I'll give you this much. You put in a good effort.
Very few cops murder
Since I've been told that your younger generation can be better educated through the use of visual aids, I'll start with this to introduce the common analogy: Image: http://bit.ly/QLT2Lb Does one bad apple spoil the whole bunch?
Does it require direct contact? Contact through the air? If so, what sort of mechanism accounts for the communication that occurs among the apples?
In general, plant tissues communicate using classes of compounds called hormones. These are defined as substances produced in one location that have an effect on target cells in a non-adjacent location.
In plants, germination, growth, development, reproduction, and environmental response are all coordinated through hormones. Although most of the main plant hormones are transported in the vascular system of the plant, one class of hormones is transferred in a gaseous phase. This class includes the plant hormone ethylene.
Ethylene is manufactured and released by rapidly growing tissues (i.e., meristems) in roots, senescing flowers, and ripening fruit. For example, the darkened spots on a ripe banana release great amounts of ethylene. Ethylene has many effects on plants including being responsible for the stunting of plants in high winds or when repeatedly touched. In addition, ethylene promotes fruit ripening. Like many hormones, it does so at very low concentrations. Apple growers take advantage of this by picking fruit when it is not ripe, holding it in enclosed conditions without ethylene, and exposing it to ethylene right before taking it to market. This process is why we have newly ripened apples grown in temperate North America even in the spring and summer (FYI: apples ripen in the fall
). Are you with me so far? Good, I'll be sure to give you a shiny gold star.
Plants make ethylene as they age, when they are damaged, and in response to changes in temperature, sunlight, and a variety of other environmental factors. Because the hormone is a gas and can travel through the air, it acts not only within the plants that produce it, but also on other nearby plants. Ripe fruit, for example, hastens the ripening of other fruit nearby due to the ethylene it emits.
Therefore, one bad apple (prematurely ripened or damaged) can indeed spoil the whole bunch, merely by association and environmental exposure, just as one bad cop can be detrimental to a group of fellow officers if not hastily removed.
Now don't interpret this as if I were saying that bad police officers emit ethylene gas. I feel that they are full of something, however I wouldn't label it as being entirely comprised of gas.
The difference between a police officer and an apple, is that the good apple has no method to disassociate itself with the bad apple, and therefore cannot determine it's own fate. Obviously, a human being capable of some level of functional cerebration should possess traits of communication to effectively enable themselves to be removed from the bunch, or in this example, the unison of a combined group of officers (other good apples in the bunch) could plead that the bad officer (bad apple) should be removed before additional damage occurs.
Yet time and time again, we find that the officers who haven't yet become tainted (a non-spoiled apple) ignore the noxious actions of the bad cop, and therefore aid to facilitate the entire bunch in becoming blemished. Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4zQN-EReBKI/TOH3JfylQGI/AAAAAAAAABQ/UDi84F7qs_Y/s1600/Gold+star+sticker.jpg