution is stronger than artificial (man made) evolution.  Unless you are an evangelical neoconservative and don't believe in evolution.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 8, 2011

Farewell Banana, I will miss thee....

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 8, 2011

Yes. We have no bananas.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 8, 2011

So, natural evolution is stronger than artificial (man made) evolution.  Unless you are an evangelical neoconservative and don't believe in evolution.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 8, 2011

For the record, the Australian banana industry was decimated by Cyclone Yasi, not race 4 or any other disease. And it is about to recover, fully.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 8, 2011

For the record, the Australian banana industry was decimated by Cyclone Yasi, not race 4 or any other disease. And it is about to recover, fully.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 14, 2011

Really bad news!Banana is my favoutie fruit!Thank you for the post !I would also like to share you with some good ideas about HP Pavilion G60 battery.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 14, 2011

Really bad news!Banana is my favoutie fruit!Thank you for the post !I would also like to share you with some good ideas about HP Pavilion G60 battery.

Avatar of: songfangsarah

songfangsarah

Posts: 2

September 14, 2011

Really bad news!Banana is my favoutie fruit!Thank you for the post !I would also like to share you with some good ideas about HP Pavilion G60 battery.

Avatar of: Psccrealock34

Anonymous

September 15, 2011

Stupid statements like the following promote a common ridiculous view of evolution in which the organism had some kind of plan to attack the Cavandish and then willfully transformed itself in that direction.

"evolved over time so that it could attack Cavendish"

Avatar of: Psccrealock34

Anonymous

September 15, 2011

Or maybe just a scientist who understands the difference between science, intelligent speculation, pseudo science, and biological history, as opposed to someone who makes himself feel good by making inane biased ignorant statements about groups that somehow threaten him.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 15, 2011

Stupid statements like the following promote a common ridiculous view of evolution in which the organism had some kind of plan to attack the Cavandish and then willfully transformed itself in that direction.

"evolved over time so that it could attack Cavendish"

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 15, 2011

Or maybe just a scientist who understands the difference between science, intelligent speculation, pseudo science, and biological history, as opposed to someone who makes himself feel good by making inane biased ignorant statements about groups that somehow threaten him.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 15, 2011

Or maybe just a scientist who understands the difference between science, intelligent speculation, pseudo science, and biological history, as opposed to someone who makes himself feel good by making inane biased ignorant statements about groups that somehow threaten him.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 15, 2011

Stupid statements like the following promote a common ridiculous view of evolution in which the organism had some kind of plan to attack the Cavandish and then willfully transformed itself in that direction.

"evolved over time so that it could attack Cavendish"

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 21, 2011

juz love bananas, it really helps in our daily motion. spoken to a fruit seller in singapore,he said bananas were dwindling in supplies from malaysia becoz all the greedy plantation owners have sold/exchange their plantations for crops, namely the profitable oil palm trees.  This sick world is far too greedy now,no food/medicine can eliminate greed now,  I foresee that more illness will befall the human race when bananas were eliminated as a good "medicinal fruit".  Hope some good scientist will quickly be bless by some good effective organic means to cure the infections on the bananas-the lives of the some people depends on you!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 21, 2011

To Cristina Luiggi
Thanks for a very interesting article !
Tom

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 21, 2011

Not to worry.  Evolution has saved the elephant so far.  It has saved the banana so far.  It has enabled humans to become "the measure of all things" so far.

Best evidence indicates Earth is about 4.54 billion years old, give or take a little, and the observable universe is about 13.7 billion years old, give or take a little.  We weren't exactly here with our yard sticks, microscopes, telescopes, computers, but we humans are able to identify and utilize proxies to tell us all that. 

Some information that has been traveling at less than 299,792,458 m/s (the universe is not a vacuum), is now reaching us from the earliest stars, which our interpretations of our proxies tell us ceased to exist how many billions of years ago?  Three?  More than three?  We started out, what, the size of a basketball, pinhead, an SUV, whatever... and expanded at a certain rate we have pretty much worked out, at some rate, and that information is just now catching up to us.  How can that...  Never mind.

We humans (man) are the measure of it all.  We have maps of where everything is in the universe.  There's a little problem with what's out there now, but we are the measure of it all.  We've got the idea down pat, and are only fine-tuning the details.
We know the average life spans of various kinds of stars, and know that if the light of a certain kind of star is reaching us now that star had to have blown up and strewn stuff all over the place, and another formed from the debris of that one and others -- unless it became a black hole, at least -- but we put it on the map, anyway.

We are the measure of all things.  We can make a map of things that have long sense, according to our own measurements and calculations of proxies (the light from stars that we calculate could not exist now is itself a proxy).  So, okay, we've got this map of the apparent universe showing things where they WERE when light now reaching us left them, and we calculate their mass and come up with how much mass there "is" in the universe.  We calculate with our measuring sticks -- tools, if you will -- that the very elements of Earth, itself, is made up of elements that had to be "cooked" in stars, and could not have occurred locally.  Which stars?  Could it be from some of those we "see" the light coming from today that ceased to come from them when they exploded (or imploded/exploded, throwing some stuff out and condensing the rest)?

We've got it ALL figured out.  We are the measure of it all. 

We cannot rule in God.  But neither can we rule God out.

Some of us internalize the stance that we have everything figured out not to the nth degree, but to... well... to our satisfaction, and we don't need any "being" any smarter that humans to assert we are the kings of the mountain of our egos.  And since we are the kings of that, our intelligence grasps -- well -- if not every detail then the essence of it all.

So far, we have not succeeded in driving stakes at the extremities of our domain, the universe, much of what we "see" of it being by billions of years subsequently no longer there, so we have the small problem of figuring out what's out there millions and billions of light years distant NOW, but we know we will dispense with such problems with our tools and our knowledge of enough details to get the picture.

Lots of detail work remains to be done, but we "know" pretty much what we are going to find when we get the technology worked out sufficiently.

Our proxies and calculations indicate that our star (the sun) will run out of hydrogen some day, and the solar system will cease to be Earth friendly, and hence human friendly.  We also know that nothing in our current scientific "knowledge" indicates how we are going to do it on a cost/benefit ratio basis, but we will have done before then what the human inhabitants of Krypton (Superman's parents among them) did.  We will find and populate another Earth.

All simple and obvious.

But just in case none of us makes it to that other human-friendly planet, or evolution doesn't equip us to breath and fly around in the space between planets and solar systems and such... who do you think we should make the beneficiaries of all these measuring sticks and all this certainty we have about where everything came from and where everything is going?

Human cognizance, awareness... that's really something, isn't it!  Isn't it amazing that it happened?  But now that it happened, it has evolved to enable us to measure EVERYTHING and, not only that, to figure out everything there is to be known about what's out yonder, and down in yonder (in the infiinte direction of smallness), and know that we are the masterminds, the measurers and the graspers of everything.

Wow!  Ain't we somethin'!  

 (: > )

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 21, 2011

juz love bananas, it really helps in our daily motion. spoken to a fruit seller in singapore,he said bananas were dwindling in supplies from malaysia becoz all the greedy plantation owners have sold/exchange their plantations for crops, namely the profitable oil palm trees.  This sick world is far too greedy now,no food/medicine can eliminate greed now,  I foresee that more illness will befall the human race when bananas were eliminated as a good "medicinal fruit".  Hope some good scientist will quickly be bless by some good effective organic means to cure the infections on the bananas-the lives of the some people depends on you!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 21, 2011

To Cristina Luiggi
Thanks for a very interesting article !
Tom

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 21, 2011

Not to worry.  Evolution has saved the elephant so far.  It has saved the banana so far.  It has enabled humans to become "the measure of all things" so far.

Best evidence indicates Earth is about 4.54 billion years old, give or take a little, and the observable universe is about 13.7 billion years old, give or take a little.  We weren't exactly here with our yard sticks, microscopes, telescopes, computers, but we humans are able to identify and utilize proxies to tell us all that. 

Some information that has been traveling at less than 299,792,458 m/s (the universe is not a vacuum), is now reaching us from the earliest stars, which our interpretations of our proxies tell us ceased to exist how many billions of years ago?  Three?  More than three?  We started out, what, the size of a basketball, pinhead, an SUV, whatever... and expanded at a certain rate we have pretty much worked out, at some rate, and that information is just now catching up to us.  How can that...  Never mind.

We humans (man) are the measure of it all.  We have maps of where everything is in the universe.  There's a little problem with what's out there now, but we are the measure of it all.  We've got the idea down pat, and are only fine-tuning the details.
We know the average life spans of various kinds of stars, and know that if the light of a certain kind of star is reaching us now that star had to have blown up and strewn stuff all over the place, and another formed from the debris of that one and others -- unless it became a black hole, at least -- but we put it on the map, anyway.

We are the measure of all things.  We can make a map of things that have long sense, according to our own measurements and calculations of proxies (the light from stars that we calculate could not exist now is itself a proxy).  So, okay, we've got this map of the apparent universe showing things where they WERE when light now reaching us left them, and we calculate their mass and come up with how much mass there "is" in the universe.  We calculate with our measuring sticks -- tools, if you will -- that the very elements of Earth, itself, is made up of elements that had to be "cooked" in stars, and could not have occurred locally.  Which stars?  Could it be from some of those we "see" the light coming from today that ceased to come from them when they exploded (or imploded/exploded, throwing some stuff out and condensing the rest)?

We've got it ALL figured out.  We are the measure of it all. 

We cannot rule in God.  But neither can we rule God out.

Some of us internalize the stance that we have everything figured out not to the nth degree, but to... well... to our satisfaction, and we don't need any "being" any smarter that humans to assert we are the kings of the mountain of our egos.  And since we are the kings of that, our intelligence grasps -- well -- if not every detail then the essence of it all.

So far, we have not succeeded in driving stakes at the extremities of our domain, the universe, much of what we "see" of it being by billions of years subsequently no longer there, so we have the small problem of figuring out what's out there millions and billions of light years distant NOW, but we know we will dispense with such problems with our tools and our knowledge of enough details to get the picture.

Lots of detail work remains to be done, but we "know" pretty much what we are going to find when we get the technology worked out sufficiently.

Our proxies and calculations indicate that our star (the sun) will run out of hydrogen some day, and the solar system will cease to be Earth friendly, and hence human friendly.  We also know that nothing in our current scientific "knowledge" indicates how we are going to do it on a cost/benefit ratio basis, but we will have done before then what the human inhabitants of Krypton (Superman's parents among them) did.  We will find and populate another Earth.

All simple and obvious.

But just in case none of us makes it to that other human-friendly planet, or evolution doesn't equip us to breath and fly around in the space between planets and solar systems and such... who do you think we should make the beneficiaries of all these measuring sticks and all this certainty we have about where everything came from and where everything is going?

Human cognizance, awareness... that's really something, isn't it!  Isn't it amazing that it happened?  But now that it happened, it has evolved to enable us to measure EVERYTHING and, not only that, to figure out everything there is to be known about what's out yonder, and down in yonder (in the infiinte direction of smallness), and know that we are the masterminds, the measurers and the graspers of everything.

Wow!  Ain't we somethin'!  

 (: > )

Avatar of: pooable

pooable

Posts: 2

September 21, 2011

juz love bananas, it really helps in our daily motion. spoken to a fruit seller in singapore,he said bananas were dwindling in supplies from malaysia becoz all the greedy plantation owners have sold/exchange their plantations for crops, namely the profitable oil palm trees.  This sick world is far too greedy now,no food/medicine can eliminate greed now,  I foresee that more illness will befall the human race when bananas were eliminated as a good "medicinal fruit".  Hope some good scientist will quickly be bless by some good effective organic means to cure the infections on the bananas-the lives of the some people depends on you!

Avatar of: Tomas_NIH

Tomas_NIH

Posts: 1

September 21, 2011

To Cristina Luiggi
Thanks for a very interesting article !
Tom

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

September 21, 2011

Not to worry.  Evolution has saved the elephant so far.  It has saved the banana so far.  It has enabled humans to become "the measure of all things" so far.

Best evidence indicates Earth is about 4.54 billion years old, give or take a little, and the observable universe is about 13.7 billion years old, give or take a little.  We weren't exactly here with our yard sticks, microscopes, telescopes, computers, but we humans are able to identify and utilize proxies to tell us all that. 

Some information that has been traveling at less than 299,792,458 m/s (the universe is not a vacuum), is now reaching us from the earliest stars, which our interpretations of our proxies tell us ceased to exist how many billions of years ago?  Three?  More than three?  We started out, what, the size of a basketball, pinhead, an SUV, whatever... and expanded at a certain rate we have pretty much worked out, at some rate, and that information is just now catching up to us.  How can that...  Never mind.

We humans (man) are the measure of it all.  We have maps of where everything is in the universe.  There's a little problem with what's out there now, but we are the measure of it all.  We've got the idea down pat, and are only fine-tuning the details.
We know the average life spans of various kinds of stars, and know that if the light of a certain kind of star is reaching us now that star had to have blown up and strewn stuff all over the place, and another formed from the debris of that one and others -- unless it became a black hole, at least -- but we put it on the map, anyway.

We are the measure of all things.  We can make a map of things that have long sense, according to our own measurements and calculations of proxies (the light from stars that we calculate could not exist now is itself a proxy).  So, okay, we've got this map of the apparent universe showing things where they WERE when light now reaching us left them, and we calculate their mass and come up with how much mass there "is" in the universe.  We calculate with our measuring sticks -- tools, if you will -- that the very elements of Earth, itself, is made up of elements that had to be "cooked" in stars, and could not have occurred locally.  Which stars?  Could it be from some of those we "see" the light coming from today that ceased to come from them when they exploded (or imploded/exploded, throwing some stuff out and condensing the rest)?

We've got it ALL figured out.  We are the measure of it all. 

We cannot rule in God.  But neither can we rule God out.

Some of us internalize the stance that we have everything figured out not to the nth degree, but to... well... to our satisfaction, and we don't need any "being" any smarter that humans to assert we are the kings of the mountain of our egos.  And since we are the kings of that, our intelligence grasps -- well -- if not every detail then the essence of it all.

So far, we have not succeeded in driving stakes at the extremities of our domain, the universe, much of what we "see" of it being by billions of years subsequently no longer there, so we have the small problem of figuring out what's out there millions and billions of light years distant NOW, but we know we will dispense with such problems with our tools and our knowledge of enough details to get the picture.

Lots of detail work remains to be done, but we "know" pretty much what we are going to find when we get the technology worked out sufficiently.

Our proxies and calculations indicate that our star (the sun) will run out of hydrogen some day, and the solar system will cease to be Earth friendly, and hence human friendly.  We also know that nothing in our current scientific "knowledge" indicates how we are going to do it on a cost/benefit ratio basis, but we will have done before then what the human inhabitants of Krypton (Superman's parents among them) did.  We will find and populate another Earth.

All simple and obvious.

But just in case none of us makes it to that other human-friendly planet, or evolution doesn't equip us to breath and fly around in the space between planets and solar systems and such... who do you think we should make the beneficiaries of all these measuring sticks and all this certainty we have about where everything came from and where everything is going?

Human cognizance, awareness... that's really something, isn't it!  Isn't it amazing that it happened?  But now that it happened, it has evolved to enable us to measure EVERYTHING and, not only that, to figure out everything there is to be known about what's out yonder, and down in yonder (in the infiinte direction of smallness), and know that we are the masterminds, the measurers and the graspers of everything.

Wow!  Ain't we somethin'!  

 (: > )

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 24, 2011

I grew up in Melbourne in the 1093s and was taught that Australia was an islend - the world's largest island.

Avatar of: Brucehicks

Anonymous

September 24, 2011

I grew up in Melbourne in the 1093s and was taught that Australia was an islend - the world's largest island.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 24, 2011

I grew up in Melbourne in the 1093s and was taught that Australia was an islend - the world's largest island.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 27, 2011

I hear it's almost done, actually.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 27, 2011

I hear it's almost done, actually.

Avatar of: deetz100

deetz100

Posts: 2

September 27, 2011

I hear it's almost done, actually.

Avatar of: guest

Anonymous

September 28, 2011

i can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 28, 2011

i can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 28, 2011

i can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

October 5, 2011

The genetic engineering protocol should be tried to introduce resistance gene against infection and the surrounding environment should be kept clean and biopesticide like azadirachtin be sprayed

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

October 5, 2011

The genetic engineering protocol should be tried to introduce resistance gene against infection and the surrounding environment should be kept clean and biopesticide like azadirachtin be sprayed

Avatar of: Dr. ichha Purak

Anonymous

October 5, 2011

The genetic engineering protocol should be tried to introduce resistance gene against infection and the surrounding environment should be kept clean and biopesticide like azadirachtin be sprayed

Avatar of: Online Pokies

Anonymous

October 6, 2011

Yes!! You’re write I think our corn market and production has very weak position. I want to say that monoculture is very harmful for every corn production field. I really want to save it. I must say that banana is the most important fruit for the healthy health and people should save him.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

October 6, 2011

Yes!! You’re write I think our corn market and production has very weak position. I want to say that monoculture is very harmful for every corn production field. I really want to save it. I must say that banana is the most important fruit for the healthy health and people should save him.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

October 6, 2011

Yes!! You’re write I think our corn market and production has very weak position. I want to say that monoculture is very harmful for every corn production field. I really want to save it. I must say that banana is the most important fruit for the healthy health and people should save him.

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