Tract Dissections by Boolean Union Studios


Today's Candidate:


The Truth for Youth - Evolution

Somebody's Making a Monkey Out of You!

The Truth for Youth
© Revival Fires International - 2002

Uploaded December 23rd, 2010



The Truth for Youth takes on evolution with well thought out arguments and well-documented research, overturning a century-long paradigm of biology! Just kidding. In this comic, The Truth for Youth attempts to convince kids that evolution is racist using old creationist arguments.



Panel Index
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | Conclusion



Panel 1
Jessica:

Herp-a-derp. The implication in this comic is that their classmates are treating them disrespectfully because Evolution has made them racist. But I would posit that it's due to the fact, shown herein, that they are acting like complete and utter tools. Q.E.D.

 

Andrew:

This comic can’t seem to decide if evolution makes people racist, or is somehow racist because some early theorists may have been racist, or what. I have it on good authority that people have been racist for quite a long time, long before Darwin published Origin of Species.

 

 

 

   

Panel 2 Jessica:

You know, high schoolers just say stupid shit like this. You get your panties all in a twist because they are supposedly being racist, but in all honesty they probably didn't put too much thought into their put downs before touretting them in the middle of this museum.

 

Andrew:

“Uhhh say what--?” Vince channels the audience here in response to Rashad’s total non-sequiteur. Of course, that means we’ve got to listen to Rashad spend the rest of the comic trying to explain what the hell he meant.

 

Jessica:

Ok. I'm going to be a stickler in this one, because creationist bullshit really cheeses me off. Here we have #1, "Man Evolved From Apes."

 

   
   
   

Panel 3 Andrew:

And who are these evolutionists, Rashad? And hey, even if there are racist people teaching evolution somewhere, that doesn’t mean the whole shebang is corrupted. Would a racist minister make the gospel racist? This is what we call an “ad hominem”. It’s like saying global warming is a lie because Al Gore lives in a big house. The truth or falsity of an idea or concept is separate from its practitioners.

 

Jessica:

Number #2, "Evolution is a Racist Concept." Number #3, "Gaps in the Fossil Records." Number #4, "Many Ideas are Frauds."

Also, take note that even though the division of the pages into panels has somewhat distorted the source references in the margins (Eat it, MLA Format!) they are getting their facts from Answers in Genesis. AIG is a creationist think tank determined to undermine science education in schools and has built a $27 million "Creation Museum" in Kentucky. Oh, and they totally have a Triceratops wearing a saddle, too.

 

Andrew:

I love the way this kind of tract uses the term “evolutionists”, as though we were talking about a group of people solely dedicated to the concept of evolution. I mean, I guess “science teachers who present students with evidence of evolution” is a mouthful.

In a way, I think that helps explain a lot about the religious reaction to evolution. They seem to view evolution as a sort of competing religion, which must work more or less the same way as theirs does, only false.

 

   
   

Panel 4 Jessica:

I linked a lot of these in the last panel, but let's just throw the rest here under Number #5, "All Hominid Fossils Have Been Classified as Ordinary Men."

 

Andrew:

Oh, its our old friend the God of the Gaps.

Biology tends to divided into “lumpers” and “splitters.” Lumpers try to put as many creatures together under the same umbrella based on commonality. (E.G., “These birds are all considered turkeys because of shared physiology.”) Splitters try to figure out what the differences are. (E.G., “While this bird is related to the turkey, it has sufficient differences that it could be seen as something else”).

That’s not a flaw in the idea, that’s a problem of labels. It’s like trying to put a firm end to other kinds of eras. You can say, for example, that the 1960’s youth culture came to an end with the disaster at Altamont. But did it end there for everyone? Probably not. You can pick dates where you can say “this was definitely an era of 1960’s youth culture” (say 1967, especially in San Francisco) and other dates before or after, where you can say it definitely wasn’t (say, 1959 and 1974). But the exact beginning and end are hard to pin down. This does not mean, however, that the 1960s didn’t happen. The same holds true with evolution. Of course people want hard lines, black and white data, but outside of mathematics, those things can be hard to find.

Still, I like the idea that Homo Erectus was an “ordinary man” You know, like you’d see on the subway.

 

Jessica:

Yes, God created you in his image. And the god of horses would almost certain look like a horse himself. We made God in our image, not the other way around.

 

   

Panel 5

Jessica:

Our as yet unnamed main character here has a somewhat reasonable response to learning he's been with a Creationist this whole time. Though if he had two brain cells to rub together he would have discerned that little nugget ages ago.

 

Andrew:

I think his name is Vince, actually.

Here again we have a fundamental misunderstanding of the way science works. We start with the observable universe, then try to figure out the mechanisms by which it works, without invoking the supernatural. Religion works in the exact opposite direction, starting with a conclusion about the way the world works, then looking for “the hand of God in nature.”

 

Jessica:

Oh yeah. They mention his name once. In Panel 2. How careless of me to miss it.

Number #6, "Design/Designer, Painting/Painter." Number #7, "Evolution Creates Things By Chance."

Why can't you conclude there is a designer from all of the artifacts?" Because it does not follow!

 

   

Panel 6 Jessica:

Number #8, "Experts Aren't Experts." Number #9, "You Weren't There!"

They weren't there to see how it happened! UNLIKE ME!!!!

 

Andrew:

“Just because a bunch of noisy people keep saying the same thing over and over doesn’t make them right… and it doesn’t make them experts!” Words that every single evangelist should have tattooed on their foreheads.

 

Jessica:

Number #10, "Carbon and Potassium Dating are Inaccurate."

 

   

Panel 7 Jessica:

Number #11, "Tree Rings FTW."

These kids are babbling on like they know what they are talking about, but each one is just parroting talking points they picked up somewhere. Rashad in church, Vince in some science class.

 

Andrew:

No kidding, who talks like this outside of a Michael Crichton novel?

Yeah, carbon dates are tricky. That’s why you don’t go solely by carbon dates- you use corroborating elements. What you definitely don’t do is throw up your hands and say “I dunno, musta been God.”

 

   
   

Panel 8 Jessica:

Number #12, "Trees Stand Up!"

"Like Creationists can? Right!" Oh boy, here it comes.

 

Andrew:

As the link says, the whole “multi-strata tree” thing was figured out a century ago. Creationist arguments are like zombies, though. It’s just like the whole “the eye is too complex to evolve” argument. The evolution of the eye is actually pretty well understood, but the people who trundle out that argument just shove their fingers in their ears and say, “I’m not listening!”

 

 

 

   
   
   

Panel 9 Jessica:

Number #13, "Mount St. Helens: A Wizard Did It."

The kid's starting to buy it! May-day! May-day! We need an emergency logic transfusion STAT!

 

Andrew:

Because all strata, everywhere, formed as a result of volcanic eruptions. Riiight. This argument only makes sense if, again, you start from  a position that says this MUST have happened recently and quickly, during Noah’s flood, and then try to find evidence for it.

 

   
   
   

Panel 10 Jessica:

"Science isn't the ultimate source of truth." The Bible is! Because one has logic and evidence and the other has... umm... words! And I think I heard there's some sex in there somewhere. All science has to offer are those lame-ass Discovery Channel shows.

 

Andrew:

Now we go ahead and attack the very basis of science, going back to the Enlightenment. It really boils down to, “Mankind can’t comprehend the universe, and we shouldn’t try.” Is there anything more mired in the European Middle Ages than that?

 

Jessica:

Number #14, "Science Can't Explain Everything!" Number #15, "Humans Are Too Damn Stupid to Figure Stuff Out." Number #16, "Science is a Complete Flip-Flopping Bitch."

 

   
   

Panel 11 Jessica:

Number #17, "Everything is Going to Hell in a Handbasket." Number #18, "Things We Build Totally Don't Change Into Other Things By Themselves."

 

Andrew:

Oh, it's basically the old “second law of thermodynamics” argument.

 

Jessica:

"Well..." ...yeah. Pretty much. Next question.

 

Andrew:

Poor Vince doesn’t even get a response. He’s just stuck giving canned responses by a writer who doesn’t believe them. It’s no wonder he can’t refute Rashad’s bullshit.

 


Panel 12 Jessica:

Number #19, "Evolution is a Fairy Tale."

So, a frog turning into a person is ludicrous. But people being made from dirt and ribs is totally reasonable. Got it.

 

Andrew:

The evidence doesn’t say frogs evolved into princes- however, modern frogs and modern princes have a common ancestor, and a long time ago the family trees took divergent paths. It’s like saying a person evolved from their cousin. No, you just have the same grandparents. Play that out over a few million years and it becomes easier to see how life forms can diverge in different environments.

 

Jessica:

Number #20, "Religion In The Schools."

 

Andrew:

It “sounds right” because it sounds comforting. The world exists for human beings. Yay! Aren’t you special?

It isn’t taught because it’s not science.

 

 

 

   
   

Panel 13 Jessica:

Number #21, "Evolution is a Religion." Number #22, "Evolution is Atheistic."

Those aren't mutually exclusive at all, now are they?

 

Andrew:

Oh, religious atheism. Here’s that “competing faith” outlook again. First of all, evolution says nothing about the existence of God, it just doesn’t require one. Not all biologists are atheists. And in what universe does not believing in something become a religion? By that standard, Tim Todd has made a religion out of, say, not believing in Vishnu. Or Odin. Or any of the thousands of Gods that he simply does not believe in. Atheists simply go one better.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Panel 14 Jessica:

Yes. It is they who are the monkeys! Game, set, match.

 

Andrew:

“Proponents of evolution are all like this! And they all wear football jerseys!”

I love how this comic treats the brain farts of idiot tools as though they were somehow an attempt at opening a rational dialog on evolution.

 

   
   

Panel 15 Jessica:

Number #22, "Same Evidence, Different Conclusions."

 

Andrew:

“It’s hard to be truly objective. So God.” Because your conclusion that a deity you read about in a book is the source of all life is somehow objective.

 

 

 

   
   

Panel 16 Jessica:

Sin makes you stupid. No getting around it. Einstein, Hawking, Turing? Retards. It's amazing those assholes could even tie their shoelaces considering how much sin was holding them back.

 

Andrew:

We’ve run clear out of pseudoscience now, so we’re just back to that same “mankind can’t comprehend the universe” thing. I am dissapoint. I really hoped they had some more tricks up their sleeves than that.

 

Jessica: "You Christians are so depressive." On. The. Nose.
   

Panel 17 Jessica:

Cue the image macro.

 

Andrew:

Vince is rather easily led, isn’t he? Rashad pokes some holes in his not-very-good understanding of evolution, now he’s ready to accept the gospel.

 

   
   

Panel 18 Jessica:

Those guys looking on are totally pissed. They're all like "HEY! We called you monkeys! Stop praying and start being all indignant again!"

 

Andrew:

So… rejection of evolution is somehow a victory over idiot bullies? Uh, sure, whatever you say, Truth for Youth.

 

   
   

Conclusion
Jessica:

This comic was originally six pages. That's twenty-two discernable errors in six pages. I would be interested to see how many they could rack up would they have continued on like this.

 

Andrew:

Uh, this is just painful. It’s a bit like the “School Violence” tract in its attempt to portray Christianity as a rebellious act, one that might make bad people upset. More than that, it’s disappointing because these same Kent Hovind inspired arguments have been bopping around for years. Despite the best efforts of rational people to stamp them out, they keep popping up, like cockroaches.

As you can probably tell, I’m not particularly sympathetic to religion, but the issue isn’t even really “evolution vs. Christianity”, it’s more along the lines of “Biblical literalism vs. evolution.” There are plenty of Christians who are scientists, and they seem to be able to do their work without compromising their beliefs. Maybe that’s because they aren’t afraid their entire world will crumble if some random passage from Genesis is proven inaccurate. I suspect these things just aren’t a problem for people who don’t emphasize the literal meaning of every passage. Heck, even people like Tim Todd must do this to some extent, unless he really does follow all the rules in Deuteronomy. Yeah, I know, “New Covenant” and all that… but that means they don’t really take every passage. Why are some more valuable than others? If you can just throw out whole blocks of the text without a second thought, what does that mean about the parts you kept?

The Bible isn’t a science book, and using it as such will get you in trouble. Remember 1 Kings 7:23, the “Pi is equal to 3” passage? Thankfully we don’t have a cottage industry devoted to overturning basic mathematics. Unfortunately, we do have an industry devoted to overturning the teaching of basic biology in favor of ignorance and superstition, a view of the universe that points to every apparent mystery and says “God lives there.”

Two hundred years ago the mechanisms of disease were not well understood. Disease was the result of God’s displeasure, or Satan’s will, or something like that, and bacteria and viruses weren’t on anyone’s radar. Now, of course, because of the scientific method, we have effective ways of treating or eliminating diseases that once cost many lives. Much of this research proceeded in the face of opposition by the religious, who felt this was a way of flouting God’s will. Even today there are Christian sects who oppose vaccination, and their innocent kids still get polio, which is of course God’s punishment for… something.

I simply don’t understand a world-view that works like this. Mankind's attempts to understand the universe around us have yielded real dividends in the practical world. If we look at lightning and shrug and say, “God must be angry” we never learn about electricity. If we look at a riverbank with many layers, and say “Noah’s flood” we never study geology, and we don’t learn where to find petroleum deposits. Instead of a methodical approach, we have blind trial and error that occasionally gives results, which we can then thank a capricious God for. This is a pre-modern view of the universe, one that kept humans mired in disease and misery for millennia. Unfortunately, it seems there are people who thought we were better off that way.

 

   
   

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Last Modified: December 22, 2013

 

 

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