Who made the seeds?

grapeseed.jpg

[image source]

We were examining seedless grapes after dinner, biting them in half to see what they look like inside, holding them up to light to examine the veining, peeling the skin off with our teeth.

We noticed that they were seedless, then started wondering how they grew new seedless grape vines, if there were no seeds to plant? The conversation went on, then the lad stopped and thought quietly for quite a long time, and then said:

“What I can’t figure out, is who MADE the seeds?”

and, after a while,

“I just don’t know!”

We chatted for a bit longer, him pressing us for an answer, and us explaining that it’s a very good question, and asking him what he thought. He insisted, after further contemplation, that he just COULDN’T figure it out, and insisted that we tell him. So we said that nobody knows, and it’s a question people have asked since the beginning of time. That some people think they just happened by chance, and some people think they were made by magic (he looked deeply sceptical at that one), and that nobody knows for sure how life began.

And we left it there, for now.



Categories: ethics & philosophy, Science, work and family

Tags: , , ,

4 replies

  1. Don’t they just pick them early? It’s the case with seedless watermelon. They pick them just before the mystical teapot orbiting the planet magically inserts little seeds into each and every one.
    Otherwise they’re probably genetically modified by Monsanto to never reproduce, meaning that the poor grower is forced to buy new seeds from, yep, Monsanto every season. Ain’t capitalism grand?
    Jangari’s last blog post..2008 – International Year of Languages

  2. Tell the lad that in developing new grape varieties a new plant was found to produce seedless fruit. Cuttings were taken of this plant and there you have it, grapes without seeds.

  3. Yes, I elided (“The conversation went on”) the bit where we touched on genetic engineering and asexual propagation, because it was less interesting, both to him and to me, than the subsequent question arising.

  4. Bananas as normally found in Oz shops are also apparently seedless. In the centre those funny dark specks are actually the seed but, having been propogated vegetatively for centuries, like spuds, they are the offspring of a random mutant…
    “Wild” bananas have a woody pith with viable seeds but are only found in their place of origin, southern India.

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