“God’s Pharmacy”

Coincidences happen, and we notice them. Next to the infinite coincidences that do not happen, and we therefore don’t usually consider, they are often insignificant.

Original material:
(From a popular chain email, recently made into a PDF, possibly copyrighted in 2008 by one Ed Bagley and therefore reproduced here under Fair Use for purposes of analysis)

“The next time you sit down to lunch or dinner, you may be surprised to learn that many of the foods that we eat look similar to vital organs in our body, and in fact provide nutrients that actually help the organ in question function. Upon learning the specifics of this interesting fact, you just may ponder about whether this phenomena is a happy coincidence or a planned occurrence.

“Here are the facts: A sliced carrot looks like our human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like our human eye, and science shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to our eyes and the function of our eyes. A tomato has four chambers and is red. Our heart has four chambers and is red. Research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopene—a red carotenoid pigment present in tomatoes and many berries and fruits—and are indeed pure heart and blood food. Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of our heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and research shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food. A walnut looks like a little brain with a left and right hemisphere, similar to our upper cerebrum and lower cerebellum. Even the wrinkles (folds) on the nut are just like our neo-cortex. We know that walnuts help develop more than 30 neurotransmitters for our brain function, allowing a chemical substance to help fibers in our brain communicate with each other.

“Kidney beans look like our human kidneys, and actually heal and help maintain our kidney function. Celery, bok choy and rhubarb look like our bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium (salt) and these foods are 23% sodium. If you do not have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of our body.

“Avocados, eggplant and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female—they even look like these organs. Research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. It also takes 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are apparently more than 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods; modern science has only studied and named about 141 of these. Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm, increase the number of sperm, and can help overcome male sterility. Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics. Olives assist the health and function of the female ovaries. Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits look like the mammary glands of the female, and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

“Onions look like our body cells. Research shows that onions help clear waste materials from our body cells. As we have found out, onions even produce tears that wash the epithelial (outer) layers of our eyes. A working companion, garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from our body.”

In the case of the PDF, it jumps straight from the last one to Psalms 46:19.

Response:
I’ve unearthed this piece from the remains of the old site as it seems to have been the only visible online response to the “God’s Pharmacy” email.

Immediate issues with the specifics:
– Even the most common variety of tomato has between three and five chambers, not just four. Other breeds have between two and ten.
– You have to cut a carrot to even make one side of it look like a picture of an eye, and even then it’s a creepy orange eye. Once you’re shaping these foods yourself like this, their natural appearance is irrelevant.
– Carotene gives tomatoes and carrots their health benefits and their colour. If God’s trying to draw us to healthy foods by making them red or reddish, why are most poisonous berries the same colour?
– Blood cells aren’t round like grapes, they’re flattened and pitted like a Strepsils tablet.
– The stalks of celery, bok choy and rhubarb can look like the long, thin bones in our arms and legs. That’s just 12 out of the 206 bones of all shapes and sizes in the human body.
– Who decided that garlic is a “working companion” to onions, and how does the appearance of onions link to the benefits of garlic?

What makes me suspicious about these claims, beyond the inaccuracies above, is the recurring non-references to scientific research: “science shows…”, “research shows…”, “we know that…” and so on. No links to any actual work done by anybody. Though much of what’s said is likely correct, we’re expected to believe it from this email alone.

The real problem here is naked confirmation bias. Every one of these foods has a long list of benefits all over the body (the kidney bean, for instance, could sustain you all by itself for ages), and every body part mentioned has a multitude of foods which are good for it and yet look nothing like it. Pick the most interesting twenty out of the innumerable billions of combinations, and you’ve got an amazing list. View it in the context of the whole of the human body and the whole of the fruit and vegetable family, and it’s just an amusing highlight reel.

Coincidences happen, and we notice them. Next to the infinite coincidences that do not happen, and we therefore don’t usually consider, they are often insignificant. That’s the case with “God’s Pharmacy” here.

SmartLX

9 thoughts on ““God’s Pharmacy””

  1. Yes many fruits and veggies can look like organs and are good for those in question.

    But the thing is both factors have to be in place for it to make sense. So obviously just because it looks like the body part in question doesn’t mean it’s good for it. Obviously it would have to be proven before being documented or published. In which case the fruits and veggies mentioned in this chain e-mail have been and no one has proven them wrong because they can’t.

    If you notice, it’s only the fruits and veggies that serve infamous purposes that were mentioned on the e-mail.

    Your comments sound more like an opinionated complaint rather than any kind of criticism. Whether constructive or otherwise.

    God is here whether you want to believe it or not. God doesn’t need your belief in him in order to exist.

  2. Jahjah, I’m not denying that there are fruits and vegetables that look somewhat like the body parts they’re good for. I’m saying that this is most likely a coincidence and not a very big one.

    Out of the thousands of body parts that fruits and vegetables are good for which don’t look anything like them, and out of the thousands of fruits and vegetables which are good for us but don’t look like any body parts, there are bound to be a few combinations out of the millions that do match up. If you move out of fruits and vegetables into other food it easily becomes billions, and interesting combinations become even more likely.

    The God’s Pharmacy argument rounds up all the matches it can find, and exaggerates certain similarities (like grapes to blood cells or carrots to eyes), to make this reasonably expected set of coincidences sound as amazing and unlikely as possible. It’s simple propaganda.

    God might not need my belief, but He does want it, right? Why is this all-powerful being not getting what He wants?

  3. I agree that there are plenty of foods that are good for various body parts that don’t look like the part they’re good for. I think people might be reading too much into this, especially when there are so many other coincidences that are much more profound and point to God’s love for His creation.

    Why is this all-powerful being not getting what He wants? Because it was more important to Him that you have a choice, than it was for Him to get what He wants. He is that self-less in His loving – He gave up His preference so you could have yours. I often marvel at how He must have a broken heart and a joyful heart all at the same time, for all the time…

    I hope you choose Him someday. One of the best parts of Heaven will be meeting the people you crossed paths with on Earth. 🙂

  4. To get people to read too much into those particular coincidences, Chasy-pronounced-Chazzy, is the whole point of the God’s Pharmacy email. It often succeeds, because people like Jahjah do so.

    So what are your preferred, more profound coincidences that you think aren’t coincidences? Do they point to God’s love if you don’t first assume they’re caused by God? And what of the tragic coincidences which would, if considered in a similar light, point to God’s hatred or contempt? If you know these aren’t His work or indicative of His mood because they’re bad, how do you establish His love independently of this?

    God allowing free will is one possible answer (of many) to the question of why things often don’t appear to be going His way. However it’s an unsupported assertion (like many) by latter-day believers. In the Bible, God and Jesus explicitly say over and over again that they want people to believe in them. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the human ability to choose is more important to them than this. Even if it were, the supposed coincidences pointing to God’s love could sure afford to be less ambiguous and make the choice easier.

  5. If you believe this rubbish, have a look at the leaves of the Oleander, they look very much like the Thymus glands, eat as many as you can, it will do wonders for your immune system.

    Disclaimer: Obviously do *NOT* eat any of these incredibly poisonous leaves!

  6. Herman uys is a crook, he almost killed a young lady with his book. He received millions a year from the government to build up bambi he was suposed to build a old age house, orphanage and with that create jobs. But after 5 years he received a few million of our tax money but has not built anything exept his mansion in pretoria, he is a bad man and uses Gods name to enrich himself it shames me to know that people can do such things, who knows what els he has done

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