…And other things, my own. Stuff that I thought might be worth shar­ing. Where rel­e­vant, the titles asso­ci­ated with each image point to the orig­i­nal blog entry from which it’s drawn. (So to speak.)

Fresh To You From the Anus of a Clown

This is a full-​​frontal assault on McDonald’s, because they deserve it. There’s a PDF ver­sion that’s set up for print­ing on two sides; it has the car­toon on the front and nutri­tion data on the back.

Fresh to You

High-​​Tech MRI

The Imaging Center at the hos­pi­tal had a grand open­ing recently, and I was asked to make post­cards announc­ing the event.

Actually, we have rea­son to be proud. We’ve got a 3 Tesla imager, which is more or less capa­ble of suck­ing the bumper out of chrome at 50 feet; we’re one of the few facil­i­ties in our part of the world to boast such a device. That’s why non­profit hos­pi­tals make sense; we didn’t open the Imaging Center to fat­ten the off­shore accounts of a CEO. We did it to make life bet­ter for the peo­ple who live here.

Well, any­way, say it with humor.

Early MRI

Dr. Thag

This was another post­card design for a lec­ture series on car­di­ol­ogy. Unfortunately it wasn’t used. (Philistines! I work with philistines!) But even as a rough sketch it’s pretty damn funny anyway.

Dr. Thag cartoon

There’s a series of ques­tions here, the sim­plest of which is where the hell did he get the jumper cables from?

Most Things Don’t Happen Overnight

We’re expand­ing our car­diac cath lab, which means a lot of con­struc­tion work and noise (as well as jack­ham­mer­ing) at the north end of the hos­pi­tal. I was asked to make a sign/​flyer that could be dis­trib­uted to let patients and vis­i­tors know what was hap­pen­ing; here’s the car­toon por­tion of it.

Most Things Don't Happen Overnight

The Miracles of Easter

Rude — of course. This was a series of toons that began on Good Friday, which is a damn weird thing to call the day you use to mark your god’s murder.

Get Nailed

This sec­ond item in the Easter mir­a­cle is actu­ally a mock adver­tise­ment. I like it for a few rea­sons, mostly hav­ing to do with the way Christianity seems to be such a com­mer­cial, for-​​profit enda­vor — one which, in the US, is also tax free.

I think I’ll be doing more with Holy Toast eucharist in the future. It seems like it could be rich in satire.

Holy Toast eucharist

This final mir­a­cle emerged, of course, on Easter morning.

Morning Wood

The Return of Holy Toast

Doesn’t it seem incred­i­bly fatu­ous that white men feel they have a right to tell black peo­ple they’d bet­ter wor­ship their white deity — or else?

Nappy-Headed Host

Given where he lived, assum­ing he existed at all, the per­son we call Jesus Christ would have been dis­tinctly brown. Brown enough that some American Christians would view him with dis­trust and worry about being the vic­tims of a mug­ging … or a ter­ror­ist attack.

Kids These Days

This is some­thing I drew back in 1999, and is prob­a­bly too geeky even for the Larson crowd. It’s really only funny if you know about the dif­fer­ing ages of loa and what it means.*

Kids These Days.

* The more recently-​​erected loa on Rapa Nui are the crudely-​​made ones. They also tend to lean or fall over much more often than the old-​​timers.

Strange Beliefs and Odd Superstitions

The cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance of the rad­i­cal right-​​wing Christist fringe never ceases to frus­trate me. It’s bizarre, to me, to claim that one set of holy writs is false — or, more arro­gantly, myth­i­cal — while at the same time hold­ing one’s own ideas as sacred.

Usually it’s famil­iar­ity, and that alone, which lends a taste of authen­tic­ity to the things we like to believe, or at least which are woven deeply into our social tableau.

That does not, how­ever, con­sti­tute a basis for deter­min­ing truth.

I’m par­tic­u­larly pleased with the fel­low in the last panel. I wanted to express the essence of empty-​​headed mind­less enthu­si­asm for some­thing of a fairy-​​tale nature, and I think I man­aged to cap­ture it pretty well. It’s the eyes espe­cially that do it, I think.

Title page

Thor

Ganeshiva!

Babar

Qabba

Flat Earth 1

Flat Earth 2

Rapture

Denial

True to form, here’s a PDF of the file in case you want to print it and pass it out or some­thing. Strange Beliefs (460 KB)

Ham Boned

Creating a ter­ri­ble pun at Ken Ham’s expense.

Ham is what’s called a YEC — a Young-​​Earth Creationist. Not only does he believe this planet is a mere 6,000 years old; he’s will­ing to dis­tort, twist and warp his view of the world suf­fi­ciently to make it seem sensible.

The prob­lem is that he’s will­ing to men­tally rape thou­sands of oth­ers as well; he recently opened a Creation Museum that fea­tures, among other things, exhibits show­ing humans co-​​existing peace­fully with dinosaurs.

Ham famously claimed that Tyrannosaurus rex was a veg­e­tar­ian — its six-​​inch dagger-​​teeth were used, he said, to open coconuts.

The man’s a fuck­ing idiot.

Ham Boned 1

Ham Boned 2

Ham Boned 3

Ham Boned 4
Someday I hope to have a son like the one in this car­toon: I set ’em up, he knocks ’em down.

Here’s the toon as a PDF. Use as you see fit, but do keep the attri­bu­tion intact. Thanks. Ham Boned (PDF, 200 KB)

Jack Chick Tracts

This is called Darwinism: The Devil’s Religion. The idea (insipi­ra­tion is too grace­ful a word for what I feel when I read a Chick tract) is obvious.

The mini-​​essay that pre­cedes the actual tract began as intro­duc­tory com­ments to sec­tional posts of the mate­r­ial, but since there’s a com­mon thread run­ning through the sub­ject it was easy to string it together into a coher­ent statement.

Following the graph­ics is the tract in PDF. Suitable for print­ing and distribution.

Hint, hint.

Darwnism: The Devil’s Religion

Jack Chick is famous to fun­da­men­tal­ist Christians for cre­at­ing a library of incred­i­bly narrow-​​minded tracts which present an almost Jihadist view of right-​​wing ultra-​​fundamentalist Christianity.

Everything’s there includ­ing para­noia that God will cast you into hell at the drop of a hat; the com­plete Caucasian-​​ness of God, Jesus and angels; and of course gargoyle-​​like aspects on any­one non-​​Caucasian.

Chick tracts are also easy tar­gets for par­ody because of their over-​​the-​​top bat­shit lunacy. This is one band­wagon I decided to try on for size. The results follow.

Us Vs. Them?

I find it strik­ing that right-​​wingers seem to define the entire world in terms of reli­gion; I’ve been accused more than once of mak­ing sci­ence my “reli­gion”. The notion is fool­ish in the extreme, of course; reli­gion relies on inerrancy, received Truth and unrea­son­ing appeal to authority.

Science is, of course, imper­fect; the his­tory of sci­ence is rife with exam­ples of arro­gance, will­ful stu­pid­ity and even out­right hoaxes. The dif­fer­ence, though, is that sci­ence is self-​​correcting. Hoaxes in sci­ence are always found out and — usu­ally — quickly debunked. The per­pe­tra­tors are ridiculed and lose all cred­i­bil­ity, and no one takes any of their claims seri­ously any longer.

Yet we still hear of reli­gious stat­ues weep­ing tears, or ooz­ing blood, or leak­ing milk — and even though these are shown to be cheap par­lor tricks, still the faith­ful line up to see the next occur­rence, seek­ing after a mir­a­cle to try to affirm some­thing that is ulti­mately nonsensical.

Think about it. If you really did cre­ate the entire uni­verse, wouldn’t you find a bet­ter medium to leave a sig­na­ture than a burn mark in a tor­tilla? I mean, come on — even Slartibartfast man­aged to put his face into an entire glac­ier.

On the Question of Origins

One of the eter­nal ques­tions faced by reli­gion, phi­los­o­phy and sci­ence is where did it all come from?

This is a damned good ques­tion and should occupy any think­ing person’s mind from time to time. It’s one of those queries that may well never be answered, because we’re within the sys­tem that has caused us to be. In order to really under­stand it in all its com­plex­ity, we might have to be entirely beyond it — but the idea of being beyond the entire uni­verse raises another set of equally unan­swer­able dilemmas.

So we come to the ques­tion of prob­a­bil­ity — or, more accu­rately, improb­a­bil­ity. Which sounds less improb­a­ble to you?

1. The cos­mos came into exis­tence by a process we don’t entirely under­stand just yet, but we think that in the first few moments of its emer­gence most of the laws of physics and mat­ter we con­sider de rigeur now were some­how coa­lesced into a rea­son­ably pre­dictable set of steady states. Following those sim­ple rules all the heav­ier ele­ments past hydro­gen fused in the hearts of ancient stars, and some of those ele­ments coa­lesced into com­pounds which devel­oped a means to remain inter­nally coher­ent and, even­tu­ally, a way to repli­cate their pat­terns with a rea­son­able degree of verisimil­i­tude. However, the processes involved in that repli­ca­tion were so com­plex that occa­sional errors crept in, some of which caused repli­ca­tion fail­ure but most of which had no appar­ent effect — until the set­ting changed some­how, forc­ing cer­tain erro­neous pat­terns into a state of greater suc­cess at repli­ca­tion. After sev­eral mil­lion years of such errors and suc­cesses, even­tu­ally some of the universe’s ele­ments devel­oped an emer­gent prop­erty called con­scious­ness, con­tin­gent entirely upon a niche posi­tion in an oth­er­wise entirely-​​reactive and non­sto­chas­tic field. Of course, this cur­rent under­stand­ing could well change with fur­ther iter­a­tions of dis­cov­ery and refine­ment; sci­ence is a lot like a cal­cu­lus approach to a limit, always work­ing toward com­plete under­stand­ing but always baf­flingly, tan­ta­liz­ingly just falling short — which is frus­trat­ing to many, but beau­ti­ful to some.

— or —

2. God did it. Now eat the cracker, drink the wine and stop ask­ing so many questions.

Dawkins’s ques­tion is cogent here: Who made God?

It’s Not About Hate

As a pro­fessed athe­ist I’m some­times con­fronted with a ques­tion that strikes me as being, on the face of it, silly: Why do you hate God?

I don’t hate God. I just don’t believe there is one.

I don’t hate uni­corns, or drag­ons or Shiva or the Easter Bunny or Allah; I sim­ply don’t believe they exist. My world doesn’t lack won­der, joy or hap­pi­ness, but when I feel those emo­tions I don’t also feel a need to attribute them to some kind of Higher Power. Denying some­thing exists does not equal hat­ing it; I can say with per­fect equa­na­mity that hydras are myth­i­cal beasts. The idea of hate doesn’t enter into the equa­tion, any more than I hate a con­cept such as the square root of a neg­a­tive num­ber. I can think about it, sure, but I know that such a thing sim­ply can­not be.

But to some­one who believes in a god, the dec­la­ra­tion that such an entity doesn’t exist is a direct threat to his point of view; when he hears me say I don’t believe what he does he inter­prets that as hatred of his ideas and projects that hatred onto the thing of which he’s so fond.

If you believe in a god, then, the denial of that god’s exis­tence feels a lot like hatred.

I don’t hate God, nor do I hate those who believe in God; what I hate is the blind pig igno­rance that some peo­ple suf­fer from when the idea of God is brought up.

The fact is that belief in God causes air­planes to fly into build­ings. The fact is that belief in God causes the mur­der of abor­tion doc­tors. The fact is that belief in God causes gay-​​bashing, enables slav­ery and use­less wars, and allows choir­boys to be raped.

If this sounds ter­ri­ble, per­haps we should ask our­selves why we allow an insti­tu­tion to con­tinue com­mit­ting atroc­i­ties — not why we sound so hate­ful when we sit in judg­ment of it.

After all, which is obvi­ously worse: A few car­toons on the Internet, or a cadre of believ­ers incin­er­at­ing them­selves — and their chil­dren — rather than bow to the will of a sec­u­lar government?

You have a brain. For God’s sake, USE IT!

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

Darwinism: The Devil's Religion

As promised, here’s the PDF of the entire tract. Darwinism: The Devil’s Religion (600 KB)

n.b. I updated this a lit­tle since post­ing it ear­lier today (2 May 2007, revs same day; see the orig­i­nal four posts in the blog proper for the unal­tered con­tents). I added sub­sec­tion head­ings and a lit­tle more clar­i­fi­ca­tion on a cou­ple of points. The “imag­i­nary num­ber” ref quib­bled with by Bronze Dog I left intact for context.

I also added out­site links to ref­er­ence some of my commentary.Well, one so far. But I’ve a hunch there will be others.

“Why?”

The ref­er­ence comes from a story posted by Pam about a bio of Condoleezza Rice, wherein she embar­rasses her­self by prat­tling gid­dily about the intel­lec­tual depth of George W. Bush. And she’s not being ironic.

Intellectual depth … well, let’s just say you won’t need water wings to plumb those waves.

Anyway, the orig­i­nal post will even­tu­ally be lost to the sands of time — or at least buried deep in the rolling archives — so to make it worth it I’ve added two pan­els to the end that did not appear in the orig­i­nal. Enjoy.

Inquisitive Mind 1

Inquisitive Mind 2

Inquisitive Mind 3

Inquisitive Mind 4

As with the orig­i­nal post, here’s the PDF as well. Inquisitive Mind.PDF (480 KB)